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It's Panda Time!



and other news and teasers of what's to come.

I find that I tend to get sidetracked rather easily. My registry is somewhat representative of this; 46 sets. I started a few projects mostly just for fun. Then I left them standing when I couldn't support every set and I moved back to one of my core projects. My Chinese Panda set has been a really acute example of this. About 10 months ago I bought the 2008 Panda and made a registry set for it. I was just starting to think about building my signature set and I was forming an idea of what it would include. The Pandas were always going to be a part of it, at least, as much a part of it as I can afford. Sadly some of the early Pandas are extremely expensive (by my standards) and will likely never make it into my set(s). The problem was, I still had a ways to go on the silver Eagles and the Lunar series, and I still have some on going projects like the mint state presidential dollars. I couldn't support all of these and the Pandas, and last year those other projects were more important. So that one coin sat alone in its competitive "set" for 10 months. (Can 1 coin ever really be called a "set?") Ah well, it had company in the signature set, right?

Now? I've basically finished my Eagles and the lunar series (and I?m sure everyone is eager for me to stop talking about those sets). I still need to add the 2009 issues and I'm waiting on 6 of my other Eagles to come back from an appearance review (well, only 5 of them are coming back, NGC has elected to replace one of them). As I look to continue expanding my set, the Pandas come to the forefront at last. I'm also still working on the Libertads but that's not really going to make for easy progress. I want a parallel path of development. It?ll help keep my frustration levels down. The Pandas just seem like the obvious choice.

So, about a week ago I purchased my 2nd and 3rd Pandas. They're a 1995 "Large Twig" and a 1996 "Small Date," both in MS69. They're actually some of the few coins I've purchased of late that earn points. These additions pushed me close to a landmark value I've been nearing for a while, 50,000 total points (it was actually the re-valuation of the Franklins that pushed me over the top just a few hours after I added the Pandas). I?m hoping to add several more Pandas to my registry in the next couple of weeks. They truly are a wonderful series. Some of the dates I?m hoping to acquire in the near future include the 1989, 1990, 2001, 2005, and 2009. Some sellers I trust have them available at good prices, I just have to make funds available (sometimes easier said than done). The series also meshes well with some other additions I?m working on, like the short-lived (4-year) Unicorn series and some other single-year Chinese issues.

In some other news, my step-father located a MS67FT 1958-D 10C for a pretty nice price. He made me aware of it and I?ve arranged the purchase. It?ll be a great new addition to the 1958 year set that he wants to build (I think that?s the one for his brother?s birth year). It?s a bright, white, glowing coin in one of the ?intermediate? holders, the ones with the new label but no prongs. It has a pretty substantial point value associated with it as all high grade MSFT Roosevelt dimes do. This is one series that I?d like to see lowered a bit, but for reasons that probably aren?t immediately apparent.

Since I received my refund check from the IRS this week, I elected to use the bulk of it to buy a special new coin. Yes, it?s for the signature set. No, it?s not a Panda. It?s a truly wonderful and special coin (IMO) and I?ll be showing it off later. We?ll see then if the rest of you agree with me. It has a relatively limited mintage by modern standards, only 50000, and only 15 have been graded by NGC according to the census. (Have I teased you with it enough yet? ? perhaps.)

The picture is the 1995 Panda ?Large Twig.?




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