20 yen coin

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Twenty yen
Japan
Value20 Japanese yen
Mass16.6 g
Diameter35.06 mm
ShapeCircular
Composition90% Gold
10% Copper
Years of minting1870–1932
Catalog number-
Obverse
Reverse

The 20 yen coin (二十圓硬貨) was a denomination of Japanese yen. These coins were minted in gold, and during their lifespan were the highest denomination of coin that circulated in the country. The first coins were minted in 1870 following the introduction of a decimal currency system. Twenty Yen coins spanned three different Imperial eras before mintage was halted in 1932. Many of these coins were then melted or destroyed as a result of the wars between 1931 and 1945. These coins are now collected by numismatists for academic study, and by those with a hobby.

Circulation figures[edit]

Meiji[edit]

The following are mintage figures for the coins that were minted between the 3rd and 45th (last) year of Meiji's reign. Inscriptions on coins for this period all begin with the Japanese symbol 明治 (Meiji). While coins were struck in 1892, none were released for circulation.

Japanese coins from this period are read clockwise from right to left

"Year" ← "Number representing year of reign" ← "Emperors name" (Ex: 年 ← 七十三 ← 治明)
20 yen coin from year 3 (1870)
20 yen coin from year 30 (1897)
Year of reign Japanese date Gregorian date Mintage[1]
3rd 1870 46,139[2]
6th 1873 42,845[3]
7th 1874 3,251[3]
9th 1876 954[2]
10th 1877 29[2]
13th 三十 1880 103[2]
25th 五十二 1892 Not circulated[2]
30th 十三 1897 1,861,000[4]
36th 六十三 1903 Unknown[4]
37th 七十三 1904 2,759,470
38th 八十三 1905 1,045,904
39th 九十三 1906 1,331,332
40th 十四 1907 817,363
41st 一十四 1908 458,082
42nd 二十四 1909 557,882
43rd 三十四 1910 2,163,644
44th 四十四 1911 1,470,057
45th 五十四 1912 1,272,450

Taishō[edit]

The following are mintage figures for the coins that were minted from the 1st to the 9th year of Taishō's reign. Inscriptions on coins for this period all begin with the Japanese symbol 大正 (Taishō).

Japanese coins from this period are read clockwise from right to left:

"Year" ← "Number representing year of reign" ← "Emperors name" (Ex: 年 ← 六 ← 正大)
Year of reign Japanese date Gregorian date Mintage[1][5]
1st 1912 177,644
2nd 1913 869,248
3rd 1914 1,042,890
4th 1915 1,509,960
5th 1916 2,376,641
6th 1917 6,208,885
7th 1918 3,118,647
8th 1919 1,531,217
9th 1920 370,366

Shōwa[edit]

The following are mintage figures for coins minted between the 5th and the 7th year of Emperor Shōwa's reign. Inscriptions on coins of this period all begin with the Japanese symbol 昭和 (Shōwa).

Japanese coins from this period are read clockwise from right to left:

"Year" ← "Number representing year of reign" ← "Emperors name" (Ex: 年 ← 五 ← 和昭)
Year of reign Japanese date Gregorian date Mintage[1]
5th 1930 11,055,500
6th 1931 7,526,476
7th 1932 Unknown

Collectability[edit]

All 20 yen coins are scarce, as many were melted down or destroyed during Japan's war years (1931–1945).[6] The most common coins found are dated between 1904 and 1920 (Meiji Y.37 to Taishō Y.9), with examples selling in the thousands of dollars.[7] Those dated between the 3rd and 9th year of Meiji's reign (1870 to 1876) are harder to find, and are priced in the five digit amounts; year 9 (1876) coins are the most common.[8] Although mintage figures number in the millions for coins minted after 1920, many were later melted or destroyed. Examples from Showa's 7th year of reign (1932) are considered extremely rare.[7] The rarest coins of the series, though, were minted in the 10th and 13th years of Meiji's reign (1877 and 1880). It is estimated that less than 10 examples survive for the latter, and as a result one of these coins sold for $230,000 (USD) in 2011.[6] All coins for this series should be graded, and authenticated by an expert, as counterfeits exist.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Chester L. Krause & Clifford Mishler. Collecting World Coins 10th edition. Krause Publications. pp. 433–434.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Japan 20 Yen Y# 13 Yr.10(1877)-Yr.9(1876)". Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Japan Weekly Mail". Jappan Meru Shinbunsha. 1875. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Japan 20 Yen Y# 34". Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  5. ^ "Japan 20 Yen Y# 40.2 Yr.2(1913)-Yr.9(1920)". Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Heritage Auction (December 12, 2016). "Japanese Proof Collection Star of Heritage NYINC 2017 Signature Auction". www.coinweek.com. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Japan 5, 10, and 20 Yen 1897 to 1932". coinquest.com. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Japan 2, 5, 10, and 20 Yen (Fakes are possible) 1870 to 1900". coinquest.com. Retrieved December 22, 2016.