About Kilo Silver Panda Coins
From the years 1998 to present, the People’s Republic of China issued .999 fine silver panda coins each weighing one kilogram and possessing the legal tender face value of 200 yuan or 300 yuan. All of the one kilogram silver panda coins are proof in quality, giving the background of the coin its mirror like finish and the embellishments a matte finish. This combination of finishes illustrates the panda well; like the coin itself, the panda has two opposites, black and white fur, in one body. Like the other panda coins released, these coins feature one of the main structures of the Temple of Heaven on the obverse face, and idyllic scenes of pandas on the reverse face. These coins are 100 millimeters in diameter. The mintage of the one kilogram silver panda coins ranges from 1998 to 4000 pieces.
The reverse face of each of the one kilogram silver panda coins features the panda bear. The bear, even though it is of the class carnivora, eats mainly bamboo, a plant that is featured in the designs of many of the coins. The panda is certainly the most iconic animal of China, as it inhabits only China and is quite unique in appearance and habit. The panda is certainly the fauna most representative of China, and its food, the bamboo tree, is arguably the flora most representative of China’s natural beauty. Both of these species are also symbolic to the Chinese people. The panda often represents diplomacy, as it was given as a gift to many foreign dignitaries during dynastic rule in China. Bamboo often represents peace or tranquility in Chinese art. Together, these two living things make up the images one sees on the one kilogram silver coins. The scenes are idyllic and peaceful, and each shows how the panda is obviously honored in China. For example, the 2003 coin shows the majestic head and torso of the panda bear as it emerges from a thicket of bamboo. The expression of the panda is beautifully captured by the artists work, and one can easily see the thought and care that went into rendering the panda’s black and white fur.
Also on the reverse face of each coin, one can read the specifications of the coin. The face value, either 200 or 300 yuan, is to the side of or below each of the panda images. Above the panda, one can see the coins metallic properties, “1Kg Ag .999.” The order of the properties is sometimes reversed, but the meaning remains the same.
The panda is certainly the symbol of wild China; China’s famous dynastic architecture is often seen as the symbol of civilized China, a country with an extraordinarily long history of art, architecture, poetry, and literature. China’s most famous city, Beijing, houses many of China’s greatest architectural accomplishments. Foremost among those achievements is the Temple of Heaven, commissioned by the Yongle Emperor in 1406 AD. The Temple was built as a sanctuary for emperors and officials to offer prayers and perform rituals with the hope of a plentiful harvest for the following year.
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is shown on the obverse face of each of the one kilogram panda coins. The Hall of Prayer is one of the most famous Chinese buildings, and it is said to have influenced all architecture in dynastic China and throughout the far easy. The triple-gabled structure is created entirely of wood and sits on three great slabs of marble, into which a series of steps is carved. Inside of the building are ornate and color-rich murals, representing the changing of the seasons. Above the Hall of Prayer, one can see “The People’s Republic of China” in Chinese lettering; below it appears the year of issue.
Panda coins are popular among collectors, as the coins are truly beautiful and they are available in a variety of sizes, metals, and weights. These one kilogram silver panda coins are the largest silver coins the China Mint has produced and would be a marvelous addition to any coin collection.