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Author Topic: Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #44 - Manipulating the market  (Read 1438 times)
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badon
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« on: 2011 Feb 02, 02:03:36 pm »



Scroll WAY down to see the recommendations and skip the commentary!

There are many different ways to manipulate the market. The most common ones I hear about shill bidding and cornering the market. Shill bidding doesn't happen as much as people suspect it does. Presumably Ebay has measures in place to detect suspicious bidding activity, and anyone noticing it would probably throw a fit and report it. Oh, and it's illegal, and a serious crime.

However, there are bids being placed by dealers that don't intend to buy the coins they're bidding on. They decide "I'll buy at $100", and as long as the auction stays below that level they'll keep bidding. That's not shill bidding, and it's perfectly legal. But, they do it to protect the value of their inventories. If one coin sells for a bargain price, everyone looking to buy from then on is going to tell the dealer his price is too expensive. Usually they're wrong, and the dealer's price is fair, but it's more hassle than just throwing out a few bids here and there to keep prices stable.

In the end, that's actually good for everyone, because you'll appreciate it when it's your turn to sell. But, don't count on it - if you've seen the bargains going by from time to time, then you know that "stability bidding" doesn't actually occur very often - mostly because nobody can afford to do that forever. Or can they?

Cornering the market is very similar to "stability bidding". Instead of placing your bids just under what you think a coin should sell for to prop its price above a certain level ("prop bidding"? "crutch bidding"?). Cornering the market is buying coins with the intention of removing a significant portion of the supply from the market, and placing them into your own hands where you can set the price. Usually the mere attempt at cornering the market will cause prices to rise.

The problem with cornering the market is that it doesn't work if you push prices above a sustainable level. Instead, you get a bubble, and then a collapse. However, the Chinese coin market is still very underpriced. That means that natural market forces haven't push prices up to a sustainable level yet. Someone can speed up the process buying up a lot of coins. This is sometimes part of the reason why some coins go up for a while, then stop, and then some other coins go up for a while.

When the market is cornered, the owner of the coins can begin to SLOWLY sell a few of them at a time, and as long as he has left some room for further growth, prices won't drop much, if at all, once he's sold all of his coins.

OK, that's the basics of two ways that the market is being manipulated, and for the most part, it's actually been healthy for the market because the market still has a lot of room to grow to support persistently increasing prices. In a previous article I estimated that the Chinese coin market needed to grow another 10,000% just to MATCH the comparatively tiny American coin market. That's a lot of growing room.  A market manipulator could drive prices up 500% on a particular coin, sell everything, and not really make much of a difference in the overall upward trend - It'll still keep going up naturally after that.

So, what does this mean to you? Well, if you're little guy, you can pay attention to coins that seem to be getting bought up aggressively. You can't corner the market yourself, but you can let someone else do it for you on the coins you own. Grab a few of the coins that are being hoarded, and just sit back and enjoy the ride. My last article mentioned several coins where this is likely to be occurring, which makes them good investments.

IF you're a big guy, all you need is around $50,000 to corner the market in one rare coin. That figure may be increasing to $100,000+ soon, but for now, I think there's several coins where this could be done easily. Basically, every time a coin comes available for a reasonable price, you buy it. Just keep doing that over and over. The only time you don't buy is when prices are WAY too high - much higher than you can keep buying for. If you start buying overpriced coins, the prices will increase too fast, and you'll risk pricing yourself out of your own market manipulation. On top of that, if the prices increase too fast, and you run out of money, prices could drop, and put you out of business.

Manipulation simply does not work in the long run if you get greedy. Specifically, it only works in cases where it's healthy for the market. Right now, dumping $50k to $100k into the market in an effort to corner the market on your favorite coin would have the effect of increasing prices on ALL coins, because the dealers you bought from will have extra cash to buy more coins. As long as the market is immature, you can conservatively drive prices upwards in a sustainable fashion such that you're able to accumulate a bigger than normal share of the profits on the overalll market's upward trend.

I'm publishing the manipulation info because #1, it's interesting, and #2, it's what I'm watching closely to determine when the market becomes mature. After it becomes mature, it is vulnerable to a dangerous bubble condition if people keep trying to push prices higher than is healthy. Right now, I think the market could easily absorb $100 Million within a few months without pushing coin values up to their reasonabl peak prices. That means that NOBODY has enough money to push prices to an unhealthy level for the market as a whole. For now, we can recognize that manipulation is going on, but rest assured that it's healthy for now, and it won't become a problem for several more years at least.

For more helpful info on this, read these recent articles:

* What Due Diligence Means and Why You Should be Doing it! by tamo42
* Are Chinese Coins Truly a Free Market?

NCS and NGC refuse to help buyers find conserved coins for long term investment

I've talked a lot about NCS conservation of silver coins, especially the ones with the highest grades that were graded in the past. Coins that were not conserved before grading could degrade over time as invisible residues corrode their surfaces. That could make your investments virtually worthless!

There are nuances to which coins are worrisome, and which aren't, so I've recommended coins that look good despite not knowing whether they've been conserved or not. For example, an old silver coin that still looks good after many years is probably OK, and a newer panda that came from modern PVC-free packaging is probably OK too. But, the only way to know for sure is to only buy coins that have been conserved before grading.

Sadly, NCS and NGC continue to refuse to indicate on the holders if a coin has been conserved, even if requested. I have begged them to let me buy coins that I know will not become hunks of scrap metal over time, and they won't listen to me - just one person - but they will listen to the market as a whole. That means you. Everyone needs to contact NCS and tell them you want to buy coins that you know have been conserved. Tell them that you want to buy coins that NGC marks as conserved on their holders. Here's the person to contact:

Craig Fiumara
Numismatic Conservation Services
Operations Manager
Phone 866-627-2646  Ext. 145
Fax 941-360-2559
CraigF@NCScoin.com

Once we persuade them that we want to know that our coins are safe, they will obey our demands and start marking the conserved coins. Only then can we be reasonably certain (but never 100%) that our investments will not become worthless over time.

Recommended reading

Here's some recent articles of mine that can provide some guidance for investing in the current and coming market conditions:

* LBC makes me rich
* Wealth preservation: USA vs. China (By Zerosum)
* Coins are the hot new investment
* How high will the Chinese coin market go?
* 5 criteria to determine if a coin is a good investment
* 13 coin facts to learn for beginning investors of modern Chinese coins
* My First Chinese Panda Coin Purchase (By Tamo42)
* Modern Chinese coin investment strategy
* Don't be the "whale" that pays too much for an investment coin
* Modern Chinese coin commentary and market predictions - 2010-Dec-15
* What makes people buy up all the Chinese panda coins?
* Investing in rare modern Chinese coins, some questions answered
* Cash is king for 2011 - Get ready for the coming bargain hunt
* Foresight: Gold, silver, coins, etc will weaken after January or February 2011
* Rumor: Modern Chinese coin charts coming out soon
* Why does this business site talk so much about investments?
* The chess game of rich vs. poor

Gold and Silver Panda Coin Buyer's Guide Book

This is THE panda book, written by the world's foremost expert on Chinese panda coins. Buy the book before the coin. Enough said.

Pricepedia modern Chinese coin price guide with bonus using "LBC" referral code

$68.88 Buy-It-Now.

In addition to the book you can subscribe to the PricePedia, which gives up-to-date monthly pricing information on over 700 different coins, as well as a few pointers on what's hot or undervalued in the market. If you send a message to the author mentioning LBC for the referral code, you get a bonus list of undervalued coins, along with your subscription.

My choices

My top choice is still the 2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary pandas. Then I'd probably buy up the unicorn coins due to their rarity, and recent coverage in the Pricepedia. If you don't have a subscription to the Pricepedia, you really should consider investing in it. Knowledge is power.

If you have questions about investing in any of these coins, please ask. If you find a coin that seems like it should be listed here, but isn't, please tell me about it. I frequently wait to list a coin here until I've had time to do the proper research on it that's needed for me to give you the basic facts on each coin. If you'd like to see info faster on a particular coin, I can make it a higher priority for you. I've noticed people don't like asking questions, because they don't want anyone else to know they're thinking of buying a particular coin. People don't want to talk about the coins they're interested in due to "coin snatchers" grabbing them. Competition for the investment-grade coins listed in these articles is fierce!



Perfect 70 coins



Common silver 70 graded coins are very popular with "the masses" who are not serious collectors or investors, but since they're not rare, their valuations can be fickle. I recommend that once you've gained a comfortable profit, you should sell and reinvest the cash into rarer coins.

I've noticed sellers jacking up their prices on these coins once they get listed here, so I'm going to have to list them more carefully, with a mention of the price at the time they get included.

I have decided not to list the common, recent date gold 70 pandas because the rich vs poor market dynamics do not support the high prices that the common silver 70 coins can gain. In short, I've changed my mind that the gold counterparts are good places to put your investment money, even though they're significantly underpriced compared to silver coins. I don't think the comparison between gold and silver will hold up to enough of a degree to make it worthwhile to sink a good quantity of money into the common gold coins. The numismatic premiums will probably never reach the levels of the silver coins.

One of the gold coins listed in the wrong category was bid up to a level that no longer makes it an undervalued good investment, so I've removed that one too.

1999 1 oz gold large date panda NGC MS 70

$1995 auction starting price. About 250 1999 1 oz gold coins have been graded, of all varieties. Only 3 earned a 70 grade. This is a special coin.



Proof pandas



All the early proof pandas are what I like to call $10,000 coins, because I firmly believe within the next decade, you will have to pay $10k+ to obtain one. coins here meet at least 4 of the 5 criteria to determine if a coin is a good investment. The only one they may not meet is the one about conservation, which is less important as long as the coin looks good despite its age, and not very important at all for gold, platinum, and palladium.

If any of the silver coins you buy have white spots when you receive them, you should probably return it for a refund. The white spots may be correctable through conservation, but that's the seller's problem, not yours.

Now that the issue of which silver proof panda coin is the rarest seems to have been settled, the 1994 and the 1996 have increased rapidly in value. However, it turns out that all three of the top coins - the 1994, 1995, and the 1996 - have similarly small actual mintages. There's no one coin that is dramatically rarer than any of the others. The information I have says that all of them have mintages of around 7000 to 8000 coins. So, buy them all up whenever you can, as your cash holdings allow.

1987 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

1987 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$1050 Buy-It-Now, or best offer. Mintage 31,000.

1989 to 1996 1 oz silver proof panda 6 coin set

$3150 Buy-It-Now.

NEW 1989 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$225 auction starting price, $260 Buy-It-Now. The market was temporarily flooded with a small hoard of ungraded specimens. They push prices down a bit more for this proof panda than would be expected in a slowdown. My information says that dealers scrambled to buy up the hoard, and now it's off the market. This coin in a 69 grade peaked at around $299 recently. Anything under $250 for this coin is too cheap, and should be grabbed at the first opportunity. Prices are going to be stabilizing at some healthy level that I believe should be between $250 and $280 for now, and then they'll continue upward like the other coins have been doing as the slowdown seems to be losing momentum, at least until the summer. These are popular because of the interesting design. They're also relatively inexpensive, and usually available (at a price).

1989 1 oz silver proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM

$299 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 25000.

1989 1 oz silver proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM

$265 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 25000.

1989 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$275 Buy-It-Now.

1989 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$350 Buy-It-Now.

1990 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

1990 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$309 Buy-It-Now.

1990 1 oz gold proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$2398 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 5000.

1991 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$439 Buy-It-Now.

1991 5-coin proof gold panda set NGC PF 69 UC

NEW 1991 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$399 auction starting price, $450 Buy-It-Now.

NEW 1992 1 oz silver proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM

$480 auction starting price.

NEW 1992 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$399 auction starting price, $450 Buy-It-Now.

NEW 1992 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$9.99 auction starting price, $499 Buy-It-Now.

1992 1 oz silver proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM

$529 Buy-It-Now.

1992 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$450 Buy-It-Now.

1992 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$459 Buy-It-Now. Price increased from $449.

The official mintage for the 1992 coins is 20,000 but is probably lower, as is often the case for early coins. Prices have been steadily increasing, and this one has sold for $278 and $399 for a 69 specimen, and up to a whopping $738 for a damaged, ungraded coin. The $738 price was ridiculous, but it's a clue as to how crazy people get sometimes. The damage on the $738 coin is a torch sloppily engraved into it by a private coin dealer in Germany when the coin was first released. 3000 of them were damaged by the torch engraving, and word hasn't quite made it to all the collectors in China that the torch isn't supposed to be there. The Chinese dealers seem to be making good money by not telling them too!

So, we know that 3000 of these coins were damaged right when they were released, and I suspect that the Chinese dealers may be getting greedy, and they could be carving their own little torches into the surviving coins to try to score a $700+ price tag on a damaged coin. That means that, in addition to probably having a lower mintage than the official figures suggest, we already know that at least 3000 coins have been damaged. That makes this coin a good investment, because it doesn't cost more than coins that weren't damaged on a large scale.

I would grab this coin before word spreads that the little torch coins are actually damaged coins, and pristine coins are much rarer than people have thought. Only 109 have been graded a 69, which is about half as many as expected - but the coin does not cost twice as much! This coin is underpriced, and a good investment. Buy them when you find them.

1993 1/2 oz gold proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$3250 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 2005.

1993 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

1993 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$599 Buy-It-Now.

1994 1/4 oz gold proof panda PCGS PR 69 UC

$1598 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 2500.

1995 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$1099 Buy-It-Now.

1995 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$1099.99 Buy-It-Now.

1995 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$899 auction starting price, $999 Buy-It-Now.

NEW 1996 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$999 Buy-It-Now.

1996 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

1996 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC

$680 auction starting price, $750 Buy-It-Now.

2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary panda 25 coin set

$1199 Buy-It-Now.

2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary panda 25 coin set

$1995 Buy-It-Now, or best offer. Mintage 30,000.

2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary panda 25 coin set

$1280 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 30,000.

2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary panda 25 coin set

$1280 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 30,000.

2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary panda 25 coin set

$1280 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 30,000.

Search for 2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary pandas

As a policy, I don't list coins that are not graded and authenticated by NGC or PCGS. However, this deal is too good to pass up, so I'm making an exception for it. I've seen the 2007 1/4 proof pandas sell for as cheaply as around $15 lately, but they're as rare as the other pandas selling for hundreds of dollars. There are many original sets of all 25 of the 2007 proof panda coins available on ebay right now. The lowest priced ones are about $900, and the highest priced ones are about $1300. At the highest price, that translates to only about $52 per coin! Compare that to the 1989 1 oz silver proof panda that has a similar mintage, and sells for $199 in a 69 grade.

Granted, almost none of these are graded. You'll have to know what you're doing to buy these, but I think you should be able to double your money on them easily once word gets out that you can still buy proof silver pandas for about the same price as an ungraded 2010 non-proof panda. Think it over - 2010 boring panda with a mintage of 3 million for $50, or a 2007 proof panda with a mintage 30,000 for $50. Don't be a fool, buy them up before sellers realize what they've got.



Platinum and palladium pandas



1989 1 oz platinum panda NGC PF 69 UC

$6450 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 3000.

1990 1/2 oz platinum panda NGC PF 69 UC

$3995 Buy-It-Now, or best offer. Mintage 2500.

1990 1 oz platinum panda NGC PF 69 UC

$10,750 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 1300. The last one sold at auction for close to the asking price for this coin. It's been getting talked about quite a lot. Platinum is getting popular, it seems.

NEW 2004 & 2005 1/2 oz palladium panda 2 coin set NGC PF 70 UC

$2888 auction starting price.

1996 1/10 oz platinum panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM

$1996 auction starting price, $2599 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 2500. Platinum is booming in popularity. Although this coin is expensive, the mintage is very low for a panda, and feel it has respectable investment potential that makes it worthy of inclusion in this list.



BU pandas



1982 gold panda 4 coin set NGC MS 69

$12475 Buy-It-Now.

I've been ignoring 1982 pandas for a long time, but I can't ignore them anymore. When they first came out near the end of the 1980's gold bubble, and before the numismatics boom of the late 1980's and 1990's, they were meant to be just ordinary bullion. China just wanted to make a gold bullion round to sell some of their gold production, so not much effort was put into the the design. The coins were frequently handled, dropped, scratched, dented, etc because no one thought they would end up being valuable in high grades.

It's technically only a medal, not a coin, because it has no face value. When it became more popular than expected, collectors requested that China put a face value on all the standard series pandas that followed. The Chinese government later retroactively insisted that the 1982 pandas are legal tender, though I don't know exactly what the face value is supposed to be.

The reason why a face value is so important is because legal tender anti-counterfeiting laws protect collectors by harshly punishing anyone that makes a fake. Medals have no such legal protection. However, China has had many governments during its history, and many different currencies. I have suspected that the details about whether a collectible metal disc is still legal tender or not matters comparatively little to Chinese people who have a long history of just using gold and silver in standard weights, instead of government-created things like dollars, yuan, renminbi, etc. However, medals without a face value have been slower to increase in value than the legal tender coins, so I haven't recommended them much in the past.

All that is changing. A few days ago, a medal sold for over $15,000 when it was expected to sell for $10,000. The bidding competition was unusually fierce, and coming from experienced collectors and investors with serious money to spend on coins. I have noticed the 1982 pandas have doubled in value during the last few months, and although they still don't seem to be increasing as fast as the other coins, I think that's actually an illusion. The other coins increase in spurts, as their popularity increases or decreases. The 1982 coins have always been popular, and they've been steadily increasing in value almost unnoticed.

When looking at the NGC grading populations for these "coins", it's clear they're rare in high grades. There are only 76 1/10 oz, 214 1/4 oz, 64 1/2 oz, and 79 1 oz coins graded in MS 69. Of those 4 sizes, the only one that isn't very rare is the 1/4 oz coin. The mintages for all of them are somewhat high compared to the mintages on the other coins I've been recommending, but for all but the 1/4 oz coin, they have good "grade rarity" and enormous popularity that makes them good investments. They're all extremely hard to find in a 69 grade, and complete sets are rarely seen. The 1/2 oz coin is the rarest overall, but the 1 oz coin has the most "grade rarity".

These prices are high, but where else can you find them in a 69 grade? There's just not enough of them out there. The 1 oz gold coin, for example, should have around 2500 coins on the entire planet that would grade 69 or better. That's NOT a lot of coins! I believe the 1982 pandas are a good investment. They may or may not perform as well as legal tender coins over the long term, but I think you'll have no trouble at all taking a profit and putting your money into something else if the high demand for medals does not continue. 1982 pandas are fortunately very easy to sell due to their high popularity.

1997 1/2 oz silver panda NGC MS 69

$49.99 auction starting price, $60 Buy-It-Now.

Investment-grade 1/2 oz silver pandas

These are moving upwards, so I decided to include them again. The items in the list are from an automatically generated search, so they're not necessarily recommendations. You'll have to find and purchase coins yourself, but I'll be happy to answer questions about them. There's too many to list individually - the search thingy above that shows the items doesn't show everything, so click the link above it to see all items that the search can find for you.



Large date and small date pandas



Investment grade large date and small date pandas

Pricing information is very immature for panda varieties so here's a search, not necessarily a list of recommendations, that shows you what I might have put in this article if there were more information available. Pricing is erratic, with no one quite sure what a fair price should be, not even the sellers themselves. That usually means everything is selling too cheap. Good luck, and get them while you can.



Lunar coins



1988 1 oz silver piedfort lunar dragon NGC PF 69 UC

$688 Buy-It-Now.

1990 8 g gold lunar horse PCGS PR 69 DCAM

$3880 auction starting price, $6999 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 7500. Early lunar coins are hard to find in high grades like this one.

Question:

I dont think you should list the Gold Horse Lunar coin. The seller has it up for second time now his first price tag was over 10k and he dropped it. Im 100% sure he will drop it again. Noone is willing to pay so much not even the current price. Maybe u relist it when the price is right. Because that price is out of order for now.

Answer:

I'm not sure the price is out of order for the gold horse. It is high, no doubt about that, but with hoarding going on in China, there may not be many opportunities to buy one. The seller knows this, and that's why the price is so high. It would not be one of my first choices to buy from this list because of the high price, but I still think it's a good investment, so I decided to include it.

It will be interesting to see if it sells. Prices can rise very suddenly for such rare coins. Today, it may seem much too expensive, but tomorrow, it could seem cheap. Since it's the only one available, I think it's good to include it. I'm glad you asked about it though, because I don't have the time to put all this info in the article for each coin unless someone needs it.

1999 1/2 oz gold lunar scallop plum blossom flower rabbit PCGS PR 69 DCAM

This coin is too expensive at $4300 - but it's the only one available. I posted about others that were available for half as much just a few days ago, but they're gone, so $4300 is your new price for those who weren't the lucky buyers of those other recommendations. This coin has a mintage of only 2300 coins, so I have no doubt you'll be able to sell it for $10k+ within a few years or sooner, though I do not recommend planning on selling it at that price because it could go FAR higher. You "overpay" now for a good coin just to get it, and then make your profits later. It's frustrating this price is so dramatically higher than the last coins that sold, but you won't get good coins if you don't pay what you have to pay to get them.

In short, is $4300 an unfair price to pay for a coin that was selling for around $2500 to $3000 only one week ago? No, it is not unfair at all. Expensive, yes, but if you have the cash, buy this coin. It will only cost you more later.



Other investment grade coins



1979 1/2 oz silver matte year of the child NGC MS 69

This is a great coin being offered at a fair price. Cheapskates keep offering low-ball prices, but this coin is worth every penny of the $15,000 asking price. The last coins sold for increasingly high values of $7000 to almost $10,000 recently, and none of them were graded. This coin has a high 69 grade, a low mintage, and is extremely popular. Don't be a cheapskate, pay the full asking price and grab it before someone else does. It is worth it.

NEW 1981 1 oz gold bronze age elephant NGC PF 69 UC

$9995 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 1000. An early, rare coin, that rarely appears for sale, let alone in an investment grade.

1986 24 g silver empress of china clipper ship NGC MS 69

$138 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 50,000 to 90,000 (sources vary). The last ones sold for $120, $89.88, and $100.

Question:

"What's the significance of 1986 CHINA S5Y SHIP EMPRESS OF CHINA (22.2g, not 24g as advertised) at $100 to 150? Its mintage is 75,000 so it's not that rare. Is there a cultural significance to it or what?"

Answer:

A few things are confusing about this coin: The weight, the mintage, the quality of the mintage, and the surviving population.

The COA for the coin says it's 26.6 grams, for example, while other sources claim a variety of other weights. I haven't actually weighed any of them yet though.  The information you have about the mintage and weight comes from the Krause catalog, which is known to have numerous errors that the authors are too lazy to fix, for decades at a time, from edition to edition, including simple spelling errors that spellcheck could fix instantly.

Mintage figures I've seen range from around 50,000 to 90,000. Regardless of what the actual mintage is, it's still arguably quite low. I have long suspected that these are rarer than people think they are, especially in high grades.

However, those are all just details that all take a backseat to popularity. The coin is not popular yet, but I think it has merely been overlooked because it wasn't intended for the Chinese market - the ship on the coin is American. The ship theme of the coin is what will make it popular, once it gets noticed.

There are a lot of oddball coins that don't fit in any specific category very well, because they weren't part of any sort of series. Having a recognizable theme makes it possible for an oddball coin to fit into a set, and become popular for the set. For example, China's maritime set was minted for only one year, with a very low mintage. It has become popular due to its low price relative to its rarity, and that popularity has spread to other coins with a ship theme. Some collectors consider dragon boats, and other ship coins to be part of their maritime set.

The quantity of coins that are almost always available for the 1986 coin leads me to believe that the mintage probably isn't terribly low. I think the rarity lies in grade rarity, since the coins are so frequently in poor condition, due to the lack of respect they received for seeming to not be rare.

If we go with the highest mintage estimate I can think of off the top of my head, at 90,000, then I would consider it to be a low mintage coin. I am speculating on this coin, since so little is known for certain about it, with much conflicting information.

I would not be an aggressive buyer of these coins, due to the uncertainties, but I would take bargains from time to time when they come available. The asking price for the coin I listed is $168, but I would put in an offer of $100, and see if the seller will take that. If not, I might wait a while to see if anything else turns up, and then possibly try another offer.

Either way, I think this coin is a $200+ coin in the near future, due it's under 100,000 mintage. It is included in my list specifically for people who cannot afford rarer coins, but still want something better than a $70 panda with a mintage of 300,000 to 600,000.

NEW 1988 1 oz gold san francisco expo dragon medal NGC PF 69 UC

$3250 Buy-It-Now. Mintage 1500. This is a gorgeous medal with a low mintage and one of the most beautiful dragon designs made. I think the price is a bit high on this coin/medal but it deserves a mention here, since they could take off at any time. The most important thing about this coin that earns it a spot on my list is that it's a 69. Only half of them graded so far have been able to get a 69 (14 out of 28 total). They were frequently mishandled, and good quality, hand-selected specimens rarely earn an investment-quality grade. None have earned a 70. Oh, and it has the Chinese lucky number 8 twice in the date, which increases its desirability.

NEW 1989 1/4 oz gold new york expo medal panda NGC PF 69 UC

$999 Buy-It-Now, or best offer. Mintage 5000. This is a small size undevalued medal with a small mintage (probably less were actually minted), and it has a horse on it. In short, there are several reasons why this coin should increase in value in the near term.

1990 2 oz dragon & phoenix NGC PF 69 UC

$22,000 Buy-It-Now, or best offer. Mintage 2538. This is THE most popular modern Chinese coin. The price is many multiples of coins that are often as rare or rarer. This is the power of popularity. It is absolutely gorgeous, and difficult to obtain in a 69 grade. They were all damaged by mishandling at the mint. No 70 coins have been discovered, and people have been looking hard.

1994 1/2 oz platinum unicorn NGC PF 69 UC

$6888 auction starting price. Mintage 1015.

1996 1 oz silver piedfort kuan yin NGC PF 69 UC

$950 Buy-It-Now, or best offer. Mintage 5000. Price has been dropped to $550.

1996 1 oz silver proof unicorn NGC PF 69 UC

Mintage 8000. Actual mintage probably less. Very popular lately.

NEW 2004 1 oz silver beijing expo panda NGC MS 69

$249 Buy-It-Now, or best offer. Mintage 30,000. This is certified MS 69, but I think it should be a PF 69, since I think only proof coins were issued. These are likely to become popular because of their beauty from the gold plating, and the fact that it's a Chinese expo event.



Helpful searches



These are helpful searches for coins, not necessarily a list of recommendations, like the other items in this article. If you didn't see anything you like above, you may find coins on your own here that I have ignored or overlooked. I've included an ebay search widget to show you a sample of search results, when possible (they don't always work, so I leave them out).

I'm not going to be able to keep track of when stuff in these searches sell, so you'll have to let me know if you invest in something from these automated searches, so I can include it in the list of other coins that have sold. It would also be appreciated if you posted your coins in the LBC makes me rich thread. Thank you very much!

Search for Chinese coins in 69 grade

Search for Chinese coins in 70 grade

Search for all Chinese coins

Search for proof pandas

Search for panda coins of all types




The items above are not necessarily a list of recommendations. In an effort to help out our small business members, any ebay seller listing that links to any page at www.livebusinesschat.com will show up in the list above (only a few at a time, sorted by time remaining). The name "Live Business Chat" must be somewhere in the auction, preferably as part of the displayed link. To make it easy, just put the following line anywhere in your ebay listing:

<a href="http://www.livebusinesschat.com/">Live Business Chat</a>

You can use that same line to link to us from any other website, also.



Sold recommendations



Total recommendations sold: $152,776.24

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #43 article, total: $928.99

1990 1/10 oz platinum proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $699 Feb 02, 2011
1986 24 g silver empress of china clipper ship NGC MS 69 for $100 Feb 02, 2011
2007 1/25 oz gold 25th anniversary 2004 panda NGC PF 70 UC for $129.99 Feb 01, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #42 article, total: $1463.82

The 1990 dragon & phoenix coin achieved strong price that I believe is a new record. The coin was previously not considered rare, but now it is, and it earned almost $400! The 1997 unicorn was listed with a Buy-It-Now price of only $115, but greedy buyers decided to try to bid on it instead at its auction starting price of $99 to shave a few dollars off the price. In the end, they just had to pay more, as the coin almost reached $125 in auction. Pay the asking price, and get the coin! Don't be a cheapskate. The historical figures Beethoven coin was a disappointment at only $80. I think it is easily worth $100+, but The Market has spoken...I consider it a bargain. The 1986 empress of China coin sold at auction for almost $90, which I think is an excellent price, and shows some solid strength in the demand for that coin. Prices have been increasing for both raw and graded coins, with 69 and 70 graded coins selling for very profitable prices from a dealer perspective, and motivating them to submit more of them for grading. The 70 coins are the real stunners to watch for though, with MASSIVE premiums over the price of a 69.

1990 1 oz silver dragon & phoenix NGC PF 69 UC for $395 Feb 01, 2011
2006 1 oz silver scallop plum blossom flower lunar dog NGC PF 69 UC for $275 Jan 31, 2011
2002 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 69 for $99 Jan 31, 2011
1997 1 oz silver unicorn NGC MS 69 for $124.49 Jan 31, 2011
1990 1 oz silver world historical figures Beethoven NGC PF 69 UC for $80 Jan 31, 2011
1986 24 g silver empress of china clipper ship NGC MS 69 for $89.88 Jan 31, 2011
1996 1 oz silver proof unicorn NGC PF 69 UC for $399.95 Jan 30, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #41 article, total: $2620.99 (surpassed $150,000 in coins sold from these lists)

2007 1/25 oz gold 25th anniversary 2004 panda NGC PF 70 UC for $129.99 Jan 30, 2011
1990 1/4 oz gold proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $750 Jan 29, 2011
1984 27 g silver panda NGC PF 69 UC for $1741 Jan 29, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #40 article, total: $5665

1988 1 oz platinum lunar dragon NGC PF 69 UC for $5500 Jan 26, 2011
2001 D 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 69 for $165 Jan 25, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #39 article, total: $4254.23

1990 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $299 Jan 25, 2011
1987 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $631.23 Jan 24, 2011
1990 1/2 oz gold proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $1198 Jan 24, 2011
1990 1/2 oz gold proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $1298 Jan 24, 2011
2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary panda 25 coin set for $699 Jan 24, 2011
1986 24 g silver empress of china clipper ship NGC MS 69 for $120 Jan 23, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #38 article, total: $2183.44

2005 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 70 for $151 Jan 23, 2011
2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary panda 25 coin set for $740.45 Jan 23, 2011
2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary panda 25 coin set for $610 Jan 23, 2011
2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary 1997 proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $94 Jan 23, 2011
2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary 2005 proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $94 Jan 23, 2011
2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary 2006 proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $112.50 Jan 23, 2011
2009 1 oz silver 30th anniversary panda PCGS MS 70 for $161.50 Jan 23, 2011
1992 15 g silver marco polo NGC PF 69 UC for $219.99 Jan 22, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #37 article, total: $4855

1992 15 g silver marco polo NGC PF 69 UC for $199 Jan 22, 2011
1992 1 oz silver proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $499 Jan 22, 2011
1994 1 oz silver proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $900 Jan 22, 2011
1996 1 oz silver unicorn NGC PF 69 UC for $399 Jan 22, 2011
1994 1/4 oz gold proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $1598 Jan 21, 2011
1982 1/10 oz gold panda NGC MS 69 for $710 Jan 20, 2011
1988 1 oz silver proof dragon NGC PF 69 UC for $550 Jan 20, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #36 article, total: $8451.96

1990 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $299 Jan 20, 2011
2002 2/3 oz silver scallop plum blossom flower lunar horse for $976 Jan 19, 2011
2000 2/3 oz silver scallop plum blossom flower lunar dragon for $808.08 Jan 19, 2011
1993 1 oz silver fu lu shu NGC MS 69 for $263.88 Jan 19, 2011
1993 1/2 oz gold Mao Tse-Tung NGC PF 69 UC for $4800 Jan 19, 2011
1981 15 g silver lunar rooster NGC PF 69 UC for $1305 Jan 19, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #35 article, total: $399

1996 1 oz silver unicorn NGC PF 69 UC for $399 Jan 18, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #34 article, total: $11944.01

1988 1 oz platinum lunar dragon NGC PF 69 UC for $5600.01 Jan 17, 2011
1990 1 oz platinum horse NGC PF 69 UC for $5145 Jan 17, 2011

1992 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $450 Jan 16, 2011
1996 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $749 Jan 16, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #33 article, total: $7008.02

1996 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $771.04 Jan 16, 2011
1993 1/10 oz gold proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $1098 Jan 16, 2011
2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary panda 25 coin set NGC PF 69 UC for $1095 Jan 15, 2011
1996 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $745 Jan 15, 2011
1989 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $255 Jan 14, 2011
1990 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $299.99 Jan 14, 2011
1993 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $599.99 Jan 14, 2011
2004 1/2 oz palladium panda NGC PF 69 UC for $895 Jan 14, 2011
1992 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $450 Jan 12, 2011
1995 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $799 Jan 11, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #32 article, total: $4741.88 (passed $100k in sold recommended investments)

1996 1 oz silver proof unicorn NGC PF 69 UC for $329 Jan 11, 2011
1996 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $729 Jan 11, 2011
1996 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $741 Jan 11, 2011
1995 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $765 Jan 11, 2011
1994 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $888.88 Jan 11, 2011
1993 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $404 Jan 11, 2011
1991 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $355 Jan 11, 2011
1990 1 oz silver proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $275 Jan 11, 2011
1989 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $255 Jan 11, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #31 article, total: $3701

2004 1/4 oz palladium panda NGC PF 69 UC for $895 Jan 10, 2011
1993 5 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $2561 Jan 10, 2011
2008 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 70 for $150 Jan 10, 2011
1991 silver Albert Eintstein NGC PF 69 UC for $95 Jan 09, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #30 article, total: $299.99

1989 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $250 Jan 08, 2011
2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary 2001-2002 panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $49.99 Jan 08, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #29 article, total: $4715.61

1992 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $450 Jan 08, 2011
1996 1 oz silver proof unicorn NGC PF 69 UC for $299 Jan 08, 2011
1999 1/4 oz gold large date serif panda NGC MS 69 for $3049.99 Jan 08, 2011
2005 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 70 for $143.60 Jan 08, 2011
2008 1 oz silver proof panda NGC MS 70 for $161.50 Jan 08, 2011
2009 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 70 for $159.51 Jan 08, 2011
2009 1 oz silver proof panda NGC MS 70 for $139.95 Jan 08, 2011
1989 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $250 Jan 07, 2011
2009 1 oz silver 30th anniversary panda NGC MS 69 for $62.06 Jan 07, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #28 article, total: $998

2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary panda 25 coin set for $700 Jan 07, 2011
1990 1/10 oz gold proof pandas PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $298 Jan 06, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #27 article, total: $18595

1989 8 g gold lunar snake NGC PF 69 UC for $800 Jan 06, 2011
1998 1 oz gold large date panda NGC MS 69 for $5500 Jan 06, 2011
2004 1/2 oz palladium panda NGC PF 69 UC for $895 Jan 06, 2011
2008 5 oz gold panda NGC MS 70 for $11,400 Jan 06, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #26 article, total: $869.95

2007 1/4 oz silver proof 25th anniversary panda 25 coin set for $700 Jan 04, 2011
2005 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 70 for $169.95 Jan 04, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #25 article, total: $823

1998 2/3 oz silver lunar scallop plum blossom flower tiger NGC PF 69 UC for $770 Jan 03, 2011
2007 1/4 oz silver 1989 25th anniversary panda NGC PF 70 UC for $53 Jan 02, 2011

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #24 article, total: $2408.11

2008 1 oz silver olympic kite flying NGC PF 70 UC for $88.01 Jan 02, 2011
2008 1 oz silver olympic goat jumping NGC PF 70 UC for $87.10 Jan 02, 2011
2008 1 oz silver olympic shuttlecock NGC PF 70 UC for $81 Jan 02, 2011
2008 1 oz silver olympic hoop rolling NGC PF 70 UC for $82.01 Jan 02, 2011
1996 1 oz silver small date panda NGC MS 69 for $99.99 Jan 01, 2011
1986 1/10 oz gold proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $280 Jan 01, 2011
1986 1/4 oz gold proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $540 Jan 01, 2011
1986 1/20 oz gold proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $150 Dec 31, 2010
1986 1/2 oz gold proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $1000 Dec 31, 2010

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #23 article, total: $2178

1996 1 oz silver small date panda NGC MS 69 for $85 Dec 31, 2010
1996 1 oz silver large date panda NGC MS 69 for $85 Dec 31, 2010
1992 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $449 Dec 31, 2010
1990 1/20 oz gold proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $298 Dec 31, 2010
1989 1/4 oz gold proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $598 Dec 31, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $95 Dec 31, 2010
1989 1/4 oz gold proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $568 Dec 30, 2010

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #22 article, total: $600.11

2007 1/25 oz gold 2004 15 yuan proof panda NGC PF 70 UC for $119.99 Dec 30, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $103.38 Dec 30, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $103.76 Dec 30, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $100.88 Dec 30, 2010
2009 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 70 for $86.05 Dec 29, 2010
2009 1 oz silver 30th anniversary panda NGC MS 70 for $86.05 Dec 29, 2010

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #21 article, total: $3975.38

2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $101.88 Dec 29, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $108.50 Dec 29, 2010
1987 1/4 oz gold proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $550 Dec 28, 2010
1994 1 oz silver proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $1188 Dec 28, 2010
1995 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $799 Dec 28, 2010
1996 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $888 Dec 28, 2010
2003 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 70 for $340 Dec 28, 2010

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #20 article, total: $4541.93

1990 1/2 oz gold proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $1298 Dec 28, 2010
2009 1 oz gold panda NGC MS 70 for $1850 Dec 28, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $108.38 Dec 28, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $106.50 Dec 28, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $104.05 Dec 28, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 X 10 for $1075 Dec 28, 2010

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #19 - Don't buy ungraded coins article, total: $2316.24

1990 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $299 Dec 27, 2010
1992 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $399.99 Dec 27, 2010
2005 1/2 oz palladium panda NGC PF 70 UC for $1295 Dec 27, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $105.60 Dec 27, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $108.05 Dec 27, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 70 for $108.60 Dec 27, 2010

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments #18 article, total: $1716.48

1984 27 g silver panda NGC PF 69 UC for $1613.88 Dec 26, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $102.60 Dec 26, 2010

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments - 2010-Dec-24 article, total: $2089.19 (passed $50k in sold recommended investments)

2010 1 oz silver scallop plum blossom flower tiger NGC PF 69 UC for $275 Dec 24, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $105.60 Dec 25, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $108.60 Dec 25, 2010
1995 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $799.99 Dec 24, 2010
2004 1/2 oz palladium panda NGC PF 69 UC for $800 Dec 24, 2010

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments and commentary - 2010-Dec-23 article, total: $1901.60

1995 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $749 Dec 23, 2010
1996 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $569 Dec 23, 2010
2010 1 oz silver scallop plum blossom flower tiger NGC PF 69 UC for $275 Dec 23, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $103.60 Dec 23, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $102.50 Dec 23, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $102.50 Dec 23, 2010

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments - 2010-Dec-21 article, total: $6892.07

1985 27 g proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $1619 Dec 22, 2010
1989 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $199.99 Dec 22, 2010
1990 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $268 Dec 22, 2010
1990 1 oz silver proof panda PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $305.02 Dec 22, 2010
1991 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $300.02 Dec 22, 2010
1995 1 oz silver pig NGC PF 69 UC for $970 Dec 22, 2010
1995 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $655 Dec 22, 2010
2006 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 69 for $61 Dec 22, 2010
2006 1 oz silver scallop plum blossom flower dog NGC PF 69 UC for $280 Dec 22, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $102.50 Dec 22, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $105.54 Dec 22, 2010
1994 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $888 Dec 21, 2010
1996 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $569 X 2 Dec 21, 2010

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments - 2010-Dec-20 article, total: $8762.24

1983 1 g gold Marco Polo NGC PF 69 UC for $402 Dec 20, 2010
1996 1 oz silver proof panda NGC PF 69 UC for $569 X 2 Dec 20, 2010
1997 1/2 oz gold scallop plum blossom flower ox PCGS PR 69 DCAM for $2988 Dec 20, 2010
1998 1/2 oz gold scallop plum blossom flower tiger NGC PF 69 UC for $3551 Dec 20, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 70 for $66.89 Dec 20, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $97 Dec 20, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $109.50 Dec 20, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 70 for $119 Dec 20, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $123.50 Dec 20, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $126.30 Dec 20, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 69 for $41.05 Dec 20, 2010

Coins sold from the Recommended modern Chinese coin investments - 2010-Dec-19 article, total: $16,422

1986 24 g silver empress of china clipper ship NGC MS 70 for $499.95 Dec 19, 2010
1988 1 oz silver dragon NGC PF 69 UC for $565.55 Dec 19, 2010
1988 8 g gold dragon NGC PF 69 UC for $1325 Dec 19, 2010
1989 1 oz gold snake NGC PF 69 UC for $4100 Dec 19, 2010
1989 8 g gold snake NGC PF 69 UC for $965 Dec 19, 2010
1998 1/2 oz gold small date panda NGC MS 69 for $6087 Dec 19, 2010
1999 1 oz gold small date panda for $2351.99 Dec 19, 2010
2001-D 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 69 for $160 Dec 19, 2010
2001-D 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 69 for $144.99 X 2 Dec 19, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $125 Dec 19, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $97.50  Dec 19, 2010

Coins sold from older articles, total: $14,463

2008 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 70 for $150 Dec 18, 2010 (LBC makes me rich)
2010 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 69 for $42.05 Dec 18, 2010
2009 1 oz silver 30th anniversary pandas NGC MS 69 X 10 for $510.95 Dec 16, 2010
1986 5 yuan soccer NGC PF 69 matte KM-140A for $3950 Dec 15, 2010
1987 5 oz silver panda NGC PF 69 UC for $800 Dec 12, 2010
1989 5 oz silver panda NGC PF 69 UC for $960 Dec 12, 2010
2000 1/2 oz gold scallop lunar dragon PCGS PF 69 DCAM for $5895 Dec 12, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $105 Dec 10, 2010
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $125 Dec 08, 2010 (LBC makes me rich)
2010 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 70 for $125 Dec 08, 2010
1983 silver proof panda for $1800 Dec 06, 2010
« Last Edit: 2011 Feb 03, 11:45:55 am by badon » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 2011 Feb 03, 11:12:30 am »

I understand your point about the dealers wanting to set a price floor, but I'd still rather get a hugely underpriced coin sometimes Smiley.

I've seen a few things on eBay that lead me to believe that shill bidding does indeed take place. Still, I have a hard time getting too worked up about it. Buyers need to do the due diligence, establish how much they are willing to pay, and then do so. Shill bidding can only hurt you if you chase the market.
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« Reply #2 on: 2011 Feb 03, 11:27:08 am »

Yeah, I finished this article a bit too late at night, and I forgot to mention that. A buyer should decide what a coin is worth to him, and stick with it. That doesn't mean you need to bid huge up front, but a rare coin that last sold for $50 and you believe is now worth up to $250, you should stick with your guess and not chase it upwards too far. Otherwise, you might fall victim to shill bidding.

I have to admit though, for a rare investment-grade coin that's going to be flying high, I have continued to bid strongly even when I knew the shills were at work. Shill bidding only works when they don't get too greedy. If they get greedy, they get caught. And, when I knowingly bid against shills, it was because I'm an expert at this and I knew there was no way to get a bargain on a great investment coin. I was going to have to bleed money to get the coin, and that was all there was to know.

In a strongly rising market, you have to pay sums that are often 6 months or a year ahead of the current value. If you think you can find another coin, then pass on the coins that are going for too much money. Granted, there are not many of those, and shill bidding is actually pretty rare - much rarer than you would guess it to be. Most of the bidding are real buyers, and a few are "prop bids" to set a price floor, and all of those people fully intend to buy the coin at their bid price.

A shill bidder has no intention of actually buying the coin, so they will bid more aggressively. The interesting thing is that if they do that more than a few times in a row, it draws attention, and then bad things happen to the shill bidders. They get shunned out of the marketplace, which due to the rarity of the coins, is actually pretty small, with everyone knowing everyone else.

Since plenty of bargains have been going by lately, I don't think I've seen any shill bidding activity. In fact, if anything, I think manipulators may want prices to drop so they can buy up more coins - but I chalk that up as a myth, because it's too difficult for any one person to do that, and no one I know - which is pretty much everyone with the ability to do that - has any serious interest in that. All the coins are bargain priced right now, over the long term scale.

So, in short, this was an interesting article that gives my point of view on topics that were raised by groovemachine and you (tamo42), but generally speaking, I don't think any form of market manipulation is going on right now other than the usual market cornering of undervalued coins. Given the low prices and high rarity of most coins, pretty much anybody with a reasonable budget can do that at least temporarily. And, the market is strong enough to support the new prices in good health.

After all this discussion, there's two things to take away from it:

#1 if you notice a coin is being cornered, jump in and enjoy the ride
#2 if you have to bid very strongly for a rare coin to obtain it, decide on what you can afford, and stick to it when bidding.
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« Reply #3 on: 2011 Feb 03, 11:54:22 am »

Recently I've seen quite a few ungraded 1987 silver panda 5-oz (single coin or together with 1-oz as a set) bid around $400-$600. That is about the price of a PF69 1-oz of the same year (on your list now and in the past). I think 1987 5-oz has about the same mintage as 1-oz proof.
Question 1: Would it not be a better buy to get the 5-oz and grade it myself (even if it ended up at 67 or 68)?
Question 2: What do you consider a fair price for a grade 69 5-oz, if it gets that high a grade for me to sell and profit?
Question 3: Where do I get that kind of money to waste on such non-core pandas?
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« Reply #4 on: 2011 Feb 03, 12:18:23 pm »

Question 1: Would it not be a better buy to get the 5-oz and grade it myself (even if it ended up at 67 or 68)?
Answer 1:

This is the territory of dealers. It's literally "work". You have much to do in the way of negotiations, conservation, grading, dealing with fakes, dealing with lost mail, etc, etc, etc. Basically, you'd be going into business this way. You'll get a lot of low grades that you have to sell so you can keep buying. It's a good business, but you have to know what you're doing. If you have no experience, take it slow starting out. One mistake can cost you your entire fortune.

Question 2: What do you consider a fair price for a grade 69 5-oz, if it gets that high a grade for me to sell and profit?
Answer 2:

69 graded rare pandas are selling for between double and triple the value of the raw coin, due to all the work mentioned above. It's profit, but it's not INVESTMENT profit. It's more like an hourly wage, due to the amount of work involved.

Question 3: Where do I get that kind of money to waste on such non-core pandas?
Answer 3:

Hopefully you're good looking and charismatic...it's a start, haha Smiley
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If families are a problem for the system, then we must reject the system, not the families.
Founder of the Coin Compendium (forum, blogs, calendar, images, donate, contribute).
LBC makes you rich, with a free ebay gift certificate awarded every month!
The Coin Compendium and the china-mint.info forum, censure, disclosure.
Do not PM questions. Answers should be publicly available.
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Badon effect: type 1 to 8, type 9.
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« Reply #5 on: 2011 Feb 03, 12:25:20 pm »

badon, thanks for always providing great answers. I think I'll pass, even when I save up enough. All I have to do now is making myself look good while developing my charisma, hehe Smiley
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