Counterfeit Detection: China Silver 10 Yuan Panda

Posted on 6/18/2024

The date on this coin gives away its spurious nature.

One of the world’s most popular modern collectible coin series is China’s Pandas. NGC has certified about 2 million of them, the majority of which are the popular and affordable Silver 10 Yuan denomination. The series began in 1983 and continues until this day, though regular Proofs of this silver denomination were discontinued before the new millennium began.

Genuine China 1992 Proof Silver 10 Yuan Panda
Click images to enlarge.

NGC recently received a purported 1992 Silver 10 Yuan Panda. High-grade examples of this coin can sell for several hundred dollars. Unfortunately for our submitter, this coin is counterfeit. Even more unfortunate: It is struck mostly in copper-nickel, so it lacks even the intrinsic value of the silver.

Counterfeit China 1992 Silver 10 Yuan Panda
Click images to enlarge.

The presence of a ‘P’ enclosed by a circle on a genuine coin indicates that it is a Proof. This symbol is missing on the fake. Additionally, the frosting that would be present around the pagoda on the other side of a genuine Proof coin is missing on the counterfeit, as well.

Close-ups of genuine Proof (left) and counterfeit China 1992 Silver 10 Yuan Pandas
Click images to enlarge.

If the counterfeiter intended to try to pass this off as a Prooflike or Deep Prooflike business strike, then they failed to produce a coin with the luster that would typically be seen.

Genuine China 1992 Silver 10 Yuan Panda - Small Date graded NGC MS 68
Click images to enlarge.

In addition, one need look no further than the date of the coin to determine its authenticity. The numbers in the counterfeit’s year are much thinner and in a different font than any genuine example of a 1992 Silver 10 Yuan. For business strikes, this coin has Small Date and Large Date varieties, but neither of those dates nor the one on Proofs look anything like what is on the counterfeit.

Close-ups of genuine Small Date (top left), genuine Large Date (top right), genuine Proof (bottom left) and counterfeit (bottom right) China 1992 Silver 10 Yuan Pandas
Click images to enlarge.

If you are considering buying a coin like this one, please be aware that the NGC website has a wealth of coin images and other information that can be helpful in identifying some of the cruder counterfeits. These resources include the NGC Chinese Modern Coin Price Guide, NGC Variety Plus, NGC Census and the image gallery for the Hercules Collection of Modern Chinese Coins. NGC provides this information for free as part of its service to the numismatic community.

Counterfeiters do not always produce coins with easily seen differences. If you are not sure whether a coin is genuine, remember that NGC backs its determinations of grade and authenticity with the NGC Guarantee.

Did you know? NGC has created a comprehensive Counterfeit Detection resource to help collectors and dealers identify counterfeit and altered coins. Visit

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