China Makes Huge Increases in Minting

Source:

"China is also doubling the maximum amount of issuance."

Mineweb, Lawrence Williams

China has been sharply increasing its output of gold and silver coins to meet seemingly ever-increasing popular demand for precious metals as people buy to protect against perceived rising inflation.

It has more than doubled the maximum issuance for 2011 for some popular gold coin sizes from its previously announced levels.

China produces gold and silver Panda coins. The Peoples Bank of China (PBOC) has announced that in view of the rising demand for the coins, the number of one ounce gold Pandas will be raised from the previously announced 300,000 units to 500,000 this year. The smaller coins in the series will have their maximum circulation numbers increased from 200,000 coins to 600,000 for each series. This is a huge increase from the previously announced levels.

The PBOC says that it is doubling the maximum issuance of one ounce silver Panda coins from 3 million to 6 million. The issuance in 2010 was 1.5 million.

The Panda coins are particularly popular with collectors as the design generally changes each year. Gold Pandas are minted in 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10 and 1.20 troy oz. of 999 fine gold and carry. Larger Panda coins have been issued in some years, weighing 5 and 12 oz. These popular coins They are technically legal tender in China and currently carry face values of 500, 200, 100, 50 and 25 Yuan respectively. They are issued in Prooflike Brilliant Uncirculated quality with a different design each year. A freeze of the design was announced with the 2001 issues-and thus the 2002 Pandas were identical to 2001. But collectors spoke up in behalf of annual changes, and China reverted to its original policy.

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