1871 Japanese 50-sen
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Autor:  villa66 [ 4. Feb 2015, 08:18 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  1871 Japanese 50-sen

An 1871 (Meiji 4) 50-sen piece from Japan—“Great Japan,” as the coin proclaims. As part of its rapid and thorough-going effort to modernize itself, Japan had introduced its new decimal coinage in 1870. Struck in .800 silver, c.32mm in diameter, and weighing 12.50 grams, this 1871 50-sen piece is a second-year example of Japan’s earliest 50-sen type.

The coin’s symbolism offers quick but effective instruction on the country’s political and social foundations—the dragon represents the Emperor, and the spiral ball in his grip is called a “Tamashi,” a most special jewel that contains powers of the spirit. The Sunburst Crest symbolizes the Sun Goddess, from which the Japanese Imperial family was said to descend. And above the sunburst is the Chrysanthemum Crest, emblematic, again, of the Emperor.

:) v.

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Autor:  Afrasi [ 4. Feb 2015, 13:36 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Re: 1871 Japanese 50-sen

A nice and interesting coin. The upper picture should be rotated 90° clockwise. As for Year 4 there are some varieties, which type is your coin?

Autor:  villa66 [ 4. Feb 2015, 16:35 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Re: 1871 Japanese 50-sen

Uh oh...I guess what I took as the dragon's eyes....weren't! I never have gotten Japanese dragons--the Chinese variety seems a little easier for me to unravel, but I won't test that in public.

I believe this coin belongs to the earliest type, that is, the type also dated 1870 (Meiji 3). I didn't bother measuring the diameter of the circle of dots, but instead keyed off the diameter of the coin itself. Krause-for what it's worth here--calls out a second variety (and presumably the third also) as being 30.5mm in diameter, whereas this coin measures slightly more than 31.5mm (and weighs, on my scale, 12.53 grams). I'm sure there are sub-varieties of this first [Krause] variety, but what they might be I have no idea. It would be fun to have better information.

And a question about the silver types of 1873 that succeeded these first types in the various old (2006) Krause lists 10-, 20-, and 50-sen of fineness identical to the previous types, but of greater weight, and of sizes no longer metric-friendly (as were the previous types). This seems very strange to me--particularly the departure from easy metric measures. Any idea of what went on?

I go to study dragons....

;) v.

Autor:  klaupo [ 4. Feb 2015, 17:14 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Re: 1871 Japanese 50-sen

Maybe a look at @pingus Japan-Gallery can help


Regards klaupo

Autor:  villa66 [ 4. Feb 2015, 18:08 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Re: 1871 Japanese 50-sen

Danke klaupo...

;) v.

Autor:  Afrasi [ 4. Feb 2015, 19:06 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Re: 1871 Japanese 50-sen

I guess I don't know more than you about Japanese dragons, but the denomination is usually at 6 o'clock ... ;)

Autor:  villa66 [ 23. Mär 2015, 07:12 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Re: 1871 Japanese 50-sen

I've solved my problem with Japanese dragons. I should have started with a larger, more eye-friendly piece (like the one below). Sort of like training wheels on a bike.

:D v.

Autor:  villa66 [ 23. Mär 2015, 07:15 ]
Betreff des Beitrags:  Re: 1871 Japanese 50-sen

An 1894 (Meiji 27) 1-yen piece struck using 26.96 grams of .900 silver.

Japan’s big silver 1-yen piece—as was the case with many of the world’s big silver coins during the latter part of the 19th century—encountered some difficulty circulating and sometimes struggled to find useful employment.

These 1-yen coins, for instance, were frequently used outside the country as trade coins rather than being used at home. Japan formalized the use of these silver 1-yen pieces as trade coins by demonetizing them in April 1898 (or so I’ve read; Krause 2006 says 1897). Much of their silver was recycled for use striking minor coinage, and then some 20+ million of the survivors were countermarked and sent to serve as silver bullion in Korea, Taiwan (Formosa) and southern Manchuria.

I note here that in 1898 the Japanese had the benefit of the Trade Dollar debacle in the United States, and although I can’t say for sure that they ever had that particular disaster in mind, the demonetization and the “Gin” countermark kept the old 1-yen coins from returning home and raising the kind of havoc the American Trade Dollars caused as they returned from the Orient in large (and destabilizing) numbers.

:) v.

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