Mon: coin of Japan (...-1870); 1/250 shu


100 mon, 1835-1870: Japan

100 mon, 1835-1870: Japan

This coin in the Japanese monetary system has its own name: Tenpō Tsūhō (according to the characters indicated on it).

The shape of the coin is an oval with a square hole in the center.

Cast coin.

ND (no date).

天保: Tenpō (Japanese era name — 1830-1844).

通寶: Tsūhō ("circulating treasure" or "currency").

當 百: equal hundred.

Under the denomination of the coin is a sign the Kaō (a stylized signature or a mark used in Japan in place of a true signature) of Gotō San'emon — a member of the Gotō family, descendants of Gotō Shozaburo Mitsutsugu (metalworker and engraver appointed in 1601 to oversee the Edo mint and its coinage).

Edo — a historical city in Japan; the old name of the modern Japanese capital Tokyo.

Edge of the coin: stylized paulownia flower (individual mint's mark — so-called, shirushi) twice.

Mintage: 484.804.054 (official emissions).

This rather non-standard and interesting looking, old Japanese coin has an equally interesting history. Firstly, its release in the same design continued intermittently from 1835 to 1870. In total, about 485 million pieces of this coin were issued. But this is only official information (we are talking about the emission at the official, legal mints of Osaka and Edo). According to approximate assumptions, regional underground illegal mints were additionally released about 200 million more of this coin. Most of the total issue was withdrawn from circulation at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries (more was withdrawn than was officially issued). It is interesting that this coin was produced by the casting method, and it is precisely in this context that it is possible to distinguish between official issues and counterfeits — the latter were cast using coarser-grained sand. As a result, unofficial specimens have a less smooth coin field (surface).

  • Bronze: 48 mm - 22.55 g
  • Reference price: 22$

COIN MON — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. JAPAN (...-1870): mon = 1/250 shu = 1/1000 bu = 1/4000 ryō (there is no single position regarding the date of appearance of the first Japanese mon in numismatic sources — for example, the English-language Wikipedia calls 1336, while in catalogs you can find coins with the specified denomination in the "mon" format of the 8th century...)

About the name of the coin mon: unfortunately, it is not possible to find a clear explanation of the origin and meaning of the term "mon". However, there is information that the coin was marked with the hieroglyph "文". It is interesting that exactly such a symbol is used to denote the related currencies of neighboring China (wén; latinized — cash), Hong Kong (wén; latinized — mil), Korea (mun) and Vietnam (văn).