Chinese Bimetallic Panda Coins
The Bimetallic Panda coins are rare, the centre of the coin is made of gold while the outer ring of the coin is made of silver. Bimetal Pandas were only issued between 1990 and 1997, with the 1993 and the 1994 25 Yuan Bimetal Panda coins issued in the same set as the Proof Gold Pandas. Bimetal Panda coins can be considered as a class of coins worth collecting in their own right. Typically they have a low mintage (less than 3000) and the technology required to mint them was advanced. They are appreciated by Panda collectors the world over.
The first coin was minted in 1990 when China participated in the 3rd Hong Kong Coin Convention. For this, the Shenyang Mint designed and struck the bimetal Panda with 1/2 oz gold and 1/5 oz silver to commemorate this occasion. It was the first time that this technology was used on a Modern Chinese coin – combining gold and silver in a single coin. The Bimetal Panda became an instant star at the convention. There was also a medal that was released and the coin and medal were issued as two-piece sets.
The following year, the name of the convention was changed to Hong Kong International Coin Convention and Shenyang Mint again designed and struck a Bimetal Panda coin with ¼ oz gold and 1/8 oz silver to commemorate the event. The next Bimetal Panda appeared the following year, much smaller in size, it had a weight of 1/10 oz gold and 1/28 oz silver. Though it is much smaller than the rest of the series, with the exception of a coin from 1994 with the same specifications, it is equally popular because of its charming design. Between the years 1995 and 1997, four different designs of Double Metal Panda were released each year, with three normal sizes ½ oz gold + 1/5 oz Silver, ¼ oz gold and 1/8 oz silver, and 1/10 oz gold+1/28 oz silver; and a large Bimetal Panda of 5 oz gold + 2 oz silver. All of the regular size Bimetal Pandas are rare and precious, particularly so is 1997 year.
The larger Bimetal Panda coins are of course are a lot more valuable, not only because of the higher precious metal content, but also the considerably lower mintage. The 95 and 96 Large Double Metal Pandas have a mintage of only 199. The 1997 Large Double Metal Panda is even rarer as the release of the coin was withheld due to the financial crisis at the time. This makes the 1997 5 oz + 2 oz Bimetal Panda 500 Yuan coin an extremely valuable pattern coin. Also worth noting is the Bimetallic Panda with ¼ oz gold +1/8 oz Silver which was made for the 1996 Munich international Coin Show, the only Bimetal Panda ever made for a European coin show.