Pandas Strong at Singapore International Coin Fair

The China Mint has released five 2013 Gold Pandas and two 2013 Silver Pandas to date.

The Singapore International Coin Fair from March 29-31, 2013 showed the strength of the world coin market. The show was crowded with visitors from the moment it opened until it closed three days later. In fact, even after it closed there were still people trying to sneak in to buy coins!

Fittingly for a coin show sponsored by Panda America, Pandas were among the top sellers. I asked several dealers that carry coins from around the world what type of coin was their top seller. The answer from all of them was Gold Pandas.

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So I think it’s worth taking a look at what 2013 has already brought us, and what it will still bring for Panda buyers. The 2013 Pandas that have been released so far are the gold 1 oz. 500 Yuan, ½ oz. 200 Yuan, ¼ oz. 100 Yuan, 1/10 oz. 50 Yuan, and 1/20 oz. 20 Yuan Pandas, plus two different 1 oz. 10 Yuan Silver Pandas.

Two different 10 Yuan Silver Pandas? Isn’t there just one Silver Panda issued each year? Well, there is the standard business strike 2013 Mint State Silver Panda with a mintage of 8 million that is known to everyone, but there is also a second 2013 Mint State Silver Panda, too. This one commemorates the 20th Anniversary of the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. It weighs the standard 1 oz. and looks similar to the Mint State Panda except for the added information about the bank. While the authorized mintage of the standard coin is in the millions, the mintage of the Shanghai Pudong Panda is just 80,000.

The Shanghai Pudong Silver Panda belongs to a series of Pandas that honors major financial institutions in China. The series began in 2004 with the release of two pairs of coins. One was for the 20th Anniversary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the second for the 50th Anniversary of China Construction Bank. Wait, what’s this about pairs of coins? Besides the 10 Yuan Silver Pandas there are also 100 Yuan, ¼ oz. Gold Pandas that were struck with the same design as the silver coins. The Gold Pandas could originally only be bought as part of a 2-coin set, while the Silver Pandas were also sold separately.

Since 2004 there have been 25 more “financial” Pandas issued. Most are moderately priced and make an interesting collection that tracks the development of the Chinese economy into one of the world’s great economic powers. Completing the full set requires some perseverance and money, however. There are three key coins in the set and a couple of semi-keys.

The first of the key coins is the Silver 10th Anniversary of Jinan City Commercial Bank from 2006 with a reported mintage of 20,000. Why is a coin with 20,000 minted a key coin? Suffice it to say that the number of coins known for any of the key dates is a small fraction of the official mintage.

2007 contains what are probably the two most difficult and expensive coins in the series to find: the Silver 10th Anniversary of Xi’An City Commercial Bank and the Silver 20th Anniversary of Listing of China CITIC Bank. Again, the reported mintage of both coins is 20,000 but the actual number known is much smaller. Incidentally, there are no gold editions of these three key coins.

The Shanghai Pudong Development Bank joins a list of very interesting Panda coins to collect — check them out!

Peter Anthony is an expert on Chinese modern coins with a particular focus on Panda coins. He as an analyst for the NGC Chinese Modern Coin Price Guide as well as a consultant on Chinese modern coins.

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