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1999 silver Panda proof coin

The Gold Panda

What is the most interesting and attractive series of gold coins in the world? The gold Panda coins of China has to be a contender for the award. 2007 marked the 25th year since it was introduced and over 2 million one-ounce gold Pandas coins have been minted in that time. The gold Panda Coin not only features a universally appealing subject, but each year (with one exception) carries a different design. Because it is updated annually, the Pandas are naturals to be collected by date. Of all the Pandas, no size better displays the year’s artwork than the popular one ounce gold coin—the flagship of the series.

A collector might reasonably assume that determining the key dates in a modern coin series is as simple as checking the mintage figures to see which years had the lowest production. The first indication that things might not be so simple for Pandas is that the Chinese Mint has published two different sets of mintage statistics — an official list of mintage figures and a supplementary one that was released for the 25th Anniversary celebration in 2007. The Anniversary list states that it is the actual number of coins that were minted, not the planned amount that was originally published. Some of the figures diverge substantially: for instance the 1988 original mintage is 167,000, but the 25th list shows 289,055 made.

The second indication that there are other factors that influence availability is that some dates with decent mintage quantities are rather difficult to locate.

In any case, the two lists are interesting to compare. But do they answer the question, what years are the scarcest; not to mention— in what condition are the coins? Remember, the Pandas were marketed as bullion items and many were treated as such. While each coin was shipped from the mint individually wrapped in a protective plastic pouch, many were removed to make them easier to stack; others were fitted for jewelry. As a consequence a significant number of Pandas were soon scratched and marked in ways that make them undesirable for collectors.

To top that off, the Chinese Mint appears to have had some quality control problems during the early years of the series. Although all gold Pandas are struck from .999 fine gold, they do include trace amounts of copper. This copper can tint the surface of the coin with a red stain. It turns out that some dates can be quite difficult to locate without these flaws, which makes the series a real challenge for Panda-lovers interested in assembling a showpiece collection.


The Panda Paucity Index (published 2007)

Numismatic researchers have long turned to auction records for estimating coin populations. Previous published research efforts have used sales at major numismatic auction houses like Heritage, Stack’s, Superior Stamp & Coin, Bowers and Merena, etc. to track the frequency that a specific coin is offered for sale. This permits researchers to work witha random sample of extant coins.

Frequency of auction appearances is a good indicator of how difficult it will be to find a coin. If a date only turns up once every four months, on average, than a collector should recognize that this date may take some searching and patience to acquire.

For Pandas, traditionally valued for little more than their intrinsic value, there is hardly any formal auction record to speak of — except in the 21st century world of eCommerce. Online auctions take place 24/7 and—for coins like Pandas—are the most widespread, public marketplaces on earth.

Based on over 3,000 online auctions we have created the Panda Paucity (or Paw-City, as we like to joke) Index. The PPI is a ranking from 1 to 100 to show how often a coin is offered for sale at auction. In this index 100 represents the hardest-to-find Panda and 1 the most common. We believe this index is an easy to use and effective way to compare relative scarcities of Panda dates.

Above all, remember that compared to an American Eagle, or a South African Krugerrand (there were nearly 3x the quantity of Krugerrands issued in just 1978 as the total number of Pandas coined in 25 years), no Panda is truly common. This makes hunting for these coins an exciting numismatic adventure mixing fun, beauty and investment potential.

~PA~


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Gold B.U. Panda Coins of China

Diameter = 32mm; weight = 1 Troy ounce, or 31.1 grams of .999 fine gold

PPI (Panda Paucity Index) values: Higher is scarcer

Roll your mouse over the coins to see the obverse side with The Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

1982 China Gold Panda coin

1982 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 78
Original Mintage: 15,815
Revised Mintage: 13,532

1983 China Gold Panda coin

1983 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 70
Original Mintage: 22,470
Revised Mintage: 25,363

1984 China Gold Panda coin

1984 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 73

Original Mintage: 23,330
Revised Mintage: 25,183

1985 China Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1985 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 1

Original Mintage: 164,190
Revised Mintage: 55,539

1986 China Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1986 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 6
Original Mintage: 127,000
Revised Mintage: 107,132

1987 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1987 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 20

Original Mintage: 131,579
Revised Mintage: 156,178

1988 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1988 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 52
Original Mintage: 167,193
Revised Mintage: 289,055

1989 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1989 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 68

Original Mintage: 74,000
Revised Mintage: 115,187

1990 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1990 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 80
Original Mintage: 45,561
Revised Mintage: 53,898

1991 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1991 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 87
Original Mintage: 100,000
Revised Mintage: 36,367

1992 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1992 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 79
Original Mintage: 48,988
Revised Mintage: 41,120

1993 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1993 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 91
Original Mintage: 35,000
Revised Mintage: 40,449

1994 Gold Panda coin

1994 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 91
Original Mintage: 35,000
Revised Mintage: 24,438

1995 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1995 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 93
Original Mintage: 35,000
Revised Mintage: 17,412

1996 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1996 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 92
Original Mintage: 35,000
Revised Mintage: 22,009

1997 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1997 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 64
Original Mintage: 125,000
Revised Mintage: 30,457

1998 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1998 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 94
Original Mintage: 125,000
Revised Mintage: 20,507

1999 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

1999 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 77
Original Mintage: 125,000
Revised Mintage: 32,439

2000 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

2000 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 89
Original Mintage: Unknown
Revised Mintage: 29,011

2001 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

2001 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 81
Original Mintage: 150,000
Revised Mintage: 44,411

2002 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

2002 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 89
Original Mintage: 120,000
Revised Mintage: 28,345

2003 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

2003 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 89
Original Mintage: 120,000
Revised Mintage: 36,300

2004 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

2004 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 90
Original Mintage: 120,000
Revised Mintage: 55,000

2005 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

2005 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
PPI Value: 79
Original Mintage: 150,000
Revised Mintage: 50,300

2006 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

2006 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
Mintage: 115,600

2007 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

2007 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
Mintage: 150,000

2008 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

2008 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
Mintage: 150,000

2009 Gold Panda coin

2009 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
Mintage: 150,000

2010 Gold Panda coin

2010 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
Mintage: 300,000

2011 Gold Panda coin

2011 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
Mintage: 500,000

2012 Gold Panda coin 1 oz.

2012 Gold Panda
Weight 1 Troy oz.
Mintage: 500,000