Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2013 "Shanghai Memory" Jewish Ghetto Panda Coins - Beautiful Low Mintage Panda Medals

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.
  • First Panda medals minted with laser etched serial number
  • First Chinese numismatic piece with a Jewish theme.
  • Extremely low number of pieces produced
  • Designed by famed mint designer Rocky Zhao with his father, legendary engraver Qiming Zhao

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 Panda36
1 oz Gold Panda570
1 oz Silver Panda5773

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.

Matched Sets
Serial Numbers
3-coin Premium Set
5 oz Gold
1 oz Gold
1 oz Silver

#01 - 36
Gold & Silver Box Set
1 oz Gold
1 oz Silver
Special 2-coin Box

#37 - 200
Gold & Silver Paired Set
1 oz Gold
1 oz Silver
Separate Boxes

#201 - 570

 1 oz Silver with box #571 - 5773


The medals are all distributed with special packaging and materials.  

All come with:
  • Glass-Top Display Box
  • Torah-like scroll containing historical information.
  • Certificate of Authenticity (COA)

  • The silver medals are not in sealed plastic packs - only capsules.
  • #37 - 200 comes with a special glass-top display box which holds
    • one 1oz Gold
    • one 1 oz Silver
    • one Scroll
    • Single display box that holds both coins and the scroll
    • Two individual COAs
  • #201 - 570 are sold in matched pairs
    • one 1oz Gold
    • one 1oz Silver
    • two separate glass-top display boxes, each with scroll.
    • Two COAs
  • #571 - 5773 are 1oz Silver only
    • Glass-top display box
    • scroll
    • COA

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.


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