1/2 oz gold Panda, 1997, large date MS
The 1997 50 Yuan 1/2 oz. Small Date gold Panda was struck at the Shanghai Mint. The 1997 50 Yuan coins have an announced mintage of 15,483 but only a small fraction of these coins have apparently survived. 1997 was the year of the transfer of Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule as well as the Asian Financial Crisis. There was speculation and hoarding and then panic and selling. By mid-year Asian demand for Pandas had plummeted. The effects were not as severe elsewhere but the 1997 gold Pandas are still among the scarcer dates. The 50 Yuan Pandas are considered to be the scarcest 1997 denomination and are in very short supply
here are two major varieties of the 1997 50 Yuan gold Pandas: Small Date and Large Date. The two versions are not hard to tell apart; the numerals of the Small Date are much smaller than those of the Large Date. These Shanghai-struck 50 Yuan Small Dates are seen about equally often as the Shenyang-minted 50 Yuan Large Dates.
Mintage of 15,483 coins. This Panda coin is sealed in the original plastic as issued directly from the Chinese mint.