Japan coin dating

07 Apr

Once again, coins can provide a window to history, assuming that sufficient information exists.

Given the upheavals of World War II and the often overwhelming language and cultural barriers, Japanese coinage in general remains a niche field in English-language numismatics.

Not only did they unify Japan, they largely unified the coinage and re-introduced it as a medium of exchange. Various varieties exist, each differentiated by thier cast Kanji characters.

Apart from these characters, most of these coins look nearly identical. The Edo Period didn't introduce many changes either apart from the Kanji.

Most gold coinage initially served ceremonial or political purposes and didn't circulate.

This includes the famous hand-inked and gorgeous Oban, which evolved into the Koban and gradually saw significant debasement.

As such, this is not really a price guide and prices don't appear next to individual coins.

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A rare museum piece that may be the only one in the United States and definitely a highlight of any pre-Meiji collection.A few books existed, including Munro's classic "Coins of Japan" from 1904 and "Japanese Coinage" from 1972, but they begged and pleaded for updates and revisions.A new work finally arrived in 2011, called "Early Japanese Coins," that greatly illuminates the often mysterious and ineffable field of pre-Meiji Japanese coinage.Nonetheless, it provides a convenient historical demarcation despite the brief overlap.The book begins with a smattering of general information: a rarity and (very general) price guide, calligraphic conventions, symbolism, introductory information on Japanese pronunciation and writing, a chart of numbers and common words, units of measurement, era names, a fascinating description of the manufacture of traditional poured and cast coins, maps of provinces and a bibliography.