Today, the Japanese yen is of great interest both among various banks, speculators, large investors, and among collectors. The former value it for stability, and the latter for its beautiful design, especially commemorative coins. But what path did the yen go in its rather short life path? This is what this article will tell.
Coins Japanese or Chinese?
The history of the development of money in Japan repeats the Chinese, only with a certain delay. The reason for this is the isolation policy that the Japanese rulers have tried to adhere to over the centuries. For example, it is believed that the first coins began to appear in China in the X century BC. At the same time, the Japanese paid with each other rice, as well as other valuable goods, even arrowheads were used. Again, the first coins came to Japan from the continent. Even the name of the modern yen comes from the Chinese word yuan. In total, until the eighth century coins came to Japan from the mainland. It was in the VIII century that the first Japanese coins began to appear. They were exactly like the Chinese, both in terms of size and in terms of appearance.
In the Middle Ages in Japan, there were a lot of all kinds of coins, which it was simply impossible to list at a time. The first attempts to create at least a semblance of its own monetary system were made during the Tokugawa Shogunate in the 17th century. Then coins of gold, silver and bronze were issued, which were exchanged at a completely changeable exchange rate and did not have any rigid binding. In the middle of the XIX century, Japan stopped adhering to a policy of isolation from the Western world, for its economy it became almost fatal.
The fact is that in the Land of the Rising Sun the ratio of gold to silver was 1: 5, while in Europe it was 1:15. Merchants began to massively buy gold and export it from the country. To try to resolve this situation, the Mexican dollar was introduced into circulation, which was minted in Japan. Meanwhile, numerous feudal governments began to issue their own coins. Japanese finance began to actively fever, and any money began to depreciate.
The appearance of the yen
The only solution in this situation was the introduction of a unified monetary system, but this meant the creation of a centralized power, which did not suit various Japanese feudal rulers. Only after the Bosin War (Civil War in Japan 1868-1869) and the victory of the forces that supported the imperial power, did the possibility of monetary reform appear.
The main problem was the complete absence of any monetary system. The authorities needed to withdraw all banknotes and create a single national currency, which became the yen. They minted it in the image of the same Mexican dollar. She tied to both gold and silver. This was done to prevent new currency collapses. A little later, such a binding was canceled, and Japanese coins began to be equated with gold and the US dollar.
The modern history of the yen began after the end of World War II. Japan was crushed by the Allies to smithereens, the economy lay in ruins. Along with the greatly depreciated yen, the occupation authorities introduced the currency of the same name only with the note “series B”. According to the exchange rate, 360 yen was given for one dollar. After the end of the Allied occupation of Japan and subsequent economic growth, the Japanese currency began to strengthen in the world market. The popularity of the yen is indicated by the fact that for several decades it was the second most important reserve currency in the world.
Japanese yen coins
Currently in circulation are coins in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 yen. 1 yen coins are made of aluminum. On its obverse is a young tree, denomination and name of the country, and on the reverse there is also the denomination and year of manufacture. 5 yen are made of an alloy of copper and zinc. On the obverse are the face value and ears of rice, and on the reverse the name of the country and year of manufacture. 10 yen coins are also made of an alloy of copper and zinc, but with a small addition of tin. On its obverse, in addition to the face value and the name of the country, the famous Buddhist temple Bedo-in, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, is depicted. On the reverse there is a denomination, a laurel wreath and the year of manufacture.
50 yen are made of so-called cupronickel (an alloy of copper and nickel), as well as coins of 100 yen. By the way, their appearance is not much different: both on the obverse are the face value and name of the country, and on the reverse - face value and year of manufacture. These coins differ in the flowers that are depicted on them. At 50 yen it is a chrysanthemum, and at 100 yen it is a sakura. In addition, 50 yen coins have a hole in the middle.
The largest coins in circulation in denominations of 500 yen in different years were issued from different metals. Coins of 1982 were made from the same cupronickel, and those that began to be issued in 2000 include copper, zinc and nickel. But the appearance is the same: on the obverse are the face value, the name of the country and paulownia, and on the reverse there is the face value, bamboo, mandarin and the year of manufacture.
The cost of Japanese coins
How much are Japanese coins? Of course, it all depends on what the circulation was, whether the yen is dedicated to any significant event, the metal from which it is made, antiquity, and so on. In addition, the value of a coin is affected by its condition.
For example, 1 rin of release in 1883 may have a price in the range from 370 to 1902 rubles, depending on the safety. One of the most expensive Japanese coins is considered to be 10,000 yen in 1986. They were released in a circulation of 10 million pieces in honor of the 60th anniversary of the reign of Emperor Hirohito. The coins were made of 999 silver, weigh 20 grams and have a diameter of 35 millimeters. The cost ranges from 8,000 to 11,300 rubles per unit.
Jubilee 1000 yen of 2003 release is also greatly appreciated. Their circulation is very small - only 50,000 copies. They were released in honor of the 50th anniversary of the accession of the Amami Islands to Japan. On the Japanese coins issued that significant year, a color image of a bird and a flower is placed. They are also made of silver of the 999th test, weigh 31 grams and have a diameter of 40 millimeters. The price of jubilee coins ranges from 400 to 600 rubles per unit.