Japan 1893 (M26) 5 yen

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from the Stacks Bowers 2018 ANA sale, lot 21312
Japan SB818-21312r.jpg

This specimen was lot 21312 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Philadelphia, August 2018), where it sold for $19,200. The catalog description[1] noted, "Rarely Offered Key Date Year 26 5 Yen. JAPAN. 5 Yen, Year 26 (1893). NGC MS-66. A VERY RARE date of this late 19th century type (1872-97) that was obviously heavily melted and did not turn up in any quantity in the Japanese Ministry of Finance hoard. Nearly perfect, this example displays a meticulous strike and bold, satiny luster on both sides. One or two tiny toning spots have settled over the obverse and mentioned merely for the sake of completeness. The finest of only two example graded at NGC and PCGS combined. A major opportunity for the specialist." This type was struck 1872-97 in substantial quantities but only the 1872 and 1873 are not extremely rare. As the weight of the five yen was reduced to 4.16 g in 1897, it suggests that all the other dates were retained by the government and then melted to make the lighter weight coin.

Recorded mintage: 260,424.

Specification: 8.33 g, .900 fine gold, 21.82 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: Fr-47; Y-11a.


  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.
  • The Catalog of Japanese Coins and Banknotes, Tokyo: JNDA (Japanese Numismatic Dealers Assn.), 2014.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, Kyle Ponterio and Chris Chatigny, The August 2018 Philadelphia ANA Auction: World Coins and Selections from the El Dorado Collection of Colombian Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2018.

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