The People's Bank of China (PBOC) announced Monday that it would launch gold and silver Panda themed coins on June 30 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the issuance of its first precious metal commemoratives.
Each new coin's reverse bears the same Panda design as depicted on the 2009 Gold Panda and 2009 Silver Panda bullion coins. The new commemoratives, however, feature a ring surrounding the pandas with the inscription "30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE CHINESE MODERN PRECIOUS METAL COMMEMORATIVE COINS."
It's not the largest or heaviest gold coin in the world, but this commemorative Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Gold Coin commands attention. Weighing in at 22 pounds (10 kg), a diameter 7.09 inches (18 cm) and made from .9999 fine gold, the 100,000 legal tender Chinese Yuan coin will cost one cool million to own.
A spectacular price for sure, but is the coin worth its weight in gold? At gold's current spot price of $942.80 an ounce and considering there are 12 troy ounces per troy pound, that puts the coin's bullion value at about $249,000.
It's rare to find any commemorative priced as low as its bullion value. Why?
The Chinese calendar offers an intriguing system of time measurement that predates all other calendars. For coin collectors, its yearly changing of themes also makes it well designed for commemorative coins.
February 7 marks the start of the 'Year of the Rat', which occurs once every 12 years. (Several past, present and next occurrence years are, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020.)
For this new year, there are several commemorative coins celebrating the event from at least two different countries.