Here we have the 12 ounce, silver panda coin, bearing the denomination of 100 yuan, that was produced in 1989 by the China Mint. This coin measures 80 millimeters in diameter and is proof in quality. In all, 6,000 of these particular coins were produced in 1989. It is one design of sixteen panda coins that were released in that year. Of the panda coins released in this year, two are platinum, four are silver, and ten are gold.
The reverse of this coin shows a scene of three panda bears. A mother panda bear sits on a rocky patch of ground, bending her head to watch her two cubs. The cubs appear to be playing next to a spring of bamboo. The panda is a symbol of diplomacy in China, as this animal was often a gift of good faith to foreign dignitaries throughout the centuries. Below the scene is a line that separates the writing on the coin from the art. One can read all the specifications of the coin below this line,”contains twelve ounces of 99.9% pure silver, Ag.” Next to this text is the face value of the coin, 100 yuan.
On the obverse face of this coin, one can see an image of the main structure of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is the triple-gabled structure that one sees, below which are three slabs of marble. The iconic steps that lead up to the Hall of Prayer are carved out of these slabs. The Hall itself is made entirely of wood. This is considered not only a culturally important work in China, but also an architecturally important work in all of the Far East. It has influenced architectural design in the Far East since its completion in 1420, and was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998.
This temple was in use as a place to offer prayers for a bountiful harvest until 1911, when this type of worship was outlawed by the state. Below the temple, one can see the year of issue, 1989. Above it is printed, “The People’s Republic of China.”