By Chris Chatigny, Numismatist & Cataloger – Stack’s Bowers….
The Panda Series of modern Chinese coins have seen over three decades of numismatic success, and this August Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio is proud to offer two exceptionally rare 1982 Panda Patterns from the beginning of this series. In 1982 the China Mint decided to produce a series of bullion coinage. Many design ideas were considered, and not all included the iconic Panda. Ultimately the inaugural design would include a solitary adult Panda at left seated facing right, holding a bamboo branch. Initially, the China Mint intended to produce the Panda Series with denominations and this is certainly the time period when these patterns were developed (each with a different reverse design). However, before the full series began production mint officials decided to omit the denomination in order to emulate the immensely popular South African Krugerrand.
The first brass pattern coin features the above mentioned Panda design, with the addition of “100 Yuan” above the stated: “Purity 99.9%, contains 1 oz. pure gold.” The reverse, while used on other commemoratives later in the 1980s and early 1990s, was never adopted for the bullion series. The iconic Great Wall dominates the reverse design, with “The People’s Republic of China” above and the date of 1982 below. Exceptionally nice for the assigned grade, with mostly transparent tone enhancing the overall appearance of the coin.
The second brass pattern coin shares an obverse design with the last pattern, including the 100 Yuan denomination. The reverse design features the Temple of Heaven with the date below on the reverse, which very closely resembles the reverse adopted for regular bullion production that same year. This piece has some nice light toning with highly reflective proof fields. Each of these seldom offered patterns is in excellent condition (graded by NGC as Proof-65, Ultra Cameo). These pieces are sure to draw considerable attention, due to their significance to the formative years of modern Chinese numismatics.
Look for this and other Asian and world numismatic rarities in our upcoming August Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Preview this impressive lot along with the rest of our auction this August at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine, California and in our Hong Kong office. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link at www.StacksBowers.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 800.458.4646. While our Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio August Hong Kong Showcase Auction is closed for further consignments, we are currently taking consignments of Asian, world and ancient coins for our December Hong Kong Showcase Auction of Asian coins and currency, November Baltimore and New York International auctions. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.