Shown is one of the 10th Anniversary of the Issuance of Chinese Gold Panda Coins produced in 1991. This is the one ounce, 99.9% pure, gold coin, proof in quality. This coin features a ‘P’ mark on its reverse face, denoting that the coin is proof in quality, or struck multiple times. The proof quality of the coin gives it the mirrored surface and matte embellishments characteristic of Chinese coins. It bears the face value of 50 yuan. The coin shows a portrait of a panda on the reverse face and an image of the Temple of Heaven on the obverse face of the coin. In all, 2500 of these coins were released in 1991.
On the reverse face, one can see the picture of a panda clutching a bamboo tree. Bamboo is the panda’s main source of food in the wild. It is also a symbol of peace in China and is featured on many of the Chinese panda coins. The panda itself is a symbol of man, and also of beneficial relationships with other countries. The panda was given as a gift to many a foreign visitor to China, and is still seen as an emblem of diplomacy. Above the panda, one can see the face value, 50 yuan. Below it are the specifications of the metal: “contains one ounce of 99.9% pure gold.”
On the obverse face of the coin, one can see the iconic Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, a part of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. This Temple, along with the Imperial Palace in Beijing, was commissioned by the Yongle Emperor and was constructed between the years of 1406 and 1420. After its completion, emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties would come here to pray for a plentiful harvest. The Temple of Heaven was in use until 1911, when dynastic rule came to a close in China. Above the Hall of Prayer, one can see “The People’s Republic of China” in Chinese characters. Below the iconic steps of this structure, one can read the year of issue, 1991.