This coin is one of the designs of twenty panda coins released by the China Mint in 1992. This coin shows a building of the Temple of Heaven on the obverse face, above which appears the characters, “The People’s Republic of China.” Below the image is the year of issue, 1992. On the obverse face is a scene featuring three pandas frolicking by a stream. In this year, the Mint released five silver panda coins, fourteen gold panda coins and one bi-metallic coin. This is the 12 ounce, 100 yuan silver coin, measuring 80 millimeters in diameter. In all, 2,500 coins of this particular design were released.
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is one of the main buildings at the Temple of Heaven, along with the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound Altar. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the emperor would journey from the Forbidden City to the Temple of Heaven and perform a service in order to ensure an excellent harvest for the coming year. In the Hall of Prayer, the emperor would offer his prayers before completing his ceremony on the Earthly Mount. A poor crop in the coming year would signify to the people of China that the emperor had lost his connection with heaven, while a hearty crop would give evidence of his continued relationship with heaven.
The Temple of Heaven is one of the architectural images most commonly associated with Chinese history and culture. Likewise, the panda is a symbol commonly associated with China’s natural beauty. It is the Chinese national animal, and since it is endangered, the Chinese government has established reserves in order to advance the population growth of the panda. The side of the coin featuring the panda shows three pandas; one drinks from a stream, while the other two watch from above. Above these two pandas, one can see the imprint of “100 yuan,” followed by, “.999 Ag 12 oz.”
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