Every year, there is great anticipation among Panda coin enthusiasts for the design of the next year’s silver and gold commemorative coins. Recently, the People's Bank of China announced the official designs of their 2017 Panda Commemorative releases.
Part of the great appeal of Panda coins is that they have featured a new design on almost every annual release since their introduction in 1983.
On October 13, the People’s Bank of China announced the official design of their 2017 commemorative coins and indicated that they will be available beginning October 28th. However, MCM’s World Coin Expert, Hayden Tubbs, said that he heard they are already available in China.
Tubbs added that the first batch of bullion coins are expected to be available at MCM by mid-November, though that is subject to change. MCM is an official distributor of Panda coins so be sure to sign up to be notified as soon as they have them available for sale!
Proof silver and gold counterparts will be available in China beginning December 15th and likely a couple weeks later in the United States.?
The new design features a classic design of single panda sitting down and eating a large bamboo branch in its hands with a bamboo forest in the background. It is reminiscent of the 2015 design that had the same basic elements but seen from the opposite perspective.
The obverse design remains the same showing the famous Temple of Heaven in Beijing with inscriptions in Chinese above it for “China” and the year of issue below.
Additionally, reports have surfaced indicating that a new designer was commissioned to create the 2017 designs. Though not confirmed, this possible artist is someone who has previously designed Panda medals and paper currency with Pandas for the Nanjing Mint.
The 2017 coins are believed to be produced by the three Mints that normally produce Panda coins, Shenzen Guobao, Shanghai, and Shenyang Mints, but that also remains to be confirmed.
The silver bullion coin weight is 30 grams unlike the coins from 1983-2015, which all weighed one ounce.
Unlike the infamous 2015 release that did not include inscriptions for weight or fineness, these 2017 releases include the weight is indicated in grams, along with the fineness (.999) and denomination of 10 Yuan.
For 2017 the mintage of the 30-gram silver coin is being increased from 8 to 10 million coins, presumably because of strong demand. In addition, there will be the usual 5 oz., 50 Yuan and kilo, 300 Yuan proof coins, and those will have respective mintages of 60,000 and 20,000.
As for the 2017 gold Pandas, there will be five bullion coins in weights of 1 gram (10 Yuan), 3 grams (50 Yuan), 8 grams (100 Yuan), 15 grams (200 Yuan), and 30 grams (500 Yuan) with respective mintages of 1 million, 800,000, 600,000, 600,000, and 700,000.
Last year’s gold bullion coins all had mintages of 600,000, and the higher mintages again suggest rising demand.
There will also be proof gold coins 50 grams (800 Yuan), 100 grams (1,500 Yuan), 150 grams (2,000), and 1 kilo (10,000 Yuan) with respective mintages 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, and 500.
You can be sure there will be more twists and turns in the story of 2017 Pandas, and exciting new special Panda coins next year too.
||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.|