In 1995, the China Mint authorized twenty panda coins for release. Above is one of those twenty coins. It is struck of 99.9% pure silver and is of proof quality. This particular coin weighs 5 ounces, bears the denomination of 50 yuan and measures 70 millimeters across. In all, 1500 of these five ounce panda coins were released by the China Mint in 1995. This coin shows the Temple of Heaven on the obverse face, and a tender scene of pandas on the reverse face.
At the very top edge of the reverse face are the Chinese characters symbolizing, “The People’s Republic of China.” At the bottom edge, one can read the year of issue, 1995. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests sits in the center of the coin’s face. The steps that lead to the Hall, the main building at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, are made entirely of marble and were created from three giant marble slabs. The hall itself is entirely wooden, even down to the nails used. This temple was constructed during the Emperor Yongle’s reign for the purpose of praying for bountiful harvests each year. It was completed in 1420, and was in use until 1911.
At the top edge of the reverse face, one can see the denomination of the coin, 50 yuan, as well as the specifications concerning its make-up: “.999 5oz Ag.” Below this inscription sit two pandas,The panda in the foreground leans forward, as if to look into the river below. The panda that sits directly behind holds a piece of bamboo in its left paw, perhaps contemplating a snack. One can see mountains in the distance and trees behind the second panda. Due to the proof quality of the coin, the pandas possess a three dimensional quality. Overall, one derives a since of natural and unspoiled beauty when gazing upon this side of the coin. In all, 1500 of these five ounce panda coins were minted in 1995.
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