Giant Gold Panda Offered in Ponterio #147
While scanning through the auction catalog I noticed among the standouts a lovely set of 1/4 Ackey, 1/2 Ackey and Ackey 1796 silver tokens. These Gold Coasttypes are highly sought after in high grade and proofs are tough to find with nice even toning like this group displays. All three are NGC graded as Proof-62 or 63 and are being sold seperately as lots 231, 232 and 233. Estimates seem quite reasonable for the Ackey, while the fractional pieces are much higher than Standard Catalogvalues, indicating that adjustments might be warrented after we see the closing prices.
Several interesting Unusual World Coins are also being offered in this auction. One incredible eye popper is an extremely rare 12 Onzas medallic bullion piece from the Mexcio City Mint. This coin was from a series of medallic pieces struck to celebrate the 5th Birthday of Tohui a North American born Giant Panda. Tohui was born July 21, 1981 at the Chapultepec Zooin Mexico. The Chapultepec Zoo has a long history of excellence in biological studies from it's founding in 1923 to today. Tohui was famous for being the first Giant Panda born outside China to stay alive, so her 5th birthday was quite an event.
Medallic coins commemorating Tohui's first five years were struck in silver, gold and platinum in various weights and denominations. The largest two pieces to be struck were denominated as 12 Onzas, one type in gold and one in platinum. I have never seen a platinum one offered for sale and this is the first time I have seen a gold example of this size on the market.
In addition, the example in Ponterio #147 is edge numbered 000, leading their catalogers to dub it a pattern, which may be the case. Either way, as a 000 edge numbered piece it would be unique.
Unusual World Coinslists the 12 Onza gold type as X#MB31. Mintage for this type is listed at 100 pieces and actual gold weight is just a touch shy of 12 ounces.
Ponterio's coin is being sold as lot 1369 of auction #147with an estimate of $15,000-$20,000 and a grade of choice brilliant proof. Melt value on this piece would be about $10,000 given golds recent decline to the $800 an once level, making the auction estimate seem quite reasonable, if not a bit conservative given this pieces exceptional rarity.
Tohui passed away November 16, 1993, leaving a daughter, Xin Xinwho was born through artificial insemination on July 1, 1990. But luckily for collectors many of the medallic issues commemorating Tohui's 5th birthday are still around to dazzle us, like this outstanding 12 ounce gold example.