The coin pictured is one of twenty-six 1990 panda coins. Of the twenty-six issued in this year, sixteen are gold, five are silver, four are platinum, and one is bi-metallic. 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 the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. Below this is the year of issue, 1990.
The Temple of Heaven was finished in the 18th year of the reign of the Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). At the time of the winter solstice, prayers and sacrifices were offered to Heaven by the Ming and Qing emperors in the hope of a good harvest. A good harvest would show Heaven’s continuing support for the Emperor’s reign and would strengthen his rule.
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 500. The reverse of the coin depicts three pandas. The right side of the reverse bears an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin. It reads: “1000 yuan, contains 12 ounces of pure gold, purity .999, 12oz Au.” The image shows an idyllic scene of three pandas, one lies in a tree, another stands in a shallow pool of water on its hind legs reaching up to the tree. The other panda drinks from a stream in the foreground among the leafy foliage.
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