The coin pictured above is one of nineteen 1991 panda coins. Of the nineteen issued in this year, fourteen are gold, and five are silver. 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 below, with its striking and iconic set of stairs leading up to it. Below this is the year of production, 1991.
The Temple of Heaven was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) between 1406 and 1420 AD under orders from Emperor Yongle who ordered the construction of the Forbidden City. From 1420 to 1911 prayers and sacrifices were offered up to Heaven by the emperor at the winter solstice, praying that Heaven would grant them a good harvest.
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 400. The reverse of the coin depicts three pandas. The left side of the reverse bears an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin. It reads: “Contains 12 ounces of pure gold, purity .999, 12oz Au.” The denomination, 1000 yuan, is inscribed in the bottom of the reverse face, around which is the image of three pandas. One sits high up on a tree branch, while below, a cub lies holding a bamboo shoot among the foliage, watched over by an adult panda.
We are available to assist you with any questions on this or other Chinese coins. Our unique expertise and experience in Chinese numismatics covers modern, imperial, republic and circulating coins. We pride ourselves in servicing our clientele to work in building special collections or locate key date coins with help from our global network and have done so since 2004. In addition, we are frequently top bidders on coins and collections when looking to divest.