Yes, there was a chance to examine this pattern coin closely.
I do not know what the pattern coin should look like. I own the 1994 and 1995 bimetal unicorn coins. I own many of the bimetal panda coins and medals. When I held it and looked at it, I felt "comfortable" with it. Is it authentic? Obviously, the experts at NGC and PCGS could not confirm authenticity. I will never have their expertise. If I owned it, would I be pleased? Yes. If someone else indicated it was not authentic, would I care? No. Over time, the authenticity will be resolved. NGC contacts at the various Chinese Mints are too good for issues such as this to remain unresolved for long.