In 1997, seventeen different panda coin designs were released by the China Mint. This is the 12 ounce, 80 millimeter, 99.9% pure, silver panda coin. This coin bears the legal tender face value of 100 yuan. This coin is proof in quality, giving the background a mirror-like finish and the embellishments a matte finish and a three-dimensional quality.
The obverse face of this coin shows a rendering of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests with its iconic marble steps and triple gables. Above the Hall, one can see the characters that translate to, “The People’s Republic of China.” Below the Hall of Prayer is the year of issue, 1997. The Temple of Heaven, which includes The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, was constructed in the early Ming Dynasty. It was commissioned by the Yongle Emperor, who was also famed for commissioning the Yongle Encyclopedia. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the emperors would visit the Temple of Heaven in order to perform rituals that might ensure a good harvest. This was an important ritual for the emperor, as it could either reestablish or cast doubt upon his direct connection with heaven.
On the reverse of the coin, one can see the specifications of the metal at the top left edge of the coin, “.999 12oz Ag.” At the bottom edge, one can read the face value, 100 yuan. The scene on the coin depicts a mother panda and her two cubs. The cub to the left plays on a fallen tree branch. The mother has her paws upon the other cub’s back, as if to guide him. They all sit under the shade of several tree branches, creating a peaceful, idyllic scene. The panda, one of the national symbols of China, represents the naturally beauty of a intrinsically diverse country. The total number of these coins released is 2,500.
We are available to assist you with any questions on this or other Chinese coins. Our unique expertise and experience in Chinese numismatics covers modern, imperial, republic and circulating coins. We pride ourselves in servicing our clientele to work in building special collections or locate key date coins with help from our global network and have done so since 2004. In addition, we are frequently top bidders on coins and collections when looking to divest.