China 1988 5 oz Gold Panda

500 Yuan Proof Coin

About the China 1988 5 oz Gold Panda 500 Yuan Proof Coin

The coin pictured above is one of fifteen 1988 panda coins.  Of the fifteen issued, twelve are gold, two are silver, and one is platinum.  Of the gold coins, the largest denominations of 500 yuan and 1000 yuan in the series have images of two pandas on their reverse, while all other gold coins in the series only show a single panda.  The obverse of all the coins in the series bear the inscription: “The People's Republic of China”.   Below this inscription is an image of the Temple of Heaven with its striking and iconic set of stairs leading up to it.  Below this is the year of mintage, 1988.

The Temple of Heaven was constructed towards the beginning of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in 1420 AD.  The part of the temple complex in the image is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests where the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) emperors would go to pray to Heaven for a good harvest.  A good harvest kept the people happy as they were not only fed, but they also believed this showed Heaven continued to approve of the Emperor's rule.

This is the 500 yuan, 5 oz gold coin of the series.  It is a proof coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 3,000.  The reverse of the coin shows a picture of two pandas.  The bottom of the reverse side bears an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin.  It reads: “Contains 5 ounces of pure gold, purity .999, 5oz Au”.  The two pandas pictured above the inscription are shown climbing a tree.  One sits on a lower branch while the other climbs the trunk towards the top.

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