About this time last year, we reported on an assortment of panda-themed issues that were slated for 2016. This time around, we’ll be approaching the coins from the perspective of the lunar year—that is, rounding up the best of the Year of the Rooster coins and medals from around the world. Look for that story in the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, we thought it would be nice to close out the western calendar year with this particular panda medal. It’s the third in a series from China’s Shengyang Mint, which opened its lunar-year offerings with the Year of the Goat in 2015. (The second issue honored the Year of the Monkey in 2016.) Each medal’s obverse features a giant panda arranged in a setting with the Great Wall of China. The reverse shows the lunar year’s animal in a “happy family” arrangement—two parents and a single chick.
The 2-ounce, .999 fine silver medal is offered in two formats: Proof (mintage limited to 499) and antique (mintage limited to 99). The obverse design shows the panda approaching the edge of the wall; this is meant to suggest a reaching-out in friendship to other countries. At the bottom is the year of issue, 2017, along with a Chinese inscription.
The reverse design, in addition to saluting the Year of the Rooster, reflects a change in China’s one-child doctrine. Since the 1970s, China has imposed a rule of one child per family (subject to regional and ethnic variations) in an order to prevent excess population growth. As of January 1, 2016, the limit has been raised to two children per family. Thus, the rooster and hen have two small chicks running about at their feet. At the top of the field are nine lychee fruits (9 being an auspicious number in China). In keeping with the recent change to Chinese Panda bullion coins, the medal’s weight is rendered in grams rather than ounces from 2016. Thus, the reverse inscription at upper left is 62g Ag.999.
For more information on this silver Panda / Year of the Rooster medal from Shengyang Mint, you can visit the website of Chinese Medals. ❑