I've seen them in some markets in Chengdu before, but I'm curious where to buy either coin in Chengdu at a legit place (bank?) -
they seem to be a good investment as they outperform they international counterparts.
In case you haven't heard of them
Bonus question: If you carry them across the Chinese border do customs regard them as money or as gold/ silver (only 50g are declaration free afaik)?
Since I did a bit of resource I may contribute some answers myself.
You can order them at a bank, some even offer free delivery - it's important to insist on receipt and all the relevant certification to verify authenticity.
You can carry them across borders in China as they are regarded legal tender (the 1 ounce for example has a 10 Yuan denomination) and as such are duty free till certain amount (which I think considers all cash up to RMB10,000). Bringing them into other places like US or EU should be ok - but local authorities may consider the actual traded value of the coins (not just the silver value or denomination) - there may also be different treatment for silver that is less pure than 0.999 (which otherwise should be free of VAT, but silver pandas should all be 0.999)
However as coins are limited they quickly run out so it's best to get yourself on a waiting list for the next release - which would be around this time of the year.
If you check the most common silver panda 1 ounce has a limitation of 8 million, but it's worth to consider higher weights and minting quality if you're seriously looking into long term holding (+5 years)
In average the coins achieve an annual value increase of around 10% for the silver panda. There are also mixed cold/ silver pandas and sets with gold and silver or coins of different weight. If you have guanxi to bank staff try to grab some of the more limited editions.
The most common new silver coins sell at a little premium above their pure silver weight, but thanks to scarcity perform much better and have preferential tax treatment nationally and internationally. At current ratios and considering historical charts silver looks like a better deal than gold coins.
P.S. Don't buy on taobao, too many scams.
Anybody tried the micro gold on wechat? Apparently you can buy gold in small quantities and also send gold hongbao or do raffles in your group. It's backed by ICBC - so I wonder how the allocation works if you are asking for physical delivery and what the attaced fees are?
Anyways may seem as an easy hedge fo against depreciating RMB if you don't want to buy a full ounce.
Another cool thing I've seen are banknotes made of 1 or 2 grams of gold, some look great like the one by China Merchant bank and I think they could become desired collected items in the future.
I read on wechat (China-Channel), that it's virtual gold, not physical but has the same value of physical gold (value based on Shanghai gold exchange price).
Apparently, there is no service or processing fee for buying gold for under 0.001 grams & 0.05% processing fee for over (maximum 200,000 RMB).
If it can't be converted into physical gold then I would consider it pretty much worthless just as fiat money.
Btw for those interested in projects that deal with physical gold and conversion to fiat/ cryptocurrency there is goldmoney.com and https://www.dgx.io/, but those are not simple 1 click options:)