Japan 1893 (M26) yen

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from the Stack's Bowers 2018 NYINC sale, lot 24275
photo courtesy Stack's-Bowers LLC

This specimen was lot 24275 in Stack's Bowers NYINC sale (New York, January 2018), where it sold for $168. The catalog description[1] noted, "JAPAN. Yen, Year 26 (1893). PCGS MS-62 Secure Holder. Sharply struck, toned." This type, roughly equal to a silver dollar, was struck 1886-1912 and is common in all grades. The variety with the flame extending between the fourth and fifth spines is much rarer. The last silver yen was struck in 1917. Prior to the opening of Japan in the 1850's and 1860's, Japanese coins were a mix of Chinese-style cast copper cash, silver rectangular "bu" and rare, gold "oban." Many of the early dates of Meiji yen were countermarked as "gin" (KM 28) in 1897 to circulate as trade dollars in Taiwan, annexed to Japan in 1895.

Recorded mintage: 10,403,477 (a common date).

Specification: 26.96 g, .900 fine silver, .780 troy oz ASW, 38.1 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: Y-A25.3; JNDA-01-10a.


  • 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, John Kraljevich and Cris Chatigny, The January 2018 NYINC Sale: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, featuring the Eldorado Collection of Colombian and Ecuadorian Coins, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2017.

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