This coin was struck by the China Mint in 1988. It is one of fifteen types of panda coins produced by the China Mint in that year: one platinum, twelve gold, and two silver. This coin is the 12 ounce silver coin of the series; the other silver coin design is five ounces. This design measures 80 millimeters in diameter. The silver is .999 in fineness, and the face value of the coin is 100 yuan. On each of the coins, an image of pandas is displayed on the reverse, and an image of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is depicted on the obverse.
On the top edge of the obverse face, one can see the Chinese characters that represent, “The People’s Republic of China.” The center of the obverse shows the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, the main structure of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. The Temple of Heaven was constructed during the Ming Dynasty between 1406 and 1420. The Emperor Yongle commissioned the temple as a sanctuary for the dynastic rulers of China to offer their prayers and sacrifices for a good harvest. If harvests for the year were strong, the ruler’s connection to heaven was demonstrated to the people once again. Below the Hall of Prayer, one can see the year of issue, 1988.
On the reverse face, one can read the specifications of the coin on the bottom right edge: “contains twelve ounces of pure silver, .999 Ag.” The center of the reverse shows a depiction of two pandas in a tree. One panda grips the trunk of the tree, while the other hangs from a branch below and reaches for its main source of food, bamboo. Many of the panda coins feature images of bamboo, a symbol of tranquility in China. Bamboo also makes up 99% of a panda’s diet, even though pandas are technically carnivores. Above the panda hanging from the tree branch, one can see the face value, 100 yuan. In all, 5,000 of these panda coins were produced in 1988.