About 5 oz Gold Panda Coins
Between 1987 and 1994, the China Mint released five different, five ounce gold panda coins, each bearing a design unique to the year of release. All of these coins are proof in quality, 60 millimeters in diameter and contain 99.9% fine gold. The coins also possess the legal tender face value of 500 yuan.
Like the other panda coins released since 1982, these coins bear an image of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests on the obverse face of the coin, above which is “The People’s Republic of China” in Chinese characters. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is located at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. From 1420 until 1911, the Temple of Heaven was in use as a sanctuary where emperors would come to pray for a bountiful crop each winter. Now the Temple of Heaven is renowned only as an astonishing work of Eastern architecture, as dynastic rule of China is long past.
On the reverse face of each of these coins is a delicately rendered image of two panda bears, peacefully eating or sitting together in an idyllic scene. The images are rendered so that the mirrored surface of the coin stands out agains the raised, matte embellishments. This mimics the black-and-white panda bear fur while still maintaining the pristine gold of the coin. The reverse face also shows the specifications of the coin: the face value, 500 yuan, and the metallic properties, “.999 Au 5oz.”
All of these coins were originally released in plastic-capsules and came with certificates of authenticity. Some of these five ounce, 99.9% gold panda coins have a unique identifying serial number etched on to the rim of the coin. The 1994 coin, the key and culminating year of the series, has this serial number with for single digits would be preceded with two zeroes, e.g. 008. The 1987 and 1988 coins have lower premiums selling at or just above above melt. The three remaining coins were lower in mintage at 99 a piece and have much higher premiums as a consequence.
This grouping of coins number five in total, and are not to be conflated with the bimetallic five ounce gold plus two ounce silver coins released in 1995 and 1996, also with 500 Yuan denominations.
Ten years after the last five ounce gold panda of 1994, a 2005 5 oz gold panda appeared on the scene. A five ounce gold panda coin has been issued every year since. These coins are very common in the marketplace along with the 1987 and 1988 coins. The People’s Bank of China has also released five ounce gold panda medals.