The platinum and palladium pandas may well be shining stars of the future.
From the first issue of platinum panda in 1987 to first palladium panda in 1989, these precious metal coins have only appeared occasionally over the years. Palladium pandas have only been issued three times: 1989 1 oz palladium panda, 2004 ½ oz palladium panda, and 2005 ½ oz palladium panda.
The platinum panda family is slightly larger where they have appeared in years 1987 through 1990, 1993 through 1997, and 2002 to 2005. It is the combination of low mintages, the rarity of platinum and palladium as metals and the relatively low current prices, that make these coins solid long term investments. For collectors, the palladium panda can be easily collected as its own set, while the platinum panda collection is considerably more challenging. While collectors can relatively easily find 1 oz platinum pandas from 1987 to 1990 and collect them as a set, it is really hard to collect the whole set of 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz as some of these smaller platinum pandas have simply disappeared over time. For example, the 1993 to 1997 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz platinum pandas can hardly be seen in recent years within China and in the U.S, often these coins were used in jewelry: bezels for necklaces and to a lesser extent, bracelets. More to the point, U.S coin dealers melted down vast numbers of these coins at a time of high platinum prices. The other factor is the number produced. The official mintage for these coins is likely far higher in all these instances than the actual number of coins struck. It is the combination of these three factors that makes finding these smaller denominational platinum panda coins particularly hard to locate individually in excellent condition as demanded by all collectors, and even more so, a complete set.