China 2001 1 oz Gold Panda

500 Yuan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

About the China 2001 1 oz Gold Panda 500 Yuan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

The coin pictured above is one of fourteen 2001 panda coins.  Of the fourteen coins produced in this year, eleven 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 iconic set of stairs leading up to it, below which is the year of production, 2001.

The Temple of Heaven, built in 1420 AD and situated in southern Beijing, was the place where the Qing (1644-1912) and Ming (1368-1644) emperors would go to make offerings to Heaven for a good harvest.  The importance of these sacrifices could not be underestimated as China's wealth and political stability depended on good harvests.  A poor harvest would not only cause starvation and an economic crisis, but might indicate that the Emperor, whose rule was mandated by Heaven, had fallen out of favour with Heaven, and had therefore lost his legitimacy to rule.

This is the 500 yuan, 1 oz gold coin of the series issued in 2001.  It is a brilliant uncirculated (BU) coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 50,000.  The reverse of the coin shows an image of a lone panda walking through a bamboo forest.  The panda is shown emerging from behind a cluster of bamboo shoots.  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”.

1 oz BU gold panda coins have been struck annually since 1982 and form a collectable series of coins with these specifications comprising one from each year.  Each coin in this collectable series bears a unique panda image on the reverse face with the exception of the coins issued in 2001 and 2002 which have the same panda image.  Many collectors did not to acquire the 2002 coin because of the image on the reverse being the same as that of the 2001 coin.

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