The coin pictured is one of thirty-three 1995 panda coins. Of the thirty-three issued in this year, seventeen are gold, ten are silver, two are platinum, and four 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 and iconic set of stairs leading up to it. Below this is the year of issue, 1995.
The Temple of Heaven, completed in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in 1420 AD, was visited every year by the Ming and Qing emperors at the winter solstice to pray to Heaven for a good harvest. A good harvest would indicate to the people that Heaven was happy with the rule of the current emperor while a poor harvest would show that Heaven was displeased with the emperor’s conduct. It was therefore a very important ritual for the emperors to perform as political stability and the perceived legitimacy of their rule depended on it.
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. The top right edge of the reverse side bears an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin. It reads: “.9999 12oz Au”. The denomination, 1000 yuan, is inscribed in the top right corner of the reverse face. The image shows a family scene of three pandas to the right of a bamboo tree. One crouches on a rock in the background watching an adult and a cub. The adult is grasping a bamboo shoot, feeding it to the cub sitting between its legs.
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