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Author Topic: Modern Chinese coin investments LIST #96 - 70's, lunars, silver, numis weed-out  (Read 6106 times)
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badon
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« on: 2011 Oct 12, 09:23:49 am »



The article is broken up into separate posts - The coin investments list is at the end of the article

Market weakness is coming to an end. Precious metals are going to lead the way for all hard asset classes as inflation grips the world. I have found myself to be buying at an increasing pace as each day goes by. I am still concentrating on rare silver coins, but not because silver is the better bullion, but instead because it is the affordable bullion, with more room for larger percentage gains before the coins made from it become unaffordable.

Pandas and lunars are where most of my money is going. Pandas were very hot for most of 2011, but I think 2012 will be the year of the lunars due to it being the year of the dragon. I've been buying more pandas than lunars though, which is a situation I plan to change. Remember, nobody cares much about lunars when they're not in a complete set. Of all the popular modern Chinese coins, lunars are the ones that make the most sense in a set. So, while dragons are what will kick off the lunar-mania, it will be the rarest or most difficult to obtain coins that will dominate the price gains.

Sometimes that is the dragons, and sometimes it is not. Dragons are usually made in much larger quantities because they're so much more popular than the other coins. Even if you were not born in the year of the dragon, the dragons are still considered lucky, attractive, etc, and thus desirable to own for everyone. That means that a dragon year coin from 1988, 2000, or 2012 may have a larger mintage than the other lunar coins, but it may still be harder to get just because so many people own them as singles, that are not in a complete set.

In other words, the dragon is a notable exception to the normal rule of investing in the rarest coins.

My favorite series is the 2/3 oz silver plum flower scallop-shaped lunar coins. That's one series where the dragon does NOT have a higher mintage than the other coins. An investment grade 2000 2/3 oz silver flower dragon will cost you over $1000, while the other coins will cost you perhaps half that much. That's solely due to the extreme popularity of the dragon! All the coins in the flower/scallop series of coins have planned mintages of only 6800, which is far lower than any other silver lunar coin except the large sizes (which are less popular). So, the dragon is the hottest target of the hottest lunar series in the 2/3 oz silver scallop lunar series.

My next favorite are the early 15 g silver lunars. This time, the dragon gets left out, but it's not because of mintage - it's because of grade rarity. A typical 15 g silver lunar coin from 1981 to 1992 has a planned mintage around 10,000. But, many of the coins far lower actual mintages, and on top of that, very few survived in investment grade. These little coins got no respect. At the beginning of the modern Chinese coin market, most of them could be bought for around $30 to $50. Now, the rarest of them will cost you over $2000, and that's still dirt cheap. The key coins, approximately in order, are:

1. 1983 15 g silver pig
2. 1981 15 g silver rooster
3. 1982 15 g silver dog
4. 1984 15 g silver rat

I'm not sure which is rarer, the dog or the rooster. NGC statistics show more pigs graded than roosters, but I think that's because it's the key, not because it's less rare. It's certainly more expensive. In any case, even without knowing EXACTLY what the precise ranking is, you have the top 4 rarest coins in investment grade, and none of them are dragons for the 15 g silver series. But, the dragons still matter...

The only coin that stands out as a good investment for the gold scallop lunars is the dragon. Of course, for people with the money to afford those, they're going to want the whole set. So, it's probably wisest to only invest in those if you can afford the whole set. If not, MAYBE you can grab a dragon, but I think the money might be better spent on the silver coins. Either way, the dynamics will be the same - people will need that dragon to complete the set, and lots of people will be buying only the dragon. With all mintages in the series being equal, that makes the dragon the key. I don't think you'll see as large of percentage gains for the gold, as you'll get for the silver.

People will buy the dragons because they like them. That's the "gateway drug" for coin collecting and investing. Those dragon buyers will need to complete the "Tao" - the set - and they'll need those 4 rarities listed above to do it.

One thing to keep in mind is that a coin stands out if it has a 70 grade, even if it's not a key. 70 grades are going to be very important for the scallop/flower series of coins, in both gold and silver. If you have to choose between a 70 non-key and a 69 key, I would choose the 70 non-key coin because the grade rarity can easily make it more valuable than the 69 key coin. I've done this, and seen this, enough times to know it's true. There may be only 30 to 100 key coins in 69 grade, but there may be only 1 to 3 non-key coins graded in a 70 grade. You see the difference in rarity here? In both the 69 and 70 grades, we're chasing grade rarity on top of mintage rarity. The difference is that the grade rarity for a 70 is much more extreme in comparison to the mintage rarity.

70 grade lunars are a compelling investment that you should consider carefully before dismissing them as too expensive. I've seen them offered for $3000 and gone unsold for months. $3000 is not a lot of money for a coin like that. $15,000 is probably where that coin will end up in the next 5 to 10 years.

What about bullion? Well, I think bullion is in the process of becoming very hot again. I'm starting to feel that the next big rise in bullion could overshadow coins for a while. That will cause cheap coins to lose their numismatic premiums. That's why upgrading is so important. Your $100 panda might still be worth only $100 when silver hits $100. That's a net LOSS in comparison to an identical investment in plain silver! You really need to go big on your numismatic coins, or just put your money into plain bullion.

This is the numismatic weed-out. Everyone that didn't invest in the best will become disappointed in the performance of the semi-rare coin investments. Those people will either leave the market entirely, or will wise-up and start investing in better coins. Either way, they're going to be selling their cheapies, and that's going to keep prices weak on crappy coins.

Since even the most common modern Chinese coins have much lower mintages than equivalent American coins, this disappointing situation will probably be temporary, even for the 1 oz silver pandas with mintages in the millions. Still, you can always replace those coins any time. I know you love them, but just let them go, it'll be OK.

I do not own any coins with planned mintages over 50,000. At that level is the 1990 2 g silver dragon & phoenix, which probably has a much smaller mintage, and an even smaller surviving mintage due to usage in jewelry. It's an extremely popular coin, and has been performing well. If it weren't such a great investment coin, I would not have bothered with it. Normally, my favorite investment coins have planned mintages under 1000. Those are getting out of reach for most people though, so my next favorite are 70 grade coins with planned mintages under 30,000.

That's a big jump from mintages of 1k to 30k, but the important fact is the 70 grade. Many of those coins are very difficult to get in a 70 grade. Some of them have populations of only 1 coin! Those coins are AVAILABLE, and VERY RARE. And, as a bonus, they're still within reach of most people. The best investment is not just a good investment, it's also one that YOU can afford.

A good example is the 2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary proof pandas. They have been performing well in a 70 grade recently, as has been pointed out to me a few times, and it's also mentioned by tamo42 in the sold coins list for this article (see below). Previously, they had risen to somewhere around $200, but then dropped WAAAY back to something like $50 to $80. After they started hitting record prices, large supplies of them came to the market to push prices back down. Now that supply is gone, and prices are rising again.

They're available in both 69 and 70 grades, but when buyers have the choice, and the 70 grade is not much more expensive than the 69, you know which one they buy? The 70 grade of course. Whenever there's a 70 on the market, it's like a light attracting moths. The 69 grade coins aren't quite "investment grade" when 70's are available. That's why investors have to stick to buying the best of the best. You want coins that people are eager to obtain for increasing prices - NOT coins that people will buy if they're cheap enough.

When inflation increases, and bullion grabs the spotlight, the less desirable coins are going to languish. If you're in coins, you need to keep upgrading. Lots of people are being priced out of the hard asset markets because they weren't aggressive enough in staying ahead of the economic problems. It's like an endurance race where the winner isn't necessarily the fastest, but instead just the one that doesn't quit.

Should you be investing in silver? If you have plenty of food, yes. It'll cost less than $2000 for a year's supply of food, should the worst happen, and hyperinflation begins. If you put that $2000 into silver, you may be impressed with the gains in silver value, but you'll end up losing when it costs you that much for a 6 month's supply of food. Inflation makes money worthless. This has an exponential effect on prices. If nobody can afford food, how many farmers are going to be able to afford to keep producing it? If nobody can afford fuel, how many truckers are going to keep delivering it?

In short, you have no business investing in anything if you aren't prepared to take care of basic needs first. Put $2000 into food, then invest in coins, THEN invest in silver. If don't follow that advice, you may end up with lots of coins, but no one that can afford to buy them (except rich people who don't like the cheap coins you have...). When you get hungry, you'll be trading gold pandas for loaves of bread. The same is true for bullion. Pay for your basic needs with paper money, and hold on to your good stuff for when times get better. That's when your biggest investment profits will be realized.

Make sure you have the best investments you can afford, and that you have your basic needs covered. Then, consider investing in some precious metals. If you put yourself in a situation that runs counter to Gresham's law, where you need to circulate good money to pay for your basic needs, then you just dropped out of the race. Gresham's law says that the bad money will circulate while the good money gets hoarded. Make sure you're not needing to circulate good money, or you'll be at a disadvantage to everyone else, even though you started off well.

What's the difference between an athlete that doesn't place at the Olympics, and an average nobody? Nothing, except the athlete wasted a whole lot more of his effort. Just because you've done well so far does not mean you're going to come out of these hard times as a winner. You're as weak and vulnerable as everyone else, and maybe even more so. Before you start buying bullion, coins, or any other investment, make sure you're financially strong enough to handle it. Don't get into a situation where your using silver to buy food.

OK, enough preaching, I think you get the idea. If you've got all your affairs in order, go for it - invest some of your money in silver. Diversification is good, and having a little silver will help you buy more-profitable coins when the opportunities come up.
« Last Edit: 2011 Oct 12, 06:14:23 pm by badon » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 2011 Oct 12, 09:24:09 am »

It's always interesting to watch the ebb and flow of the market. Recently we've seen spikes in gold. Now it's silver. The smaller silver coins have shown surprising gains. The 24 g Empress of China reached a new high in MS 69 condition. The 2007 1/4 oz anniversary pandas also hit new highs. Check out the sold listings for more.

Supply is growing, but supply of rare coins seems to be shrinking. Take everyone's favorite, the god of war & wealth. These are getting harder and harder to find in PF 69 condition. In total though, this list starts off at 416 coins.

I can't help but think of Dickens', "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times."
« Last Edit: 2011 Oct 12, 09:52:20 am by tamo42 » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: 2011 Oct 12, 09:24:16 am »

Table of contents


Not everything is in the table of contents, but all the important stuff is here.

* Opera web browser
* Coins sold from the previous list
* Chinese coins are better
* Register, read replies, get NOTIFICATIONS, access drafts
* Recommended reading
* Problem sellers
* NCS conserved
* 70 grade coins
* Proof pandas
* BU pandas
* Platinum and palladium pandas
* Other pandas and expo coins
* Lunar coins
* Other investment grade coins
* Helpful searches
« Last Edit: 2011 Oct 12, 09:46:56 am by tamo42 » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: 2011 Oct 12, 09:24:25 am »

Opera web browser



I have found that the fastest web browser for loading these pages of coins is the Opera web browser. With other browsers, my fastest quad core computer slows down a lot on just one page. With Opera, I can load the whole thing up on my slowest computer, no problem. Get it now:

http://www.opera.com/browser/download/

There's also a handy "portable" version that does not require installation:

http://www.opera-usb.com/operausben.htm

Click on "Mainpage" to find versions in other languages besides English.
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« Reply #4 on: 2011 Oct 12, 09:24:43 am »

Coins sold from the Modern Chinese coin investments LIST #95 article

Coin Sold  Sale Price  Sale Type  Melt RatioAg oz priceAu oz price
1980 10 g silver olympic wrestling NGC PF 69 CA$306auction29.79.560.18
1981 15 g silver lunar rooster NGC PF 69 UC$2400auction155.751.44
1982 1/4 oz gold panda NGC MS 69$852auction2.0426.60.51
1983 1/10 oz gold panda PCGS MS 69$374auction2.2411.60.22
1986 1/20 oz gold panda NGC MS 69$132.5auction1.594.140.07
1986 1/4 oz gold panda NCS NGC MS 69$472.99auction1.1314.70.28
1986 22 g silver WWF panda NGC PF 69 UC$343auction15.110.70.20
1986 24 g silver Empress of China NGC MS 69$132.49auction5.364.140.07
1987 P 1/10 oz gold proof panda NGC PF 69 UC$386.99auction2.3212.00.23
1987 S 1/10 oz gold panda NCS NGC MS 69$255auction1.537.960.15
1987 S 1/10 oz gold panda PCGS MS 69$241.16auction1.447.530.14
1988 1/10 oz gold panda PCGS MS 69$234auction1.407.310.14
1988 P 1/10 oz gold proof panda NGC PF 69 UC$386.99auction2.3212.00.23
1989 1 oz silver lunar snake NGC PF 69 UC$1325auction41.441.40.79
1989 1 oz silver panda PCGS MS 69$137.53auction4.294.290.08
1989 1/10 oz gold panda PCGS MS 69$237.5auction1.427.420.14
1989 22 g silver Chinese historical figures Kublai Khan small army NGC PF 69 UC$400offer17.612.50.24
1990 2 g silver dragon & phoenix NCS NGC PF 69 UC$315Buy-It-NowHuh?9.840.18
1990 P 1 oz silver proof panda NCS NGC PF 69 UC$273.88auction8.558.550.16
1991 1 oz silver panda large date NGC MS 69$212.5auction6.646.640.12
1992 1/2 oz gold panda small date NCS NGC MS 69$1650auction1.9851.50.99
1992 15 g silver Marco Polo NGC PF 69 UC$98.46auction6.373.070.05
1992 22 g silver invention & discovery seismograph NCS NGC PF 69 UC$288Buy-It-Now12.790.17
1993 1 oz silver panda small date NGC MS 69$224auction770.13
1993 1/10 oz gold panda large date PCGS MS 69$280.56auction1.688.760.16
1994 1/10 oz gold panda small date PCGS MS 69$368.33auction2.2111.50.22
1994 1/4 oz gold panda small date NCS NGC MS 69$1143.18auction2.7435.70.68
1994 P 1 oz silver proof unicorn NGC PF 69 UC$659auction20.520.50.39
1995 1 oz silver panda small twig large date NGC MS 69$207.5auctionHuh?6.480.12
1995 1 oz silver panda small twig small date NCS NGC MS 69$2150Buy-It-Now67.167.11.29
1995 1/10 oz gold proof unicorn NGC PF 70 UC$1298.99auction7.7940.50.77
1995 1/2 oz silver panda large date PCGS MS 69$100auction6.253.120.06
1996 27 g silver olympic sailboarding NGC PF 69 UC$101auction3.633.150.06
1997 1 oz silver panda small date NGC MS 69$153.75auction4.804.800.09
1997 1 oz silver panda small date NGC MS 69$131.5auction4.104.100.07
1997 1/2 oz silver unicorn PCGS MS 70$237.55auction14.87.420.14
1998 1 oz silver aviation expo panda NGC MS 69$203.51auction6.356.350.12
1998 1 oz silver panda small date NGC MS 69$202.5auction6.326.320.12
1998 1/20 oz gold panda small date NGC MS 69$1275offer15.339.80.76
1998 1/20 oz gold panda small date PCGS MS 69$1180auction14.136.80.70
1998 1/4 oz gold panda large date PCGS MS 69$6500offer15.6203.3.90
1998 1/4 oz gold panda small date PCGS MS 69$1950auction4.6860.91.17
1999 1 oz silver panda small date NGC MS 69$242.49auction7.577.570.14
2000 1 oz silver Guangzhou expo panda NGC MS 69$650auction20.320.30.39
2000 1 oz silver panda frosted NGC MS 69$456auction14.214.20.27
2000 1 oz silver panda frosted NGC MS 69$475Buy-It-Now14.814.80.28
2001 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 69$137.5auction4.294.290.08
2003 1 oz silver panda frosted NGC MS 70$549.99Buy-It-Now17.117.10.33
2005 1 oz silver Beijing expo panda NCS NGC MS 69$235Buy-It-Now7.347.340.14
2005 1 oz silver Beijing expo panda NGC MS 69$234.5auction7.327.320.14
2005 1 oz silver Shanghai bank panda NGC MS 69$167.5auction5.235.230.10
2005 1/2 oz palladium proof panda NGC PF 69 UC$925auction3.0528.90.55
2006 1 oz silver panda NGC MS 70$500offer15.615.60.30
2007 1 oz gold panda PCGS MS 70$3850auction2.31120.2.31
2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary proof panda 1986 NGC PF 70 UC$112.5auction14.03.510.06
2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary proof panda 1989 NGC PF 70 UC$112.5auction14.03.510.06
2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary proof panda 1995 NGC PF 70 UC$112.5auction14.03.510.06
2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary proof panda 1997 NGC PF 70 UC$102.5auction12.83.200.06
2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary proof panda 1999 NGC PF 70 UC$102.5auction12.83.200.06
2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary proof panda 2005 NGC PF 70 UC$127.5auction15.93.980.07
2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary proof panda 2006 NGC PF 70 UC$174.49auction21.85.450.10
2007 1/4 oz silver 25th anniversary proof panda 2007 NGC PF 70 UC$102.5auction12.83.200.06
2008 1 oz silver scallop flower lunar rat NGC PF 69 UC$206auction6.436.430.12
Total 63 coins:$39397.33123123.6
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« Reply #5 on: 2011 Oct 12, 09:25:00 am »

Chinese coins are better





* Fidelity Overseas Fund (FOSFX)
* NASDAQ Average
* Brazilian Stock Index (BVSP)
* Crude Oil
* Gold
* Silver
* Chinese coins

This information comes from http://www.pandacollector.com/

The Fishball Panda Index

Created by Fishball at the Silver Stackers forum, the Fishball Panda Index (FPI) is to be an index of entry level Pandas (bullion) which is to be updated on a monthly basis using data from Peter Anthony's pricepedia.

MonthSilver FPIGold 1/20 oz FPIGold 1/10 oz FPIGold 1/4 oz FPI
Aug 20111000100010001000
Sep 20111019.221012.691027.901107.29
Oct 20111025.631122.241142.991183.32
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« Reply #6 on: 2011 Oct 12, 09:25:13 am »

Sell your coins on LBC or CCF forums



The Chinese coin marketplace on LBC is a topic started by groovemachine for selling coins amongst LBC members. It's been around for a while now, and seems to be getting interesting, so I figured I would mention it here. Ebay is by far the best place to buy and sell coins, but sometimes it's interesting to see what's been posted over there.

There's also a similar place at the CCF
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« Reply #7 on: 2011 Oct 12, 09:25:19 am »

Register, read replies, get NOTIFICATIONS, access drafts



Always come back to check the replies on these articles. That's where most of the good stuff is! Register on the forums and click the "NOTIFY" button on this article to receive email notifications of new replies that may make some easy money for the first person to read it. Many of the best coins only last for a few minutes or seconds before somebody grabs them. If you get notified of replies, you'll be able to see anything new that I list right when I list it. You'll also stay informed of the hot topics, and see what other people are talking about buying.

Also, once you're registered on the forums, you can access the drafts forum where I post stuff I'm working on. Having access to my drafts lets you see the good stuff before anybody else - sometimes only minutes before, and sometimes more than a week before! You'll have valuable advanced information before the rest of the market gets it! Of course, you MUST click on the "NOTIFY" button for the drafts forum if you want to receive an instant notification that a draft has been posted.

Hint: Once you see the first draft, click the "NOTIFY" button for the draft. When my draft is almost ready for publishing, I break up the post into replies that follow the first post of the draft. You'll get a notification that a reply has been posted, and that will tell you the draft is almost done. A near-finished draft with the replies will contain more, better info than the first draft notification, so that's the good info you want to see.

Finally, you'll want to stay up-to-date on my postings, so click the "NOTIFY" button on my blog forum. You may want to take a look there from time to time, especially to read my older postings that are packed with valuable money-making information. If you're wondering if I'm worth listening to, you can see a list of my articles sorted by date. Check out the older ones to see my track record at predicting the markets. It's impressive, if I do say so myself. No one on the planet as a track record like mine. You can trust my predictions, they're always right!

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« Reply #8 on: 2011 Oct 12, 09:25:33 am »

NCS and NGC need 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.
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« Reply #9 on: 2011 Oct 12, 09:25:38 am »

NCS conserved certificates?



What if NCS started selling certificates that said that a coin had been conserved? Would you want one for each of your coins, so you could prove to a buyer that your coins are professionally conserved? It's been impossible so far to persuade NCS and NGC to start labeling conserved coins. But, they may be willing to produce certificates, especially if it earns them a little extra money.

Prices earned by sellers have been significantly better for the coins they advertise as NCS conserved. When buyers have a choice between 2 coins, one that's cheaper, but not NCS conserved, and one that's significantly more expensive, but has been NCS conserved, the buyers almost always choose the NCS coins first. Once those are gone, then the unconserved coins start selling again.

Many of the sellers are able to provide paperwork to show that a coin has been conserved, and the seller's reputation leads to buyers trusting sellers when they say the coins are conserved. But what about the buyer when it comes time to sell? It would be very helpful if they had a certificate from NCS that says for certain that a coin has been conserved. It would add value to the coins when they initially sell from a dealer, and it will also make it easier for the buyer to sell later too.

Further down in this article is Craig Fiumara's contact information at NCS. It would be helpful to make this possibility a reality if you told him you'd like to buy conservation certificates for your coins.
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