Interview with FS Yip, Founder of Panda Lot Shop Malaysia

Interview with Panda Lot Shop

We recently met a Chinese Panda silver coin enthusiastic and manage to have an interview with him. Nicknamed the Pandaman, FS Yip discussed with InvestSilverMalaysia.com his views and opinions on investing in Chinese Panda silver coins.

Q: Hi FS Yip. Can you share with us your early days in investing in Silver? What brings you into investing silver?

Hi KH. Between 2009 and 2010, I read about silver investment from Robert Kiyosaki’s book. However, during that time, I was clueless about how to buy physical silver or even paper silver!

I asked my family members and friends but they all have no clues on how to invest in silver. Finally, in October 2011, I’ve found a thread in Lowyat.net on investing physical silver. Since then, I have been consistently buying and selling physical silver.

Q: Of all silver coins in the market now, it is noticeable that you have particular interest in Chinese Panda. Please share with us, what ignites your interest in the coin?

My first purchase was 1oz Chinese Silver Panda 2011. I was offered a good price that time. Thereafter, just like many, I started buying all sort of silver coin like Canadian Maple Leaf, Australian Kookaburra, Perth Mint Lunar etc.

Chinese Panda Silver Coin 2011

^ FS Yip started off with 2011 Chinese Panda

After comparing the details and handicrafts of many silver coins, I had my target set on Silver Pandas. Not only they are nicely crafted, they are also a popular investment choice in China, US, Europe and Australia!

Q: Can you please tell use a little bit of Panda Silver coins background?

The Chinese Silver Panda is a series of silver bullion coins issued by the People’s Republic of China. It ranges from 0.5 troy oz to 1 kilogram. There are 3 mints that produce this Panda Silver coins namely, Shenzhen Mint, Shanghai Mint and Shenyang Mint. On the Chinese Silver Panda’s obverse is the Temple of Heaven.

Chinese Panda 2010
^ Panda 2010 which features 2 actively playing Pandas

The temple which located in Beijing was built during the Ming Dynasty in the fifteenth century for China’s royalty and elite to worship. On top of the temple, there are seven Chinese characters “Zhong Hua Ren Min Gong He Guo” which means People’s Republic of China and the year of issue is at the bottom. The reverse of the coin features different portrait of panda every year (except for 2001 and 2002, which share the same design).

Q: Would you mind to share with our readers on your most priced Panda collection?

I have been collecting graded NGC MS69 Silver Panda and Silver Panda with Original Mint Packaging (OMP). My two most priced Silver Pandas are the 1oz 2003 OMP (Shanghai Mint) and the 1oz 2003 NGC MS69.

Chinese Panda 2003 in OMP and NGC MS69
^ Personal collection of FS Yip – the 2003 OMP Panda and 2003 NGC MS69 Panda

They are worth approximately USD$200 per piece today in the market. The availbility of Panda 2003 is estimated to be less than 145,000 worldwide. Shanghai Mint minted only 10-15% of the total.

There are other more expensive Silver Pandas in the market namely The BIG THREE. They are the 2000 Mirror, 1999 Large Date Serif and 1995 Micro Date; which I could not afford them – yet.

Q: How would you compare Chinese Panda with Perth Mint’s recent Lunar Dragon?

I bought few of Perth Mint’s Lunar Dragon because the design was attractive and the prospect for it was positive. I have invested USD$100 each when it was first released. Sadly, the price loses its shine and has been reduced to roughly USD$80 a piece today.

Lunar Dragon Set of 10
^ Perth Mint’s Lunar Dragon now comes in red, blue, purple and more.

Dragon started off with high colours along with a high premium. In comparison to Silver Panda, Panda sells at approximately USD$10 above premium at release. After considering the benefit of low premium with high upside of appreciations, I diverted my focus and is now investing more of Silver Panda.

Dragons has been overhyped. The 1oz Dragon was initially planned with 300,000 mintage. However, Perth Mint went around the mint limit by offering various sizes and versions for it – the privy dragon, colored dragon, boxed series, comical series and more to come. Perth Mint just killed the scarcity by over producing it.

Q: We have noted that you have recently started Panda Silver Lot Malaysia. What drives you to start Panda Silver Lot Malaysia?

Yes, I recently started a Facebook group – Panda Lot Shop. The main purpose for this group is to have a common place to gather Malaysian Panda investors and collectors and to exchange knowledge among each other.

There are many topics to be addressed such as genuine vs. counterfeit Pandas, the rareness of Pandas and discussion on varieties of Pandas.

Fake Chinese Panda Silver Coin
^ Forensic analysis of counterfeit pandas are discussed in Panda Lot Shop

Members in the group can have a place for second or third opinions on Pandas they wish to invest but know little of. Tradings are allowed in the group as well. This is a group exclusively for Chinese Pandas lovers!

Q: What are your visions for Panda Silver Lot Malaysia?

My vision for Panda Lot Shop is to create awareness and interest of Chinese Panda coins collection and investment in Malaysia.

Q: Is Panda Silver Lot Malaysia open for public? How would you recruit new member to Panda Silver Lot Malaysia?

Panda Lot Shop (PLS) is a closed Facebook group. New members are by invitations only. Any interested candidates can email me at yipfs@hotmail.com for further information about the group.

Q: Lastly, what are your tips to a newbie who are interested in buying his or her first Panda?

Firstly, join Panda Lot Shop (PLS). Secondly, do some self-study on Pandas. Thirdly, when you have done your research and are comfortable, start investing by buying low premium Silver Pandas like the 2011 and 2012.

ISM: Thank you FS Yip for your time in this exclusive interview.

It is my great pleasure to share my knowledge.

We will be covering more Pandas in depth with FS Yip in our next interview. Please stay tuned for more!

Below is the link to FS Yip’s Panda Lot Shop.

Panda Lot Shop: http://www.facebook.com/groups/pandalotshop/

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