The coin pictured is one of twenty 1987 panda coins. Of the twenty issued in this year, seventeen are gold and three are silver. The largest denominations of 500 yuan and 1000 yuan in the series have images of two pandas on their reverse, while all others in the series only show a single panda. The obverse of the coins in the series bear the inscription: “The People’s Republic of China”. Below this inscription is an image of the Temple of Heaven with its striking and iconic set of stairs leading up to it. Below this is the year of issue, 1987.
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 1000 yuan, 12 oz gold coin of the series. It is a proof coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 4,000. The reverse of the coin depicts two pandas. The top of the reverse bears an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin. It reads: “ Contains 12 ounces of pure gold, purity .999, 12oz Au”. The denomination, 1000 yuan, is inscribed at the bottom of the reverse side, above which is the image two pandas – an adult and a cub. The cub is sitting on a rock watching the adult panda in the foreground which is feeding on a bamboo plant growing in front of the rock.
We are available to assist you with any questions on this or other Chinese coins. Our unique expertise and experience in Chinese numismatics covers modern, imperial, republic and circulating coins. We pride ourselves in servicing our clientele to work in building special collections or locate key date coins with help from our global network and have done so since 2004. In addition, we are frequently top bidders on coins and collections when looking to divest.