The coin pictured above is one of seven 1983 panda coins. Of the seven issued in this year, five are gold, one is silver, and one is copper. The reverse of the coins in this series show different images of pandas. The obverse of the coins all bear the inscription: “The People’s Republic of China”. Below this inscription on all coins in the group, with the exception of the copper coin, is an image of the Temple of Heaven with its iconic set of stairs leading up to it, below which is the year of issue, 1983.
The Temple of Heaven, completed in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in 1420 AD, was visited every year by the Ming and Qing emperors at the winter solstice to pray to Heaven for a good harvest. A good harvest would indicate to the people that Heaven was happy with the rule of the current emperor while a poor harvest would show that Heaven was displeased with the emperor’s conduct. It was therefore a very important ritual for the emperors to perform as political stability and the perceived legitimacy of their rule depended on it.
This is the 100 yuan, 1 oz gold coin of the series issued in 1983. It is a brilliant uncirculated (BU) coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 25,363. The reverse of the coin shows an image of a single panda walking under a bamboo plant. The denomination is inscribed on the bottom edge of the reverse face. Around the rest of the edge of the reverse is an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin. It reads: “Contains 1 oz pure gold (Au 1 oz) purity 99.9%”.