China 2011 1 oz Gold Panda

500 Yuan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

About the China 2011 1 oz Gold Panda 500 Yuan Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

The coin pictured above is one of twenty-three 2011 panda coins.  Of the twenty-three coins produced in this year, thirteen are gold, and ten are silver.  Among the usual panda coins issued, several of the coins in the 2011 panda series are commemorative coins for various events and anniversaries.  The reverse of all the coins in this series show images of the same pandas.  The obverse of the coins 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 and striking set of stairs leading up to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, below which is the year of production, 2011.

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 not only did the wealth of China depend on good agricultural output, but it was also 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.  So the political stability of the country depended on a good harvest as well.

This is the 500 yuan, 1 oz gold coin of the series produced in 2011.  It is a brilliant uncirculated (BU) coin of 99.9% purity and has a mintage of 300,000.  The reverse of the coin shows an image of two pandas, a mother and a cub, pictured in the foreground with a thick cluster of bamboo plants behind.  The mother stands while the cub sits to the right, nuzzling close to its parent.  The image is bounded above and below by bamboo leaves.  The denomination is inscribed above the image in the top of the reverse face.  The bottom edge bears an inscription pertaining to the specifications of the coin.  It reads: “1 oz Au .999”.

The mint issued the 1 oz BU gold panda coins in batches of ten, set out on a sheet in a five-by-two arrangement.  For further distribution the sheets were then broken up into individual coins.  As a result very few of the original sheets of ten remain.

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