Half sen coin

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Half Sen
Value 1200 Japanese Yen
Mass 3.56 g
Diameter 21.8 mm
Shape circular
Composition 98% Copper
2% Lead & Zinc
Years of minting 1870–1888; 1892

The half sen coin (半銭) was a Japanese coin worth one two-hundredth of a Japanese yen, as 100 sen equalled 1 yen.[1] These coins were minted from 1870 to 1888, but another denomination which had the same value was later minted for a brief period in the late 1910s. All half sen coins were minted during the Meiji period, and are made from nearly pure copper.[2] Two different varieties exist for the half sen coin in regard to the dragon featured on the reverse side of the coin. One variety has "V scales", while the other design shows "square scales" with the latter being more scarce. The mintage figures shown on the table are in thousands of coins.

Circulation figures[edit]


The following are circulation figures for the half sen coin, all of which were minted between the 3rd, and 21st year of Meiji's reign. The dates all begin with the Japanese symbol 明治 (Meiji), followed by the year of his reign the coin was minted. Each coin is read clockwise from right to left, so in the example used below "二十" would read as "year 12" or 1879. Half sen coins with "V" scales are common, and can usually be obtained for under $20 (USD) in circulated condition.[1] Exceptions to this are coins minted in 1870 (year 3) which are rare, and coins minted in 1877 (year 10) with square scales. Additional coins were made in 1892, but these were not released for circulation making them very rare today.

  • "Year" ← "Number representing year of reign" ← "Emperors name" (Ex: 年 ← 二十 ← 治明)
Year of reign Japanese date Gregorian date Mintage
3rd 1870 Unknown[3]
6th 1873 16,804,440[4]
7th 1874 10,881,710[5]
8th 1875 17,037,928[4]
9th 1876 24,292,478[4]
10th 1877 29,278,520[4]
12th 二十 1879 29,963,706[6]
13th 三十 1880 14,090,894[6]
14th 四十 1881 17,929,026[6]
15th 五十 1882 26,458,976[6]
16th 六十 1883 38,202,062[6]
17th 七十 1884 38,480,248[6]
18th 八十 1885 31,166,240[6]
19th 九十 1886 31,831,244[6]
20th 十二 1887 35,651,564[6]
21st 一十二 1888 25,744,686[6]
25th 五十二 1892 Not circulated[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Japan 1/2, 1, and 2 Sen 1873 to 1892". www.coinquest.com. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  2. ^ "半銭青銅貨" (in Japanese). www.buntetsu.net. Retrieved December 9, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Japan 1/2 Sen KM# Pn8 Yr.3 (1870)". Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Japan 1/2 Sen Y# 16.1 Yr.10(1877)-Yr.9(1876)". Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. Retrieved December 9, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Japan Weekly Mail". Jappan Meru Shinbunsha. 1875. Retrieved December 10, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Japan 1/2 Sen Y# 16.2". Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. Retrieved March 20, 2018.