The coin pictured above is one of seventeen 2000 panda coins. Of the seventeen issued in this year, fourteen coins are gold, and three are silver. The reverse of the coins in this series show the same panda image. 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 extensive and instantly recognisable set of stairs leading up to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, below which is the year of issue, 2000.
The Temple of Heaven was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) between 1406 and 1420 AD under orders from Emperor Yongle who ordered the construction of the Forbidden City. From 1420 to 1911 prayers and sacrifices were offered up to Heaven by the emperor at the winter solstice, praying that Heaven would grant them a good harvest.
This is the 100 yuan, 1 oz gold coin of the series issued in 2000. It is a brilliant uncirculated (BU) coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 29,011. Two versions of this coin were issued in 2000 – one frosted variety and one mirrored variety. The difference is identifiable by inspecting the outer ring of the obverse face where the inscription “The People’s Republic of China” and the year of production appear. The frosted variety, issued by the Shenzhen Guobao, has a frosted effect on this outer ring, while the mirrored variety, struck at the Shanghai mint, has a mirrored effect.
The reverse of the coin shows an image of a single panda sat holding a bamboo shoot in its right paw. The denomination is inscribed below and to the right of the image. Around the top right edge of the reverse face is an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin. It reads: “Au .999 1 oz”. This is the Mirrored variety, originally a domestic release (in China).