Shanghai. Part I

Discussion in 'Modern Chinese Coins & Medallions' started by 25Grizzlies, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. 25Grizzlies

    25Grizzlies Member

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    Shanghai, a few days in Panda paradise

    Thought I'd share my experiences and impressions from a few days coin hunting in the sprawling metropolis that is Shanghai. The place makes Melbourne look very, very small with over 30 million people there is city as far as the eye can see and people everywhere! Luckily I had an experienced guide in the form of our esteemed forum leader and fellow Panda enthusiast, yennus.

    I'd booked 4 nights at the Grand Mecure, Zhabei on agoda (highly recommended site, just be sure of your travel dates!) scored the executive suite on a hot deal. The thing was bigger than my house and very comfortable. Easy to get to from Pudong airport (Maglev gets you into the city in 8 minutes at 300kph), transfer and get off at Shanghai Railway station if using PT. No hesitation recommending this hotel, although the English among a lot of the staff was limited, a competent speaker was never far away and they were always smiling and helpful. Made me think about what we are missing in Melbourne sometimes

    I'd arranged to meet yennus at the hotel the following evening, he arrived with his lovely wife and young son, we took the taxi to world famous Nanjing Rd, a sort of walking street. The scale of the buildings and living spaces really does have to be seen to be appreciated, many wonderful sights and sounds and people swarming about. oh, and cold too! We checked out some non-Panda gold and silver popular forms which, although some were stunning didn't really appeal to me. Nice as something different to have though but as I'm not wealthy will stick to the game I'm hunting.

    There was 1 shop selling MCC's there and what an introduction, I'm looking down at a full set of 89-00 lunar animal 1 oz gold coins also other rare coins just casually hanging out in her modest display case. Ok, I thought, I'm about to experience something pretty special in this town from a coin collector perspective.

    The next day we visited what can only be described as a coin shopping mall with quite possibly the largest number of MCCs per square metre on the planet. Without doubt the most wonderful coin market this humble collector has seen to date. I was walking around mouth agape at what was on offer. What really struck me was the variety of coins in both gold and silver (esp in the larger sizes), glass cabinets full with OMP coins, full sets dealers unwilling to split up and just the sheer wealth present in the place. Another glaring feature was the lack of NGC graded coins. There were many of course but as a % I'd say it was pretty small. Yennus informed me that the majority of dealers were millionaires and that there was a wait list to get a stall in the market. We are NOT talking a boot sale here, these are the true heavy hitters of MCC!

    I got the feeling there was possibly EVERY single MCC available within those 4 walls, well, not every coin but you get the idea. In hindsight, I would have researched better the coins I specifically wanted, especially the rarer ones I like so much. The sets such as inventions etc, were all available. None of the coins were being given away, in fact a good many were more expensive than can be found recently on ebay and ungraded at that. Point being that if there's a coin you're looking for you'll likely find it here. It is guaranteed to become distracted in such a place, remain focused and pick up only the coins you are after before you walk in. Unless you are Jim Rogers O to have his bankroll in there, I would've relieved many dealers of their coins!

    I truly was on a hunt and realise now why Yennus refers to it as such from seeing him in action. I see why he can sell coins at the prices he does to us, he buys at prices that reflect his hard work at building relationships amongst the big sellers there. As many on the forum can attest to he's a genuinely honest guy and in the Panda world one of the best to deal with.

    There is a new dimension been added to my purchasing strategy from this trip, that is to physically see the coin before purchasing it and gauge its quality for myself. Nothing comes close, it's not like buying a coin off ebay. Obviously ebay is still the most practical place to buy coins but I do recommend considering keeping some powder dry and visit Shanghai for those hard to find great OMP coins. Snare a few gems and soon the trip will pay for itself!

    The big purchase for me was a bi metal Panda from the Pandaman aka Kung Fu Panda. Thought I'd died and gone to heaven standing in his shop, was great to see a coin on my hit list and in perfect condition. Nice price also. All I want for this year is a flat market please! Yennus introduced me to Xu, great variety as expected and his prices were exorbitant IMO, no discount for showing up thats for sure. I was going to buy his '93 archaeological set but at $5k decided he could keep it instead. I met the Goldman, funny how in a place like that you can acquire the name, he only had gold and a lot of it, great dealer if you visit and after the yellow metal all OMP stuff again. Yennus' friend Mr.Waang has a literal treasure chest of high quality and rare silver coins, mainly OMP and very worthy of a visit to hand over some of your hard earned.

    Other highlights of the day were a number of '91 piedfort anni coins, seeing a '95 1 oz UCMS69 Gold Panda, the number of full Lunar sets on display, a '92 1/10, 1/28 bimetal (key date) and a pristine sheet of '95 MD 1oz silver Pandas (Yennus helped himself to a few for the Aussie buyers). A large number of brass Pandas (83 and 84's) and a dealer with every single one of the Olympic coins. Nice!

    Writing this from Phnom Penh, am unable to load photos but will post a few when I'm back home.

    To be continued...
     
  2. yennus

    yennus Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Awesome post!

    Please come back again! :)
     
  3. jc888888888

    jc888888888 New Member Silver Stacker

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    cool ,loved reading it! one quick question sellers take usd or aud, or do you need to convert to RMB
     
  4. mfm

    mfm New Member

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    RMB only (some may take international credit cards)
     
  5. Dandan

    Dandan New Member

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    Great post! Thank you
     
  6. Anthony

    Anthony New Member

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    I wish I was in the silver game a few years ago when I went to Shanghai. You never really know where the city begins and stops.

    Looking forward to part 2 :)

    Also this thread is lacking photos!!!
     
  7. Lunardragon

    Lunardragon Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Waiting for part 2 ....
     
  8. fishball

    fishball New Member Silver Stacker

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    Awesome stuff :)
     
  9. 25Grizzlies

    25Grizzlies Member

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    Sellers in the main take RMB exclusively though possibly you can negotiate a currency swap. To obtain my bimetal thats what I did at a rate of 6%. Best way is to be organised and deposit funds with yennus before you go, that way you save on the currency conversion.
     
  10. 25Grizzlies

    25Grizzlies Member

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    We all wish we were in Pandas 2 years ago! :lol:

    Cheers Anthony, Part II next week when I return and photos to come also (left my USB cable to the camera at home, Ive missed it)
     
  11. fishball

    fishball New Member Silver Stacker

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    We better be gettin souvenirs, in the form of super rare MCCs ;) *

    *I can dream can't I
     
  12. 25Grizzlies

    25Grizzlies Member

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    Awesome post, awesome host! :D

    Coming back later in the year is pretty much a given, had a wonderful time!

    Thanks again yennus :)
     
  13. 25Grizzlies

    25Grizzlies Member

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    I've got some ginseng tea if you're interested :lol:

    Wish I was rich enough to buy you all a MCC souvenir.

    Speaking of dreaming... I was literally pinching myself in there, makin sure I wasn't asleep!!
     
  14. fishball

    fishball New Member Silver Stacker

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    Is the Ginseng tea graded or OMP?
     
  15. 25Grizzlies

    25Grizzlies Member

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    :lol:

    OMP

    I tried it, should grade at least a 68.

    It was a bit of a scam, but a pretty tame one as far as scams go... more on this in Part II
     
  16. yennus

    yennus Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I went hunting a few days ago, everyone was asking where 25Grizzlies went.

    Come back soon :)

    You got the right name for the Hunt too! :)
     
  17. kingzac

    kingzac New Member

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    Yennus, I've mentioned to you before that I'll be in Shanghai next month, any chance you could give me some directions to this market? If I'm nearby I'll defiantely stop in. Maybe even see you in action? :p
     
  18. Pandacollector

    Pandacollector Active Member

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    Great story! I look forward to 25Grizzlies' return and seeing his Shanghai photos. While we wait here are a few snapshots of the coin market to give everyone an idea of what he is describing:

    [​IMG]
    Source: China Pricepedia


    [​IMG]
    Source: China Pricepedia


    [​IMG]
    Source: China Pricepedia


    [​IMG]
    Source: China Pricepedia

    Best wishes,
    Peter Anthony
    http://www.pandacollector.com
     
  19. 25Grizzlies

    25Grizzlies Member

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    Thanks for the save Peter! That's the market alright and how about those '00 gold dragons! I kept saying 'wow' all over that place, yennus must've been tiring of hearing it. I was surprised at how unorganised many of the stalls were, guess that's China for you. Have to have a keen eye to spot the gems... its harder to do when they're stacked on top of one another. e.g. I saw one corner of the '92 bimetal and picked it out, we're talking about a key date there. Thats the sort of coin you'd think would be prominently displayed. Just my opinion.
     
  20. Pandacollector

    Pandacollector Active Member

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    The coin market started off as a catch-as-catch-can affair and that spirit is still alive and well there. Things are just done differently. I would bet, though, that most of the other dealers in the market knew about that "hidden" '92 bimetallic, and if you had asked any of them about it they would have come running to the one guy who had one to try and collect a commission on the sale.

    Best wishes,
    Peter Anthony
    http://www.pandacollector.com
     

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