JAPAN 50 Sen 1873 Y-25 with many chopmarks

Started by MORGENSTERNN, April 17, 2018, 09:36:12 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.



I got here a JAPAN 50 Sen Yr. 6 (1873) Y-25 type II with many chopmarks on both sides.
Weight is 13.30 g. Krause indicate 13.48 g. but with so many chops some metal has been lost...
That denomination is scarcely encountered with chops compared to the 1 Yen from the same period.


The chop marks are a sure sign the poor coin circulated outside Japan in a Chinese speaking environment. The date indicates the Meiji era, a period that modernised Japan thoroughly (witness this machine-struck coin) and ended the usefulness of a whole social class, the samurai and their sworn followers, turning them into rebels and ronin

[speculation]Apart from the usual suspects, merchants, the coin may have moved abroad with a fugitive ronin/rebel. It would have been part of his reserves to tide him over until he could find a new master to fight for. The metal traders would have given him a hard time, talking down the value of his coin and he would have been shocked even more that modernisation had made his archery and swordsman skills superfluous elsewhere also. He may have found a job as an agricultural worker in semi-slavery conditions or he may have decided that seppuku was the way out ...[/speculation]

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


Very interesting.

The lower denominations of Japanese coinage were all struck in .800 silver, while the Spanish currencies were all in .900 and even China used between .820-.860 for sub-dollar silver coins. It's interesting that a merchant would accept this coin and not demand a higher purity coin.


The point of having metal traders was that the fineness of Spanish colonial coins varied quite a bit in practice, practically never got as high as .900 and could easily be less than .800. Newton, in his capacity of master of the mint, has left us with some interesting numbers. A coin of another country would have been tested the same way and bought for what the metal trader was prepare to give for it, then traded among metal traders, metal speculators, melters and jewellers, rather than get into circulation.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.