Peter Anthony: The 1995 50 Yuan 1/2 oz. Small Date gold Panda is a Shenyang Mint product. 1995 was an interesting year for Pandas. Although announced mintages were reasonable it soon became clear that Pandas from this year were difficult to come by. This was a time period when many other series of Chinese coins took over the spotlight and collectors, or even hoarders, for this coin were few. So it ‘s no surprise that the 1995 50 Yuan remains a scarce coin today. In fact it is now considered to be one of the key coins of the 1/2 oz. gold Panda series.
There are two major varieties of the 1995 gold Pandas: Large Date and Small Date. The two versions are not hard to tell apart; the numerals of the Small Date are clearly smaller than those of the Large Date. For variety collectors the 50 Yuan gold Small Dates are significantly easier to find than the Large Dates.
Most of the 1995 50 Yuan Small Dates grade well. In fact more than two out of three of those graded are MS-69 or MS-70. Red spots are a common problem on unconserved 1995 gold Pandas of all denominations. As usual the place most likely to show wear or rub is the Panda’s head.
The 1995 50 Yuan Small Date gold Panda is part of three NGC Registry sets: "Gold 1/2 Ounce Panda, 1983-Date, Mint State," "Gold 1/2 Ounce Panda, 1983-Date, Mint State (Incl. Varieties)" and "Gold 1/2 Ounce Panda, 1983-Date, Mint State and Proof."