Peter Anthony: The 1985 1/4 oz. gold 25 Yuan was designed by Mr. Wang Fu De of the Shenyang Mint. It features a playful young Panda hanging from a slender bamboo branch. This joyful image was fitting for the Panda program itself in 1985. Sales of the coins were strong and mintages hit new records. For buyers today this coin is hardly scarce but on the other hand only a small fraction of the original mintage exists in BU condition. That’s because vast quantities of these coins were shipped to jewelers to be placed in settings.
Considering the large number of surviving examples of this coin there are relatively few graded examples. That is because the premium above melt value that it brings is too low to profitably cover the grading fee. Of those that are graded the vast majority are MS-69 so this grade is not especially scarce. When wear or marks are present it is usually seen on the forehead and cheeks near the eye and on the obverse in the fields around the Temple of Heaven.
The 1985 1/4 oz. gold Panda is part of three NGC Registry sets: “Gold 1/4 Ounce Panda, 1982-Date, Mint State," "Gold 1/4 Ounce Panda, 1982-Date, Mint State (Incl. Varieties)." and "Gold 1/4 Ounce Panda, 1982-Date, Mint State and Proof."