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Author Topic: 2003 Chinese Panda Variety Revealed  (Read 7119 times)
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groovemachine
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« on: 2010 Dec 24, 05:44:25 am »



There are a number of reasons for the 2003 silver panda consistently realizing higher sales prices than the surrounding years.  The 2003 design has been very popular among collectors for many years now.  It is striking in appearance and was a welcome change from the 2001/2002 design that quickly grew tired.  There is also speculation that the total mintage of the 2003 coins never reached the stated maximum mintage of 600,000.

I believe the main reason for the higher prices on 2003 pandas has to do with a variety found on a fairly small portion of the total mintage.  Some collectors have picked up on this difference and the price action on the rarer variety has pulled the more common variety upwards with it.  These coins were  produced at more than one mint in 2003.  There is a difference between the coins minted at the Shanghai mint and those minted at the Shenzhen Guobao mint.  I have seen some of these coins in Shenyang wrappers as well, but they appear identical to the Shenzhen Guobao coins and I believe them to be re-wraps.



As the picture shows, the variety has to do with the appearance of the background behind the panda.  The bamboo and leaves in front of the panda have a mirrored finish on both coins, but the bamboo and leaves behind the panda have a frosty appearance on the Shenzhen Guobao minted coin and a mirrored finish on the Shanghai minted coin.

Mintage totals for these two varieties are unknown, but the Shanghai minted coin has proved to be the more difficult coin to find.  The 2003 Shanghai mint silver Panda 1oz. coin appears to make up only 10-15% of the total population, which equates to 60,000-90,000 of this rarer variety and possibly less depending on overall actual mintage numbers.
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badon
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« Reply #1 on: 2010 Dec 24, 03:36:54 pm »

Here's an ebay search to find 2003 pandas (click the link):

2003 panda coins
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« Reply #2 on: 2010 Dec 24, 04:23:40 pm »

Congratulations groovemachine, this article is being talked about on other forums now Smiley 2003 1 oz silver pandas currently sell for around $70. I bet now that you've written this article, they'll double within a few months. We should see at least a temporary spike in prices too, before the long term trend sets in.

There's 34 items on ebay right now, but I bet that number dwindles fast.
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groovemachine
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« Reply #3 on: 2010 Dec 24, 09:03:19 pm »

Well, there were 33 2003 panda coins available on eBay when I published the article and only 2 were the Shanghai variety.
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groovemachine
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« Reply #4 on: 2010 Dec 24, 10:00:30 pm »

Here is a better scan of the two varieties:

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groovemachine
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« Reply #5 on: 2010 Dec 25, 11:48:17 pm »

The mirrored Shanghai variety is few and far between on ebay, but I did manage to find one when looking through some listings:

2003 1 oz silver panda rare shanghai mirror version
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groovemachine
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« Reply #6 on: 2011 Jan 20, 02:00:12 pm »

I'm continuing to research these 2003 coins and by the looks of it the Shanghai mirrored variety is much rarer than I had initially believed it to be.  According to Peter Anthony's estimates, there are only 145,000 surviving 2003 Pandas.  That would mean the Shanghai mirrored variety (believed to be 10-15% of the total) has an estimated population of only 14,500-21,750 coins.

Furthermore, I have yet to see a graded Shanghai mirrored version.  And, every mirrored coin I've seen in-hand so far has a very small scratch following the last 9 in the ".999" font.  It is not noticeable in most lighting and is probably not enough to knock the grade down, but nonetheless...is that why these coins haven't been submitted for grading?
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badon
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« Reply #7 on: 2011 Jan 21, 09:51:13 am »

I haven't obtained any for myself yet, but the scratch could be why none have been submitted, or, it could be simply because NGC hasn't recognized them yet.

Have you figured anything out for the gold coins? Do they come in both versions too?
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If families are a problem for the system, then we must reject the system, not the families.
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« Reply #8 on: 2011 Feb 24, 05:14:14 pm »

Just wanted to say thank you for this article

Its allowed me to drop on this on ebay.co.uk

Here are some photos, it has no white spots. Ill have a look for the mark near the .999 when i get a min

Anyways thanks very much




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groovemachine
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« Reply #9 on: 2011 Mar 05, 11:31:27 pm »

Joe,

That's a nice specimen!  The 2003 panda is definitely my favorite design and these Shanghai mint 2003 silver 1 oz. are very undervalued (IMHO, DYODD, read my other articles, etc.).  I see that Shenzhen Guobao double-sealed coins are consistently selling for around $90 with a high of $120.

These Shanghai mint coins are probably 10% or less of the population, so we're looking at around 14,000 specimens which puts it on par with the white hot 1998 silver 1 oz. large date variety as far as population.  You can't even find a 1998 large date on eBay any more and these 2003s are hard to come by.  These are rarer than many of the proofs selling for $400+, so do the math.  And, I have still not seen a graded specimen.  I think 69s will be a few and far between, so a 69 graded Shanghai coin is a huge sleeper.

Joe, your pictures are pretty good and I don't see the scratch I've seen on many of these.  If you send a batch into NGC, this could be a good candidate.  Please report back if you do get it graded at any point.  I'd hold onto for a long while, but post pics if you get it graded and please keep it in the family if you do decide to sell.  I know Badon wants one of these.
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