Table of contents:
- Coins Japanese or Chinese?
- First attempts
- Appearance of the yen
- Yen now
- Japanese yen coins
- Value of Japanese coins
Today, the Japanese yen is of great interest among various banks, speculators, large investors, and among collectors. The former appreciate it for its stability, and the latter for its beautiful design, especially commemorative coins. But how far has the yen traveled in its relatively short life span? This article will tell about this.
Coins Japanese or Chinese?
The history of the development of money in Japan repeats the Chinese, only with some delay. The reason for this is the policy of isolation, which the Japanese rulers have tried to adhere to for centuries. For example, it is believed that the first coins began to appear in China in the 10th century BC. At the same time, the Japanese paid each other with rice, as well as other valuable goods, even arrowheads were used. Again, the first coins came to Japan from the continent. Even the name of the modern yen comes from the Chinese word "yuan". In total, until the 8th century, coins came to Japan from the mainland. It was in the 8th century thatthe first Japanese coins appear. They were exactly like the Chinese ones, both in terms of size and appearance.
In the Middle Ages in Japan, there were a lot of all sorts of coins that are simply impossible to list at a time. The first attempts to create at least a semblance of their own monetary system were carried out during the Tokugawa shogunate in the 17th century. Then coins were issued from gold, silver and bronze, which were exchanged at a completely changeable rate and did not have any hard peg. In the middle of the 19th century, Japan stopped adhering to the policy of isolation from the Western world, which became almost fatal for its economy.
The fact is that in the Land of the Rising Sun the ratio of gold to silver was 1:5, while in Europe it was 1:15. Merchants began to massively buy gold and take it out of the country. To try to resolve this situation, the Mexican dollar was introduced into circulation, which began to be minted in Japan. Meanwhile, numerous feudal governments began to issue their own coins. Japanese finances began to actively feverish, and any money began to depreciate.
Appearance of the yen
The only solution in this situation was the introduction of a single monetary system, but this meant the creation of a centralized power, which did not suit the various Japanese feudal rulers. Only after the Boshin War (Japanese Civil War of 1868-1869) and the victory of the forces that supported the imperial power did it become possible to conduct monetaryreforms.
The main problem was the complete absence of any monetary system. The authorities had to remove all banknotes and create a single national currency, which became the yen. They minted it in the image and likeness of the same Mexican dollar. She was tied to both gold and silver. This was done to prevent new currency collapses. A little later, this peg was canceled, and Japanese coins began to be equated with gold and the US dollar.
The modern history of the yen began after the end of World War II. Japan was defeated by the allies to smithereens, the economy was in ruins. Along with the heavily devalued yen, the occupying authorities introduced the currency of the same name only marked "series B". According to the exchange rate, one dollar was worth 360 yen. After the end of the occupation of Japan by the allies and the subsequent economic growth, the Japanese currency began to strengthen in the world market. The popularity of the yen is evidenced by the fact that for several decades it was the second most important reserve currency in the world.
Japanese yen coins
Currently, there are 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen coins in circulation. The 1 yen coins are made of aluminum. Its obverse depicts a young tree, the denomination and the name of the country, and on the reverse there is also the denomination and year of manufacture. 5 yen are made from an alloy of copper and zinc. The obverse shows the denomination and ears of rice, while the reverse shows the name of the country and the year.manufacturing. The 10 yen coins are also made of an alloy of copper and zinc, but with a small addition of tin. On its obverse, in addition to the denomination and the name of the country, the famous Byodo-in Buddhist temple, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, is depicted. The reverse features the denomination, laurel wreath and year of manufacture.
50 yen are made of the so-called cupronickel (an alloy of copper and nickel), just like the 100 yen coins. By the way, their appearance is not much different: both have the denomination and the name of the country on the obverse, and the denomination and year of manufacture on the reverse. These coins differ in the flowers that are depicted on them. At 50 yen, it's a chrysanthemum, and at 100 yen, it's sakura. In addition, the 50 yen coins have a hole in the middle.
The largest of the 500 yen coins in circulation in different years were issued from different metals. The coins of 1982 were made from the same cupronickel, and those that began to be issued in 2000 are composed of copper, zinc and nickel. And the appearance is the same: on the obverse are the denomination, the name of the country and paulownia, and on the reverse - the denomination, bamboo, tangerine and the year of manufacture.
Value of Japanese coins
How much are Japanese coins worth? Of course, it all depends on what the circulation was, whether the yen is dedicated to some significant event, the metal from which it is made, antiquity, and so on. In addition, the value of the coin is affected by its condition.
For example, 1 rin of an 1883 issue could have a price ranging from 370 to1902 rubles, depending on the state of preservation. One of the most expensive Japanese coins is considered to be 10,000 yen in 1986. They were issued in an edition of 10,000,000 pieces in honor of the 60th anniversary of the reign of Emperor Hirohito. The coins were made of 999 silver, weigh 20 grams and have a diameter of 35 millimeters. The cost ranges from 8,000 to 11,300 rubles per unit.
Also highly valued are the 1000 yen commemorative 2003 editions. Their circulation is very small - only 50,000 copies. They were released in honor of the 50th anniversary of the annexation of the Amami Islands to Japan. On the Japanese coins issued in that significant year, a color image of a bird and a flower is placed. They are also made of sterling silver 999, weigh 31 grams and have a diameter of 40 millimeters. The price of commemorative coins ranges from 400 to 600 rubles per unit.