Peter Anthony

Each morning a long column of people snakes around a plaza as they wait to get in. Classes of children chatter excitedly, tourist groups step off buses and line up behind pennant-waving guides. Grandparents, parents and youngsters in strollers stand together. Welcome to Chengdu, China — this is the Panda Base.

Inside the Base is one of the largest panda refuges and breeding centers in the world. The park is immense and its stars, the Giant Pandas, have substantial areas to roam around. If you don’t buy a tram ticket it will take a good 30 minutes of uphill walking to reach the park ‘s summit. Personally, I always enjoy the little hike through the shade of the bamboo forest. There is something to see at every turn.

The path leads past areas for individual pandas who live alone as adults along with centers for groups of adolescent bears who are quite social. Finally, at the peak there is the nursery for baby and juvenile pandas who delight the crowds with their antics.

There is a special happiness and magic about pandas that makes them among the world’s most popular wild animals. The souvenir stands at the Panda Base remind us of this with souvenirs from panda hats to panda backpacks.

One of the most popular of all panda-themed items is China’s Panda coins and medals. Like a visit to the Panda Base, each of these coins offers a different view of the beloved bears. Each year since 1982 China has minted coins that feature images of a panda. The design changes every year, so that by today there is a huge variety of poses and images for collectors to enjoy. This range of designs has helped the coins develop an enthusiastic and dedicated following. Many people try to form complete sets of each and every design. At any level, though, from a single coin to a large set, panda coins bring joy and value into the life of their owner.

Peter Anthony is the author of the Gold and Silver Panda Buyer’s Guide 3 and publisher of the China Pricepedia price guide to Chinese coins. He is a consultant and contributor to NGC, as well as a Numismatic Literary Guild winner. He is also responsible for the one of a kind Heart Shaped Silver and Gold Panda coins in the U.S.

Preferred Coin Exchange does not sell coins as investments. Coins like many other things can go up or down in value and we have no way to predict or guarantee that. We recommend that coins be held for 5-7 years if not longer. We suggest that coins be purchased for their rarity, their beauty, their historical significance, or any other reason that the customer deems important to them.

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