Thursday, August 28, 2008

1990's Gold Pandas - Low Mintage Sleepers

A recent comment raised a subject that I have been meaning to discuss for a while: I believe that the real surviving mintages for many of the Gold Panda coins of the 1990's is quite low.

The 1990's was a time of very low gold demand. Gold was declining in price and few collectors or investors were buying. Official mint sales limits were not met, and dealers could not sell the inventory of coins they had purchased.

Recent information published by the official Chinese Panda distributor has shown that the number of coins actually shipped by the mint at that time was much lower than what was officially published at the time. Ranging to as low as 4,000 coins for some issues.

I have heard from long time dealers that sales were so poor in those days, that many dealers were forced to liquidate thousands of unsold gold pandas by selling them to refiners to be melted down. It is unkown how many gold panda coins were lost. As one who watches the sales on ebay and other areas, I have observed that the mid-1990's Pandas are less common.

As investors and collectors worldwide move to gold and numismatics as a store of wealth against depreciating currencies, these coins are likely to emerge as unexpected rarities.

Have you got your 1990's Pandas?

Table of 1990s mintages click here

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bimetallic Pandas

There has been much attention lately to very low mintage pandas, with prices moving up rapidly. These would include the 1998 50Y Gold 1/2oz ($2500), the 1995 100Y Gold Proof ($6277), platinum pandas, and the 5oz, 12oz and kilogram Pandas. All of these have mintages less than 2500 peices, but a large and growing collector base whos number well exceed the mintage.

When there are more collectors than coins, prices move up. Typically, as the collector base grows, coins with populations near the supply/demand threshold will suddenly move up.

The bimetallic pandas represent a very attractive and collectible subset of the Panda series with very low mintages. Although already in short supply, prices have not yet reached the levels of the hot coins mentioned above. I believe the bimetallics will eventually meet and exceed these levels.

The bimetallic Pandas have a gold center with a silver outer ring, and are thinner than other pandas, but also wider in diameter, making them appear large for the bullion content. They were issued from 1990 through 1996, often in sets, with values from 10Y to 50


In 1990 and 1991 bimetallic medals (no face value) were issued along with the coin and included in the mint set.

Official Mintage Limits:


Actual Mintages

The actual mintages of mid-1990s gold pandas has recently been acknowledged to be much lower than the published maximums. No actual figures have been published for the bimetallic, but given the time period, it seems certainly possible that actuals could be lower.

As a side note, based on apparent availability in the market today, the 1997 set seems to be more scarce despite its slightly higher official mintage figures.

The 10Y, 25Y, and 50Y were issued in 3-coins 1995, 1996, and 1997. The 1996 10Y was also issued separately, and this is reflected in the higher mintage figure.

Several Reference Pictures are shown below.