The coin pictured is one of fifteen 1988 panda coins. Of the fifteen issued in this year, twelve are gold, two are silver, and one is platinum. The obverse of the coins in the series bear the inscription: “The People’s Republic of China” and an image of the Temple of Heaven with its broad and extensive set of stairs leading up to it. Below this is the year of issue, 1988.
Prayers and sacrifices were made by the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) Dynasty emperors at the Temple of Heaven during the winter solstice. The Temple of Heaven was completed in 1420 AD and prayers and sacrifices were made there in the hope of a good harvest until they were banned by the government of the Republic of China in 1911.
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 3,000. The reverse of the coin depicts two pandas. The right side 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 on the left of the reverse side. The image shows two pandas in a tree, one is climbing the trunk, the other is lying on a branch lower down, reaching down to get hold of some bamboo shoots growing below.