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Nov282012

02:46:43 am

1 oz Chinese Coins, 1 oz Pandas, and Other Popular Series

The People's Bank of China has been producing collectable coins since 1979 in several different precious metals, and with a wide variety of both denominations and sizes. These range from pieces weighing a mere 1/20 oz all the way up to the colossal 10 kg pieces. However, of all these sizes, the 1 oz coin is considered a threshold or benchmark, being the largest of the 'small scale' coins, and so is a popular choice among collectors. Anything larger, such as 5 oz, 12 oz, 1 kg, or 10 kg, is thought of as being 'large scale' and these coins often have much lower mintages. This reduced availability and their increased metallic content makes many of these larger pieces unaffordable to the average collector, and so many choose to acquire 1 oz coins, being a slightly more affordable and feasible option.

A series that attracts a lot of attention among numismatists around the world is the Panda series. Pieces featuring these creatures have been issued every year since 1982, and the 1 oz Pandas are popular and sought after among both hobbyists and investors. This is the case for both the silver and gold 1 oz Pandas, although the gold ones tend to be more popular especially with investors (who prefer the stable nature of the gold market). From a collector's point of view, gold was the original metal from which the first Pandas were produced and so this may add to their popularity.

The 1 oz gold Pandas have been issued in brilliant uncirculated quality since 1982, while proof quality Pandas were only produced from 1986 and bear a P mark to differentiate them from the brilliant uncirculated pieces. The 1 oz gold Panda strikes the perfect balance between numismatic and bullion value, explaining its enduring popularity with investors and collectors.

The silver Pandas were issued from 1983 in proof quality with mintages of only 10,000 and originally weighed 27g as opposed to 1 oz. With no silver Pandas produced in 1986 , they reappeared again in 1987, this time weighing 1 oz. The first brilliant uncirculated 1 oz silver Pandas were issued in 1990.

Another series of coins which enjoys a lot of attention from hobbyists is the Unicorns. The 1 oz gold Unicorn coins are particularly rare. Planned mintage figures for this series, produced between 1994 and 1997, are uncharacteristically low for a 1 oz gold pieces, and the estimated actual mintage figures are even lower. One such example is the 1995 piece, less than 800 of which were thought to have been struck.

1 oz coins also feature consistently in the Lunar series which celebrates the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. Like the Pandas, they are issued every year, and commemorate that year's corresponding Chinese zodiac animal. These are also a popular choice for collectors, who may, for example, choose to acquire a complete twelve year set of 1 oz gold zodiac coins.

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