China 1997 1 oz Gold Panda

100 Yuan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

About the China 1997 1 oz Gold Panda 100 Yuan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

The coin pictured above is one of twenty-eight 1997 panda coins.  Of the twenty-eight coins issued in this year, sixteen are gold, six are silver, two are platinum, and four are bi-metallic.  The reverse of the coins in this series show different images of pandas.  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 imposing set of stairs leading up to it, below which is the year of production, 1997.

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 100 yuan, 1 oz gold coin of the series produced in 1997.  It is a brilliant uncirculated (BU) coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 30,457.  Two versions of this coin were produced in 1997, one in Shanghai, the other in Shenyang.  The coins issued by the Shenyang mint feature a large date beneath the image of the Temple of Heaven on the obverse face, while the coins struck at the Shanghai mint feature a small date beneath the image on the obverse.

The reverse of the coin features an image of a single panda sitting perched on a tree branch surrounded by blossoms.  The denomination is inscribed below the image.  Around the top left edge of the reverse face is an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin.  It reads: “1 oz Au .999”.

The mint issued these coins in sheets of ten which were then divided up into individual coins for distribution.  As a consequence these original sheets of ten, arranged according to a five-by-two grid, are very rare.

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