The coin pictured is one of twenty-one 1994 panda coins. Of the twenty-one issued in this year, eleven are gold, six are silver, two are platinum, and two are 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 below, with its striking set of stairs leading up to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. Below this is the year of production, 1994.
The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 AD during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Emperor visited the Temple of Heaven every year at the time of the winter solstice to pray to both Heaven and Earth for a good harvest. This was very important and significant for the feudal Chinese as it was believed that a mandate from Heaven legitimised the rule of the Emperor, and so a good harvest would show Heaven still supported the Emperor, thereby strengthening 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 99. The reverse of the coin depicts three pandas. Around the edge of the reverse side there is an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin. It reads: “Contains 12 oz pure gold, purity .999, 12oz Au”. The denomination, 1000 yuan, is inscribed in the bottom right corner of the reverse side. The image shows a family scene of three pandas on a river bank. A mother sits among bamboo shoots watching over her two cubs, one of which sits on the river bank while the other drinks from the water.
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