China 2006 1 oz Gold Panda

500 Yuan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

About the China 2006 1 oz Gold Panda 500 Yuan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

The coin pictured above is one of ten 2006 panda coins.  Of the ten coins issued in this year, seven are gold, and three are silver.  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 Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at the Temple of Heaven with its iconic set of stairs leading up to it, below which is the year of issue, 2006.

The Temple of Heaven, completed in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in 1420 AD, was visited every year by the Ming and Qing emperors at the winter solstice to pray to Heaven for a good harvest.  A good harvest would indicate to the people that Heaven was happy with the rule of the current emperor while a poor harvest would show that Heaven was displeased with the emperor's conduct.  It was therefore a very important ritual for the emperors to perform as political stability and the perceived legitimacy of their rule depended on it.

This is the 500 yuan, 1 oz gold coin of the series issued in 2006.  It is a brilliant uncirculated (BU) coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 150,000.  The reverse of the coin shows an image of two pandas.  They both sit facing each other under the cover of a bamboo plant and hold bamboo stems.  The denomination is inscribed above the pandas.  Around the bottom left edge of the reverse is an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin.  It reads: “1 oz Au .999”.

At the time, the mint issued these coins in sheets of ten which were then split up into individual coins for distribution.  On the original sheets the coins were arranged in two rows of five, but very few of these original sheets remain as a consequence of them having been divided up before sale.

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