The coin pictured above is one of twenty-six 1990 panda coins. Of the twenty-six issued in this year, four coins are platinum, one is bi-metallic, sixteen are gold, and five are silver. The reverse of the coins in this series show different images of pandas. The obverse of the coins all bear the inscription: “The People’s Republic of China”. Below this inscription on all coins in the group is an image of the Temple of Heaven, below which is the year of production, 1990.
The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 AD during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Emperor visited the Temple of Heaven every year at the time of the winter solstice to pray to both Heaven and Earth for a good harvest. This was very important and significant for the feudal Chinese as it was believed that a mandate from Heaven legitimised the rule of the Emperor, and so a good harvest would show Heaven still supported the Emperor, thereby strengthening his rule.
This is the 10 yuan, 1 oz silver coin of the series issued in 1990. It is a proof coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 20,000. The reverse of the coin shows a picture of a panda. The panda stands at the edge of a rocky outcrop, looking back over its shoulder at a bamboo tree behind it. The denomination is inscribed below the panda. Around the top edge of the reverse face is an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin. It reads: “Contains 1 oz pure silver, purity .999, 1 oz Ag”.