The proof series coins have been on my mind lately, yes it's a slow weekend, hah! So with threads about every type of silver BU rarities(?) to copper and bronze medals to expo coins I thought I'd take a layman's look at a recently maligned and forgotten flagship of the China Mint issues, the 1 oz proof silver Panda series '83-'85 and '87, then '89-'96. Also the '91 2 oz piedfort proof. Well, forgotten may be taking things a bit far but they have nonetheless taken a back seat over the last 6 months or so to other silver issues. Prices of the former series are steadily rising in price while the proofs have, with a few exceptions, been in decline or else remain stagnant. So why the change in fortunes? Why are these premium gems not keeping pace? I don't intend to offer a speculative reason here and insult the many educated collectors here who have a good idea of what's going on, rather point out that I think a rebound in their favour is surely around the corner. The proofs were where it all started in MC silver, they're certainly not done for by a long shot. Stating the obvious but it's worth remembering that they have mintages without question, any publication Ive seen quotes the same figures and there is little dispute that the CM produced the numbers stated. The expo coins also probably had all the stated numbers minted. Strictly speaking the remaining BU numbers are educated estimates. COULD be much LESS or many MORE remaining, wouldn't say that's a given, but in the cold light of day this is a POSSIBLLITY. Master Panda guru Mr.Anthony admits this is the case. So let's have some fun with a 1-13 of these great ultra cameos. Reasons for your ratings are welcome but not necessary. Include considerations such as prestige, price, design and eye appeal factors, frequency on offer for sale, even potential sleepers of the series or any other angles you can think of. 1. 1983 It's rare that the first coin of any series is the dominant key date by a country mile but that's how good this first offering is. If you're feeling rich buy a gem one. 2. 1995 Seldom offered in 69 grade and my favourite design of the series, its brother is the incredible 1 oz proof gold Panda at $15k. An absolutely superb collectible, if you have one I wouldn't be selling it yet, if ever 3. 1991 Anniversary Piedfort Ok, ok "but it's a 2 oz coin" I hear you say! Sorry about that, but this big bear doesn't care as it bullies its way up my list to #3. Irresistable high pedigree coin, all the anniversary coins from '91 are proving to be winners and this fine fat Panda holds its own among some illustrious company. 4. 1994 Mystery coin of the series for me, not infrequently offered but regularly sells for more than the '96 of which has half its mintage. Great design and bold frosted areas (possibly sex appeal?) means this coin punches above its weight, cool font. 5. 1996 'Should' be the key date of the series due to its mintage numbers being the fewest but as we're seeing mintage numbers is by no means the only factor when ranking coins. The 1oz gold proof of this year is extremely rare and amazing looking, strangely the silver version doesn't capture the same honour. 6. 1985 Early, 3rd year release and just a beautiful coin, classic design of playful Pandas. 7. 1984 Known as the ugly sister of the 3 due to its weak design, nonetheless it is part of the prestigious family and worthy of mid rank for me. 8. 1987 Isolated due to having no issues in years either side, this coin is populous but that doesn't seem to hinder its price, one in 69 can sell for higher than some of the coins mentioned above and all of those still to come. Last year of no .999 stated on the reverse, released as a set with the first year of the 5oz proof Panda. Even at high mintages a great investment in PF69. The last 5 gems of the series are harder to rank as they have generally proven to be undervalued in relation to the top proofs. 9. 1990 Bold design (awesome big head on this bear) it stands apart from the others, wouldn't look out of place among the 3 sisters. Underrated. 10/11. 1991/1992 Biased towards the '91 as it was the first 1oz Panda I bought. Once I held it I was hooked and I knew it would consign my bullion stack to a very shaky future. Wonderful symmetry and detail in this coin. The '92 is similar, the one I own is immaculate in OMP. Same mintage numbers of 20,000 each. 12/13. 1989/1993 I don't like to refer to Pandas as dogs but the years '89 and '93 have not proven popular unless you're collecting the series. The '93 isn't a very good design, not terrible but is missing something which keeps it unwanted. Seldomnly offered in high grade. The '89 is a definite preference design, they are always on offer and usually the cheapest score of the series. Ranking list 1. 1983 2. 1995 3. 1991 piedfort 4. 1994 5. 1996 6. 1985 7. 1984 8. 1987 9. 1990 10. 1991 11. 1992 12. 1989 13. 1993 So that's my 2 cents, love to hear opinions and discussion on this wonderful series.