The Shanghai Mint has just produced a new and very interesting set of Panda medals commemorating 70th anniversary of the shelter of more than 18,000 European Jewish refugees in Shanghai during World War II. Officially known as the "Designated area for stateless refugees", and also know as the "Shanghai Ghetto" or "Hongkew Ghetto". The design of the medal represents the hospitality and humanitarianism of the Chinese people who offered the Jews refuge during the war.
The commemorative medals are a very unique and groundbreaking issue from the Shanghai Mint. These medals have a number of important characteristics that will make them very desirable to collectors. All are 99.9% pure gold or silver.
Exceptionally Low Mintages
We have not seen such low mintages Pandas since the 1990s. One example would the the Zurich International Coin Expo 1 oz Panda medal, mintage 550, which sold at the recent Hong Kong Auction for
almost $5700 in PF68.
Here are the official mintages:
|2013 Shanghai Memory||Mintage|
|5 oz Gold Panda||36|
|1 oz Gold Panda||570|
|1 oz Silver Panda||5773|
The 5 oz gold was sold out from distributors via pre-orders before release. In addition to the usual interest from Chinese collectors, demand from collectors of Jewish historical commemoratives has been very strong.
Laser-Etched Serial Numbers
The Shanghai Memory medals are all sequentially serialized with a number unique to the specific medal. The 5 oz Gold are numbered #1 - 36, the 1 oz Gold #1 - 570, and the silver #1 - 5773. Each coin has a certificate (COA) with the matching number.
Serialization presents some interesting new possibilities for collectors. As with serialized prints in the art world, early (lower numbered) coins may be considered more desirable, certain numbers may be more or less "auspicious", and matched sets can be created.
In fact, the lower numbered Shanghai Memory medals have been pre-packaged into gold and silver matched sets. Each of the different coins in the set has the same serial number. So in order to get the lower numbers, one must buy all of the available sizes. For example, to get #35, you have to buy the 5 oz gold, 1 oz gold, and the 1 oz silver, all of which will have 35 etched. Here is the serial number map.
|3-coin Premium Set|
5 oz Gold
#01 - 36
|Gold & Silver Box Set|
1 oz Gold
#37 - 200
|Gold & Silver Paired Set|
1 oz Gold
#201 - 570
|1 oz Silver with box||#571 - 5773|
The medals are all distributed with special packaging and materials.
All come with:
Where is the Panda?
There is a Panda on this medal. The girl under the umbrella is holding a panda doll!
Therefore this qualifies as a "Panda Coin"
Exquisitely Detailed and Full of Symbolism
The medals were commissioned by Danny Spungen, a major collector of Chinese coins as well as a researcher and collector of materials related to the Holocaust.
The medals are chock-full of symbolism. A detailed guide can be found here.