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The Moon Festival is one of China's most important holidays. Like our own Thanksgiving holiday tradition, the Moon Festival celebrates family, blessings, and giving thanks. It's such an important event that China has agreed to honor the Moon Festival with the single largest commemorative Panda Proof ever. It's 2.2 POUNDS of 99.9% pure silver--a full 100 mm across, and available only from ModernCoinMart!
Chinese Pandas have been struck since 1982 in silver, gold, and platinum. Chinese silver and gold commemorative coins are among the most popular and widely collected of all modern coins, and they have a solid track record of appreciation in the eyes of collectors. In addition, the Chinese Mint also issues Panda medals that are not legal tender coins to mark special events such as major coin shows like the recent World Money Fair held in Berlin, or the birth of a new baby panda at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. These Panda medals are widely collected and are highly desirable collectibles.
The most unique among these medals are the jumbo-sized ones. The Chinese Mint has previously issued special extra-large Panda coins and medals such as two 12-ounce pieces issued for coin shows in Hong Kong in 1986 and in Munich in 1997, but none of them has ever weighed an entire Kilo of silver, which is the same as 2.2 pounds.
Now in 2015, the Chinese Mint produced an amazing 1 Kilo silver proof Panda commemorative proof to celebrate the Chinese moon festival, the second most important Chinese holiday of the year after the Lunar New Year celebration.
The Moon Festival is celebrated every year in mid-autumn when the harvest moon is supposed to be the brightest of the year. The moon in China is a symbol of peace, prosperity, and family reunion, and the festival oriented around it dates back 3,000 years to the Shang dynasty. In addition, before clocks existed Chinese farmers used the moon to guide their activities.
This massive silver Panda, which is 100 millimeters in diameter, or nearly four inches wide, is struck in proof, and the moon image is made of 1/10th oz. of .9999 fine gold. And a mere 2,000 of them were produced.
As if all that were not special enough, the gold used to produce the moon on these coins is arguably the rarest gold in the world – it has sped through outer space for over 5 years and has traveled 625 million miles around the earth!
This gold was part of six large plates of .9999 fine gold that was sent with the Space Shuttle Challenger in the mid-1980s to the International Space Station, where it was installed outside the station on the NASA Long Duration Exposure Facility, a school bus-sized cylindrical facility designed to provide data on the outer space environment. The idea was to test how the gold would hold up in space as it came in contact with extreme temperatures, meteorites, and space particles.
Moreover, this gold reflected the moon’s light every day, which is symbolically very important given the importance of the moon and the moon festival in Chinese culture. The gold was returned back to NASA facilities in 1990 on the Space Shuttle Columbia.
This gold was never intended to be used to produce coins and was only made available by the U.S. government for auction after scientists studied these gold plates for 25 years. And only enough of this special space gold was available to make 2,000 of these medals!
To get an idea of how rare and unusual it is for a coin to include gold that was in space, consider that the only other space gold is a dozen Sacagawea dollar coins were struck in gold and flown on the Space Shuttle Columbia in July 1999 to help promote the series and to mourn the Challenger disaster in 1986. Those coins are stored at the Fort Knox depository, but they were displayed at the ANA coin show in 1987.
The obverse of this incredible piece shows a giant panda hanging on a bamboo branch with bamboo trees in the background while gazing up at the night sky and its full moon. “MOON FESTIVAL” is inscribed in English and Chines as well as the 1 Kilo weight, composition (silver) and purity (.999).
The reverse shows the Great Wall of China and another important Chinese symbol, an ancient armillary sphere, which is an instrument for measuring the position of celestial bodies such as the earth and the moon. It maps these objects in a framework of rings surrounding the earth, and it is considered one of China’s greatest early inventions, dating to the 1st century B.C. although armillary spheres were also developed by the ancient Greeks and others.
Yet another unique feature of this incredible giant precious metal medal is that it is the first silver Panda that bears a “Y” Mint mark for the Shenyang Mint of China. The only other Panda with the same Mint mark is a 1987 gold Panda. This is especially important for collectors of Chinese coins.
To top it all off, this special Panda has been graded by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and is being sold in three grades: Gem Proof, Proof 69 Ultra Cameo, and Proof 70 Ultra Cameo. MCM quickly sold out of the PF70 and is now only offering the PF69 and GEM Proof!
The 2015 silver and gold China Moon Panda is being sold exclusively by ModernCoinMart, so you cannot obtain them anywhere else. Keep in mind that demand for these pieces is very strong; many of these coins have already been sold or reserved for U.S. and Chinese dignitaries! So in reality, considerably fewer than 2,000 pieces are actually available at the present time!
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a rare, unique Panda with a quintessentially Chinese design that includes the only space gold that can actually be purchased by individuals!
Finally, another important consideration is that a number of previous jumbo-sized Pandas with low mintages have brought substantial sums when they were sold, which is usually at auction.
Don’t miss this amazing chance to own the 2015 China Moon Panda!
||Louis is an award-winning numismatic journalist and writer specializing on modern coins. He has been writing a weekly column for CoinWeek since May 2011 called “The Coin Analyst,” which focuses primarily on modern U.S. and world coins and developments at major world mints. In August 2015 he received the Numismatic Literary Guild’s award for Best Website Column for “The Coin Analyst.” He is also a contributor to several magazines, including Coin World, where he writes a bimonthly feature;The Numismatist, the American Numismatic Association’s monthly publication, where he writes a monthly column on modern world coins; and American Hard Assets. He began writing about coins in 2009. He is a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum hosted by ModernCoinMart and has written articles for MCM since 2014. He has collected classic and modern U.S. and world coins since he was about 10 and first joined the ANA in the 1970’s. He was previously a congressional relations specialist and policy analyst at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and a syndicated columnist and news analyst on international politics and national security for a wide variety of publications. He has been writing professionally since the early 1980s.|