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China, Vietnam or Korea...?!?!

Started by mti, February 08, 2021, 10:54:11 PM

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I have this coin for a while now in the "unattributed" section:  3.1g  ||  24mm  ||  Looks Bronze/Copper(AE)

I couldn't find a match on Zeno  (checked with China, Vietnam, Korea)... but maybe someone here can read what it says..?!?!

Thank you in advance...!!!  =))  And have a pleasant day...!!!


This is a Japanese Kanei Tsuho cash coin, the four characters are (top-bottom-right and left) Kan, Ei, Tsu and Ho.

This is the standard bronze 1 mon denomination type.

It was cast at dozens of mints in Japan and dates from 1636 to the 19th century.  It comes in hundreds of varieties all based on small details of the calligraphy.



Thank you, otlichnik...

Based on your information I was able to find this: - it is a match and it looks more like an old coin...

and this one (also match): - but looks like a modern "restrike"... doesn't it...?!?!


Your coin is worn, and comes from a mint that used wider writing instead of finer characters.  Not sure if that means older or not. 

The shape of the Tsu on the right (also known as the Tong in Chinese) is interesting and would likely help identify the exact mint.



you are right, I jumped to a conclusion, by looking at the date frame of the coins - 1600's... there of course finer samples of coins that are from different periods of time in history... differently preserved and differently produced (I mean the Mints)...  and surely it would be super awesome to find out the Mint of my coin... and thank you again for your valuable tips/hints...  =))

At wikipedia there is a very interesting article about such coins:
"the yellowish color of these coins indicates that they were made, at a later period of time, out of Brass, due to shortage of copper in Japan"

Numista site - has a detailed explanation of these coins:

But I still need to understand, where to look for the mint mark?!?!  Apparently mine is the "old type" of coin... (see Numista link)


Yes, yours is a Ko Kanei, or Old Kanei.  This can be seen in the fact that the legs/feet of the Ho (the left character, the Bao in Chinese) join up together and slightly to the right of centre, whereas on the new, or Shin, Kanei the feet are widely separated.

It is not the earliest private issues as it does not have the Ni Sui style Ei - the lower character, the Ei, has a head that only extends to the left of the vertical.  On Ni Sui style it also extends slightly to the right of the vertical.

So Old Kanei official issue means a date of 1636 to 1668.

Unfortunately, I looked through Hartill's Early Japanese Coins and I can't find any exact matches.

I think your best bet is to look at the Tsu/Tong.  Yours has a very weird head with the upper line rising sharply to the left.  I don't see any head like that in Hartill.  The closest is Torigoe mint in Musashi province - which has a very flat Tsu head.

If you look through all of the zeno Ko Kanei and compare the Tsu head you might find it.

Please share us the result if you do.



hmmm... I checked Zeno for the raised header on my coin - there is nothing like it on Zeno...
I also checked Numista for possible look-a-likes - nothing there, either...
Could it be a new variation that needs to be added to a catalog...?!?!
You are welcome to do it on Zeno (pictures are mine) and you have my permission to add to there... (if you have an account?!)
Thank you...!!!  =))


I don't really add coins there but you can email the moderator about it.