China 2005 1 oz Gold Panda

500 Yuan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

About the China 2005 1 oz Gold Panda 500 Yuan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

The coin pictured above is one of twelve 2005 panda coins.  Of the eleven coins issued in this year, seven are gold, three are silver, one is platinum, and one is palladium.  The reverse of the coins in this series show images of the same 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 iconic set of stairs leading up to it, below which is the year of production, 2005.

The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 AD during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).  The Emperor visited the Temple of Heaven every year at the time of the winter solstice to pray to both Heaven and Earth for a good harvest.  This was very important and significant for the feudal Chinese as it was believed that a mandate from Heaven legitimised the rule of the Emperor, and so a good harvest would show Heaven still supported the Emperor, thereby strengthening his rule.

This is the 500 yuan, 1 oz gold coin of the series produced in 2005.  It is a brilliant uncirculated (BU) coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 150,000.  The reverse of the coin shows a picture of two pandas, a mother and a cub. The mother sits to the right of the image surrounded by bamboo stems and eating a bamboo shoot, while the cub stands on its hind legs resting its front paws on its mother.  The denomination is inscribed below the image.  Around the top left edge of the reverse is an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin.  It reads: “1 oz Au .999”.

The 1 oz BU gold panda coin has been issued by the People's Bank of China every year starting in 1982.  Having one of these coins from each year forms a collectable series.  When the mint distributed these coins they were originally issued in sheets of ten arranged according to the five-by-two grid pattern.  At the point of distribution these sheets were split into single coins, making them easier to sell but also making the original sheets extremely rare and hard to come by.

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