The coin pictured above is one of eight 1984 panda coins. Of the eight coins issued in this year, one coin is copper, six are gold, and one is silver. The reverse of the coins in this series show different images of pandas. The six gold coins and the copper coin all show an image of a solitary panda, while the silver coin is the only one of the series to show two pandas. The obverse of the coins all bear the inscription: “The People’s Republic of China”. For all the coins in the series, except the copper one, below this inscription is an image of the Temple of Heaven, below which is the year of issue, 1984. The copper coin has the same inscription, but the image on the obverse sits above the inscription and is of the national emblem of the People’s Republic of China.
The Temple of Heaven was the place where the emperors of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) dynasties would go at the winter solstice to worship Heaven and pray for a good harvest. This was of particular significance for them since it was believed that Heaven gave the Emperor his mandate to rule, and a poor harvest might indicate to the people that the Emperor had lost this mandate, thereby weakening his rule in the eyes of the populace.
This is the 10 yuan, 27g silver coin of the series. It is a proof coin of 90% purity and has a mintage of 10,000. The reverse of the coin is the only one in the series that depicts two pandas – all others in the series only show one. The two pandas are shown under a bamboo plant. A panda cub sits in the foreground eating a small bamboo stem, while its mother stands behind watching her cub.