Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Panda Coin Info Website

Pandacolletor.com is a new website dedicated to collecting Chinese Panda coins. It is not a promotional site, but rather a well researched informational site created by a dedicated collector.

I highly recommend this website for its original research into panda coin scarcity, including actual mintage figures and auction data, as well as its very complete set of coin images.


Friday, December 14, 2007

China's wealthiest investors set for gold spree

This article from Reuters is quite interesting, but attracted almost no attention in the broader press.

China's wealthiest investors are on the brink of ploughing as much as $68 billion into gold markets as they take profits from roaring share prices and steer clear of property, a top fund manager and bullion bull says. Wang Weilie, a pale, bespectacled 40-something who manages over 1 billion yuan ($135 million) on the Shanghai Gold Exchange on behalf of himself and clients, says the so-called "Zhejiang clique" are ready to pounce after Beijing opens up spot market bullion trading and a futures contract launches early next year.

After amassing an estimated 3 trillion yuan ($400 billion) from investing in red-hot real estate and stock markets which have risen five-fold in the past two years, the wealthy group from eastern China is looking for the next sure bet. Wang says that's gold, and expects the amount of Chinese capital invested in the bullion market to soar 100-fold to some 500 billion yuan ($67.5 billion) in the next two years -- a sum that could catapult China ahead of India as the world's top buyer.

"We all agreed that upside room on stocks was limited, as was upside on property prices. But the gold price has only increased minimally, even after 20 years of China's reform and market opening," Wang told Reuters during a lunch with three business partners in Lujiazui, Shanghai's financial hub. Coupled with inflation and global economic uncertainty, the redirection of Chinese capital towards domestic gold contracts will help spot prices more than double, says Wang, who says he once cornered two-thirds of the Chinese gold forward contract. "Spot gold prices will hit $2,000 in coming years," he said. Wang expects more than 15 percent of the capital currently invested in China's stock market to move to gold trading. China's total market capitalization peaked at about 35 trillion yuan in October, exceeding the country's gross domestic product. The main stock index tumbled nearly 20 percent last month while Beijing has continued tightening controls over the property sector to limit price gains.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rare Silver Proof Pandas on Fire

One of the greatest sleepers in the Panda series appears to be taking off. While most of the silver Pandas issued have had mintages in the 200,000+ range, there are several little known issues with mintages from 8000 to 25000 peices. These are the 1983-1985 BU silver coins and the 1989-1996 Silver Proofs.

  • 1983: 10,000
  • 1984: 10,000
  • 1985: 10,000
  • 1989-P: 25,000
  • 1990-P: 20,000
  • 1991-P: 20,000
  • 1992-P: 20,000
  • 1993-P: 20,000
  • 1994-P: 15,000
  • 1995: 10,000
  • 1996: 8,000
The 1983-1985 BU coins continue to increase in price steadily: currently in the $300-$500 Range when you can find them.
Since the BU silver Pandas often have a very proof-like finish, the proof versions have been often overlooked. In fact, the P mintmark may be all that distinguishes them in some years.
The 1995 and 1996 issues, however, have no P mark. The obverse panda design on the proofs is different from the BU coins. I have been amazed at the low prices of these rare coins, until recently. Over the last 8 months the prices have soared!

1995 Obverse:

1996 Obverse:

The 1989-P through 1994-P issues have also started to rise, moving from $30-50 and approaching $75-$100+.
Keep an eye on my Ebay store for rare silver and gold panda coins.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

PCGS vs NGC Grading: Apples and Oranges

NGC and PCGS grades are not the same. As shown in the graph below, for 1982 Pandas, PCGS clearly uses much tougher criteria than NGC. NGC graded 44% of 82 Pandas as MS69, but PCGS only allowed 16% to reach that level. In fact, you have to add PCGS MS67 (12%), MS68(16%) and MS69(16%) to equal NGC's MS69 rate. One could conclude from this that a PCGS MS67 coin could be equated with an NGC MS69 for rarity.

Dealers have noticed this too. They have sent 3 times as many coins through NGC. Could it be because they know NGC will give a higher grade?

Collectors beware. If you care about accurate and meaningful grading, stick with PCGS.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Why Invest in Chinese Panda Coins?

For decades, the Chinese government has minted the Panda coins and sold them primarily to foreigners. Chinese citizens either were not permitted to own, or could not afford gold and silver.

Today China's wealth is growing. Billions of inflated dollars and euros flow in daily to buy cheap manufactured goods. China has a long tradition of holding gold and silver as a store of wealth, and the new rich and middle classes will seek to do the same.

Mintages of the Panda coins are very low when compared to many highly valued US coins, yet the emerging Chinese middle class of 300 million people is as large as the entire US! As the Chinese people discover the rare and beautiful Panda coins of their own country, these rare coins will become much more scarce and valuable.

Buy what China buys.