Japan - Silver "samurai bar" Nanryo 2 shu,

Started by Finn235, September 28, 2018, 08:14:18 PM

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My first major numismatic endeavors was a type set of Japanese coins, stopping short of anything that cost more than $200 by itself (e.g. all the gold and early Yen). I ran out of candidates, but finally managed to fill this hole at a very reasonable price:

Japan, Tokugawa Shogunate
2 Shu silver "Nanryo" 1824-1830
2 Momme weight, 14x21mm, 7.50g
Hartill 9.75

Obv: Image of an imperial weight (Fundo), "Silver-minted (by) Mint Official" stamped "Guaranteed"
Rev: "Take eight pieces Nanryo / To exchange for 1 ryo koban)

These were some of the first denominated silver coins of Japan, designed to replace the chogin and mameita gin bars, which were tender by weight and a nightmare to use in commerce. These were only produced for a handful of years before being phased out in favor of much smaller electrum 2 shu coins.


I am wowed, as much by the coin (I'd never seen it before) as by you having all the >$200 coins of Japan. That collection must be eye-soothing.

Many moons ago, I visite the national collection in Toyo, at that time a private exposition. I was thoroughly flabbergasted by a complete series of Oban. The curator said "his" collection had IIRC 3000 coins and asked me how many I had. I replied that I had 12000 coins. When the curator expressed polite amazement, I said I would trade my collection for his obans.

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


Thanks Peter!

To be fair, I don't have *all* of the coin types, as I do not intend to collect the 47 Prefectures series (because at $15 per ¥500 and $60 per ¥1000, that is some serious cash to tie up!) Some of the other miscellaneous commemoratives are pretty hard to find, so I'm patiently biding my time on those.

I someday hope to own at least one gold koban, but $750+ is hard to swallow. I wish I could have seen the Oban collection... I have seen the life-size illustrations but I am sure the real thing is so much more cool! No danger of me owning one... those suckers cost anywhere from the equivalent of a brand new sports car to a brand new mansion!

Did the curator also have the Twelve Antique coins? That's another series I have always drooled over, but probably won't ever own.


It is likely they had the first 12, but I was young and naive and if they were displayed I would not have recognised their importance. I got two brochures of the collection, one in English, IIRC. If I can find them, I'd be happy to scan them for you.

The collection is now open to the public as the Currency Museum of the Bank of Japan. See also here.

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