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Panda Collector: The gray and the gold
By Peter Anthony, WCN
May 12, 2014

This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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There are many reasons why people collect coins: for their beauty, their rarity, their history, their value and especially for fun.

I was at the very well-attended Singapore Coin Expo last week and sat down with members of a coin club. Everyone proudly showed off his or her new acquisitions. And everyone else always asked, “How much did it cost?” and “How much is it worth?” It was friendly banter with lots of laughter, but the one common thread between all the stories is that it pays to have knowledge. Nobody knows everything about every coin so there are always bargains to be found at a coin show when a buyer knows something a seller doesn’t.

So how do we develop the knowledge that can turn coin collecting from an expensive hobby into a profitable endeavor? As they say on Wall Street, buy low, sell high. A less well-known saying for coins is that you make your money when you buy coins, not when you sell them.

Nothing is easier than to sell a coin that everyone wants. What is more difficult is to buy something that has value when no one else sees the potential.

New collectors often ask me, “What should I buy?” I always reply, “Buy a book.” Books are outstanding sources of numismatic knowledge. For instance, in Singapore I came across an excellent new book on Malaysian bank notes. One coin dealer friend looked at it and told me, “Hey, this book could make me thousands of dollars!” And that was the last I saw of that book. Knowledge really is the key.

For Panda coins many people rely on my own book, The Gold & Silver Panda Coin Buyer’s Guide 2, as a reference. It is also newly available in Chinese from China Financial Press. Other good sources for information are publications like World Coin News and Numismatic News. The internet is a rich, if not always reliable, source of information about coins. The Chinese Coin Forum (http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php) is a site that every Chinese coin collector should be aware of.

What may matter most is that many Pandas are candidates to appreciate in value. That’s because there is a big gray area between bullion and numismatic coins that numerous Pandas fit into. A bullion coin is priced according to what it could be melted for. Basically price equals melt value. It only changes value due to fluctuations in the price of gold or silver.

On the other hand the melt value of a numismatic coin is inconsequential to its price. A coin that has $5 of silver in it but sells for $1,000 doesn’t change if silver goes up or down $5 an ounce.

As collectors lock up more and more Pandas in their collections the price of the coins that remain available rises. This is exactly the process that has driven up prices for many Pandas over the last decade. But this trend is not yet over. Ever rising mintages demonstrate that the popularity of Pandas continues to grow, especially in China.

So, go out and explore the world of Pandas. It’s fun, interesting and possibly profitable, as well.



More Coin Collecting Resources:

• Kick-start your coin collection with the Fundamentals of Coin Collecting set of essential resources and tools.

• Strike it rich with this U.S. coins value pack.

• Build an impressive collection with Coin Collecting 101.

 



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Comments
On May 19, 2014 bella said
There is some great information here. If more people were aware of this, our world would be a happier place. Thank you!
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