With the release of the Bronze Age Implements 3rd Series coin set earlier last month, market attention has returned to the previous 2nd and 1st Series. The official release date for the 2nd Series was 23rd May 2013. Similarly to the other series, the set comprises five coins: two gold coins weighing ¼ oz and 5 oz; and three silver coins weighing 1 kg, 5 oz, and 1 oz.
The hype surrounding the release of the 3rd Series seemed to prop up prices in particular for the 5 oz silver coin of the 2nd Series, featuring a Shang dynasty four-legged wine vessel in the shape of a beast with the legs of a bird. It is a proof coin with a face value of 50 yuan, measuring 70 mm in diameter, and with a mintage of 10000 pieces.
Prices for this coin were seen rising above 5200 yuan at the start of August, and even as high as 5700 yuan for particularly desirable numbers. One month later and recent online auctions would seem to suggest that the interest in the 2nd Series, initially garnered at the beginning of August, has continued. The aforementioned 5 oz silver coin of the 2nd Series was sold at auction the other day (11th September 2014) for 5600 yuan, graded by the NGC as PF68. Even as early as April 2014, before all the anticipation for the release of the 3rd Series, a similar coin in worse condition with several scratches on the surface also sold online for 5200.
These 5 oz silver coins of the 2nd Series seem to have done well recently. Perhaps this is down to the visually appealing subject matter of the designs, or the great cultural significance that the Bronze Age has in the Chinese psyche. The mintage figures may also play a role in their performance. While a mintage of 10000 is by no means small and does not make this coin rare, coins of this type become harder and harder to come by in good condition as time passes, especially as they are silver rather than gold. With a smaller mintage of 6000, it might also be speculated that the 5 oz silver coin of the recent 3rd Series could perform equally as well, if not better than its 2nd Series counterpart.