China 1993 5 oz Gold Panda

500 Yuan Proof Coin

About the China 1993 5 oz Gold Panda 500 Yuan Proof Coin

The coin pictured above is one of twenty-three 1993 panda coins.  Of the twenty-three issued in this year, thirteen are gold, six are silver, one is copper, two are platinum, and one is bi-metallic.  With the exception of the copper coin, 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 the extensive set of stairs leading up to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests.  Below this is the year of production, 1993.

The Temple of Heaven was the place where the emperors of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing  (1644-1912) dynasties would go at the winter solstice to worship Heaven and pray for a good harvest.  This was of particular significance for them since it was believed that Heaven gave the Emperor his mandate to rule, and a poor harvest might indicate to the people that the Emperor had lost this mandate, thereby weakening his rule in the eyes of the populace.

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 99.  The top edge of the reverse side bears an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin.  It reads: “.999 Au 5oz”.  The denomination, 500 yuan, is inscribed on the left side of the reverse face.  The image shows two pandas climbing on rocks surrounded by bamboo shoots to the left and right.  One panda sits on a lower rock while the other clings to a pinnacle holding a bamboo stem.

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