Your CDN editors launched the Goldsheet at the Hong Kong Coin Show in early April to highly receptive audience of (mostly) Asia-based dealers and collectors (pictures on page 10). The market in Asia is a sleeping giant ready to roar and the major U.S. auction houses and grading companies are already entrenched there. A few U.S. dealers were set up at the show taking advantage of huge crowds on the floor seeking fresh material. Asian dealers are surprisingly enthusiastic about the Westerners coming to their side of pond. The market in the Far East has the feeling of early days of certification here in the U.S. and we encourage any American dealer to make a trip to one of the upcoming shows, which we will be blogging about in the near future.
For this month’s Goldsheet, we thought it would be a good idea to review the differences between Chinese Panda coinage and U.S. coinage with regards to original packaging. This is primarily to help American dealers understand one of the methods on how we arrive at our prices. Modern coinage issued by the United States Mint are typically—but not always—issued in a hard, clear plastic capsule, some type of outer box, and a slip of paper with the specifications of the coins. This jargon for this “Original Government Packaging” is commonly referred to as OGP. It is understood by dealers that items such as proof and mint sets, commemorative silver dollars, and proof silver eagles will trade at a discount if they are not accompanied by all their original packaging. Additionally, coins with boxes that are ripped or otherwise damaged will trade at a discount.
Modern Chinese Pandas are quite different. They are sold by the China Mint in a sealed, clear soft plastic pouch with no box. This is referred to as “Original Mint Packaging,” or OMP. The pattern of the seal will indicate which mint produced the coin. In what may be surprising to U.S. dealers, back date Pandas in OMP are in some cases more desirable than certified ones. We bring this up because future issues of the Goldsheet may show a higher price in the OMP column as opposed to the certified grades for certain Pandas. This goes against the norm that a certified coin will always carry a higher bid than a raw OMP coin.