The coin pictured above is one of twenty-one 1994 panda coins. Of the twenty-one issued in this year, two coins are bi-metallic, two are platinum, eleven are gold, and six 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 with its iconic and striking set of stairs leading up to it, below which is the year of issue, 1994.
The Temple of Heaven, built in 1420 AD and situated in southern Beijing, was the place where the Qing (1644-1912) and Ming (1368-1644) emperors would go to make offerings to Heaven for a good harvest. The importance of these sacrifices could not be underestimated as China’s wealth and political stability depended on good harvests. A poor harvest would not only cause starvation and an economic crisis, but might indicate that the Emperor, whose rule was mandated by Heaven, had fallen out of favour with Heaven, and had therefore lost his legitimacy to rule.
This is the 10 yuan, 1 oz silver coin of the series issued in 1994. It is a proof coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 15,000. The reverse of the coin shows an image of a panda climbing a tree. The panda sits on a branch among the leaves as it hugs the main trunk with its paws and looks over its left shoulder. The denomination is inscribed below the picture. Around the top left edge of the reverse face is an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin. It reads: “.999 Ag 1 oz”.