The month of June features two coin shows on two continents which are important to the modern Chinese coin market. First up is the Long Beach Expo, and although this show is held three times per year, the June show is the one at which the most Chinese dealers are in attendance and business in Panda coins is most robust. The timing is more conducive to travel and the midpoint of the year means that dealers can take stock of their needs and fill orders. Next up is the Hong Kong International Numismatic Fair (HKINF) held from June 23rd through the 25th at The Mira Hotel. Featuring more than 50 dealers from around the world, there will also be a world coin sale held by Heritage Auctions from the 21st through 23rd. The auction offers 772 lots, of which 528 are Chinese coins. Naturally many of these are modern Chinese pieces, and amongst the highlight lots are two that feature sets: this first is a date run of one ounce gold Pandas from 1982 to 2011 all graded MS69 by NGC, and the second is an impressive complete set of silver 12 ounce Lunar coins, all graded PR68 by PCGS. Also offered is one of the scarce 12-ounce gold Pandas, this one from 1987. With a mintage of 3,000 pieces, this piece is graded PR69 by NGC, a rarely-seen grade, as these large coins are prone to spotting and other marks which limit their grade.
This month we note weakness primarily in the one-quarter and half-ounce gold Pandas. These fractional pieces contain many of the key dates in the entire Panda series because, like the American Gold Eagles, the fractional coins have smaller mintages than the one ounce (or full size) coins. Despite this, prices have softened which may signal lesser demand for Panda Master sets. However, one characteristic we have observed about the modern Chinese market is that it moves rapidly, and what is cold one month may be hot again in a relatively short period of time.