Recently my family went to the National Zoo in Washington D.C. To my granddaughter, there was only one animal worth seeing: the giant panda. Abby focused on the panda habitat as soon as we walked in the gate! China, of course, has figured out how adorable these creatures can be, so they are pretty smart to put pandas on their gold and silver bullion coins. Adorable or not, in the final analysis these coins are worth their weight in gold and silver, nothing more. You can buy them for *much* more than their bullion value, and you can sell them for *much* less, but astute buyers and sellers never stray very far from the base value (BV) of these coins.
To compute BV, first find the weight of gold or silver in your particular coin of interest. We list these weights on this page below. Next, multiply this weight by the current value of gold or silver, and this will be your base value.
Like most governments when it comes to bullion coinage, mintage is sometimes artificially limited in an attempt to drive the price up. When we buy gold or silver, we don't play those games. It's unethical, and Abby would never stand for it!
ALSO PLEASE NOTE: Chinese pandas are heavily counterfeited. If you are buying or selling these coins, deal only with people you trust.
Take Justin's coin for an example. He has a 5 yuan gold panda dated 1993. This coin contains 0.05 troy ounces of gold (see listings below). The price of gold changes every day, so you have to look it up. Right now the price of gold is about $1390 US dollars per troy ounce. (See kitco.come for the current value). The BV of Justin's coin is therefore 0.05 x 1390 = $70 US dollars, and Justin could buy or sell his coin within a few dollars of this amount. Dealers take a commission for handling the transaction, so don't be surprised if your value is a little different than BV. But don't let it be too different! If you are within $15 on a $100 coin, you are doing well.
The listings below give the gold and silver content as a function of yuan denomination. Look for inscriptions on the coin itself for precise readings.
GOLD (Au) CONTENT (1983 to Date)
3 yuan: 0.0321 troy ounces gold
5 yuan: 0.050 ounces
10 yuan: 0.10 ounces
25 yuan: 0.25 ounces
50 yuan dated 1983 to 2000: 0.50 ounces
50 yuan dated after 2000: 0.10 ounces
100 yuan dated 1983 to 2000: 1.00 ounces
100 yuan dated after 2000: 0.25 ounces
200 yuan: 0.50 ounces
500 yuan dated 1983 to 2000: 4.99 ounces
500 yuan dated after 2000: 1.00 ounces
SILVER (Ag) CONTENT (1993 to Date)
5 yuan: 0.50 troy ounces silver
10 yuan dated 1983: 0.78 ounces
10 yuan dated 1984: 0.80 ounces
10 yuan dated 1985: 0.78 ounces
10 yuan dated after 1985: 1.00 ounces
50 yuan: 5.00 ounces