By CoinWeek ….
Production for all weights and denominations of the Chinese Gold Panda was low in 1995, which makes Pandas from that year among the keys to the entire series. Especially low were the mintages of the 50 yuan half-ounce and 25 yuan quarter-ounce gold coins, making these among the hardest Pandas of all to find. Collectors are known to jump quickly at the chance to buy them when the scarce opportunity arises.
On Sunday, April 21, GreatCollections is auctioning off a 1995 50 yuan half-ounce gold Chinese Panda of the Small Date variety and graded MS69 by PCGS.
This is the highest grade reported for the issue by PCGS, with only 21 grading events listed for the 1995 half-ounce Small Date. An estimated value of $13,979 USD is given, but recent auction records go almost $10K higher. At an August 2016 Hong Kong World Coins auction, two specimens were sold; one went for $21,510 (including buyer’s premium) and the other went for $22,705–a record price for the key rarity.
But with its highly reflective fields and great cameo contrast, the Mint State example on offer this Sunday is (to our eyes, at least) the equal of either of those coins, if not superior. And a search through the GreatCollections Auction Archives–with over 600,000 certified coins sold in the past seven years–will reveal prices almost as high for other quality examples of the grade.
This coin was one of a reported mintage of 11,749 struck in the northern Chinese city of Shenyang (沈阳, Shěnyáng) at the Shenyang Mint. The label on the coin’s PCGS Secure Shield holder gives the “沈” (Shěn) mintmark in parentheses as there is no mintmark inscribed on the coin itself.
Taken as a whole, the Chinese Gold Panda suffers from a general copper spotting problem. This is clearly not the case for the specimen at hand.
History of the Chinese Panda Coin
In 1982, the first issue of the Chinese Gold Panda bullion coin came in four denominations and weights: 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz and 1 oz – all struck in .999 fine gold.
In 1983, the first 1/20 oz gold coin was struck, as were the first Proof Silver Pandas (bullion Silver Pandas came in 1989). Besides the metal content and the cost, the other big difference between Gold and Silver Pandas is that Gold Pandas feature their panda designs on the reverse, while Silver Pandas place the panda on the obverse. The other side of each respective coin features a head-on depiction of the famous Temple of Heaven, a religious complex built almost 600 years ago under the Ming dynasty in the capital, Beijing.
1986 saw the release of the first Gold Panda Proof sets, which were produced through 1992. A circle P was added to the Proof Gold Panda reverse.
The design on the reverse of the Gold Panda changes every year, with the exception of 2001 and 2002 when the same reverse was used. Silver Proof and bullion coins had the same obverse design until 1993.
Bimetallic 1oz Gold Pandas were produced in 1993 and ’94. A variety of other weights, including one-kilogram monsters, have also been manufactured for the collector and investor markets.
Besides Shenyang, Chinese Gold Pandas are struck at the Shanghai, Beijing, and Shenzhen Mints.
中国, 中國, 沈阳, 金熊貓, 大熊貓