Giant pandas may live only in China's southwestern forests. This has not stopped the whole world from coming to love these endearing black and white bears. The Chinese Silver Panda coins have always been heavily sought after in China and the other parts of Asia. In recent years, this popularity has expanded to become a global phenomenon.
Chinese Silver Panda History and Background
The Chinese Shenzhen Guobao Mint began producing its most beloved coin series the Chinese Silver Panda back in 1983. Since then, they have consistently grown in popularity until they captured the hearts of the silver bullion industry. The coins themselves honor a natural treasure of China that is beloved worldwide in the famous Panda Bear. The Chinese mint has gained worldwide fame for the breathtaking designs and high quality of minting with this series. It was also the first mint to begin altering the designs each year on one side of its coins.
The full name of the modern day Chinese Mint is the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation. It has grown into a significant producer of commemorative coins in the arena of global precious metals. This mint does not have a reputation for producing much variety in coins on a yearly basis. There is no doubt that its main commemorative collection the Chinese Silver Panda has become one of the best known on earth. These sovereign issues also boast a history that is the equal of the more widely followed American and Canadian bullion coins.
Chinese Silver Panda Physical Characteristics
Up till 2015, all Chinese Silver Pandas included the stamp of both weight and the purity of .999 fine silver. These coins have been so popular in part because the Chinese Mint changes the designs regularly. Each coin comes in brilliant uncirculated condition, sealed in a coin capsule for protection. Larger orders of 30 come arranged in sealed sheets as well. The mint also offers monster boxes containing 600 coins as 20 sheets of 30 coins per sheet.
The front sides of coins are called the obverse. Chinese Silver Panda obverses feature the Chinese “Temple of Heaven” found in Southern Beijing. They also contain the Chinese characters for the inscription “The People's Republic of China.” Beginning with the 2015 year coins and going forward, they no longer feature the word ounce or any notation at all for weight or purity. All of the coins are now being weighed using the metric system but make no mention of this fact on the coins themselves.
The reverse (back) sides of the coins always contain an image of the Panda Bear. This precise picture changes from one year to the next. The design in 2014 showcased a Panda that held a big piece of bamboo. The face value appeared below the image. With the 2015 Chinese Silver Panda, the design was changed to one Panda Bear chewing on a little piece of bamboo. The face value appeared above the image on that year's design.
The Chinese Silver Panda coins have been minted in bullion and proof versions in six different weights since 1989. These include 1/4 ounce, 1/2 ounce, one ounce, five ounces, 12 ounces, and 1 kilogram versions. Specifications for the most popular one ounce Chinese Silver Pandas are as follows:
Mass: 31.1 grams
Diameter: 40 mm
Thickness: 7.59 mm
Content: 99.9% silver
Chinese Silver Panda Pricing
Every Chinese Silver Panda comes with the face value stamped on it. These range from 300 Yuan for the 1 kilogram sized coin and gradually work their way down to three Yuan for the 1/4 ounce version. The most popular one ounce coins come with a 10 Yuan face value. These face values mean that the coins can be spent as legal tender anywhere in the People's Republic of China. The reality is that no one spends these silver coins at face value. The market value of the coins is significantly higher than the relatively minor face value implies.
This is because the face value has little to do with the actual intrinsic value of the coins. Chinese Silver Panda coins' values are based in part on their demand and the relevant supply. The majority of their value though comes from the silver spot price. Silver prices fluctuate up and down during the weekly trading days. It causes the market value of these coins to vary on a daily basis as well. You can easily check the current live price for silver by going to our home page.
Can IRA Accounts Contain Chinese Silver Pandas?
It is the IRS that alone determines if a given coin series or issues can be held by a precious metals IRA. To set up a self directed precious metals IRA account, investors need to start with at least $5,000 of IRS approved precious metals. Later purchases can be made for as little as a $1,000 minimum. Maintaining such tangible silver in retirement accounts gives investors a one of a kind portfolio diversification. Silver prices move independently of those of both stocks and bonds, making them a good hedge against traditional investment declines. With more affordable prices than gold, platinum, and palladium, silver makes a popular choice for investment insurance.
For the IRS to sanction bullion coins in these types of self directed IRAs, they have to attain minimum purity levels and not be considered too collectible. The Chinese Silver Pandas meet the purity requirement of .999 fine silver which the IRS sets. They have been deemed more collectible than bullion coins by the IRS in the past and so have failed to be approved for IRAs on this account. Their premium over spot silver prices was considered to be too high. This is changing with the newer versions of the coin. Some 2016 versions are IRA approved. Because the overwhelming majority of the Panda coins are not, it is better to avoid them altogether with your precious metals IRA. Chinese Silver Pandas are still excellent investment choices for those who favor collectible bullion coins. They can be purchased from many coins dealers in a variety of countries.
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