1997 1/20 oz Platinum Panda

5 Yuan Proof Coin

About the 1997 1/20 oz Platinum Panda 5 Yuan Proof Coin

The coin seen pictured is the rare and highly elusive 1997 1/20 oz platinum Panda.  Thought to be one of the three rarest platinum Panda coins, this coin, with its relatively low official mintage of 5,000 has a fineness of 99.95%.  It has a face value of 5 yuan and a diameter of 14mm.  It was issued as part of the 1997 Panda series which contains 17 coins, but is more commonly sought after by collectors who are looking to acquire a complete set of platinum panda coins comprising one of each of the 1/10oz and 1/20oz platinum Pandas as well as the four one ounce coins, 1987 to 1990.

The reverse face shows a picture of the panda itself, an image associated by people across the world with modern China.  The creature is pictured perched on all fours in a tree and surrounded by blossoms.  Struck below the picture is the face value, while above and to the left of the picture around the edge of the coin face is a short inscription detailing the properties of the coin: “.9995 1/20 oz Pt”.

Inscribed on the obverse across the top of the coin face are the Chinese characters which read: “The People's Republic of China”.  Struck at the bottom of the face is the year of issue, 1997.  The design featured is a rendering of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests.  This impressive three-gabled, 38m-high building is constructed entirely of wood, and forms the focal point of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.  Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, the Temple is a magnificent example of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) architecture, as well as physically reflecting the philosophy and culture of Heaven worship prevalent at the time.


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