The buying frenzy reached a peak in December at the Champion Auction in Hong Kong. Low Mintage modern Chinese coins sold at prices well above expectations. Anything with a mintage less than 2000 saw breathtaking prices. Buyers were particularly eager to bid on Chinese commemoratives, with some 1oz gold coins selling at more then $10,ooo each. 1995 and 1996 Panda proofs were well bid in the December auction, but most Pandas were out of the spotlight.
The serious Panda buying took off in January and February. Gold BU pandas with 1990's dates were purchased in large quantity by Chinese buyers, draining dealer stocks. Coins such as 1996 and 1991 gold pandas that were readily available last summer are now difficult to find.
The list of "sold-out" dates now includes these 1oz Gold Pandas:
1999 serif and small date
Most Gold Panda Coin Show Medals
The following are still available, but perhaps not for long:
1999 large date
Half-ounce pandas are even more scarce for all 1990's dates.
Silver Pandas are also seeing heavy buying, pushing premiums up to $20 - $80 over spot for many dates