The gold panda coins have always been one of the top five investment coins in the world. It is the brilliant uncirculated (BU) coins which are the bullion coins, suitable for gold investment purposes. They comes in the sizes of 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz. These five sizes appear every year, except for the 1982 which does not have the 1/20 oz coin. Additionally, the 1991 series also has a unique 1 g gold coin.
Even though on average the prices of these BU gold pandas are considerably less than proofs, some still stand out as good investment – that is to say, where the appreciation of the numismatic value of the coin based on supply/demand market factors can increase independently of what happens to the price of gold. The primary example is the first year, the 1982 BU Gold Pandas. Whilst they do not have a denomination like every coin must do, they are an exception and indeed coins with the People’s Bank of China having clarified this. The 1 oz gold panda in this series can fetch over $4000 USD, way above other 1 oz gold coins.
The 1983, 1995 and 1998 1 oz gold panda coins also perform well in the market. Interestingly, 1983 gold panda series was the first ever coin series that used both mirror and matte finish to produce a contrasting effect, used to emphasize the black and white fur of a panda. This unique design has led to the winning of the International Gold Coin of the Year awards in 1983, and launched the career of master coin designer, Chen Jian.
As for the 1995 and 1998 Gold Panda, they have some of the lowest mintages of all BU gold panda coins, making them especially desirable and rare to find. For example, the 1998 1/2 oz Gold Panda has an actual mintage of 4,168 and the 1995 1/2 oz Gold Panda only 11,749. The typical mintage of the BU gold pandas across all five sizes is 15000 to 50000. In recent years, production has increased significantly as many gold investors have opted for panda coins for gold investment purposes over, say, the Canadian Maple Leaf, South African Kruggerand and American Gold Eagle.
The 1995 and 1998 BU gold panda sets are particularly valuable, composed of five coins, one of each size from 1 oz to 1/20 oz.
The market prices for the other panda coins in this category generally follow the gold price. As gold is touted by financial advisors to be an important asset class in a well-rounded portfolio, conservatively 5% or aggressively, 20% or more – these BU coins make a particularly safe investment option for defensive investors who can potentially gain considerable appreciation in the premium or numismatic value of the coins as well as the anticipated appreciation in the gold value over the coming years too. Key to successful investment along these lines is to find the ‘sleepers,’ panda coins whose relative scarcity is not yet so well known!
From a collectors perspective, gold panda coins offer enough variety to support many types of collecting strategies. One can collect all coins of the same size, e.g all the 1/10 oz Panda coins since 1982 or all the 1/20 Panda coins since 1983 to form an eye-catching collection. Or, one can collect all Panda coins with a particular specialty, such as the Pandas issued on special anniversaries or Pandas which have won coin design awards, adding to the collection a deeper meaning. One can even collect different versions of the same Panda coins, such as the Shanghai Mint and Shenyang mint versions or domestic and overseas versions which might have a slightly different design or different font. The collecting possibilities are endless and can provide immerse joy to collectors for years to come.