Origin: These rectangular silver coins were produced by the Tokugawa shogunate at the end of the Edo Period, from 1837 to 1868. Known as "Ichibu-gin," each coin is about 96% pure silver and was stamped with the character "定" by the mint to show its authenticity.
Japanese silver coins perpetuated an economic crisis during the mid-19th century. Since Japan had previously been isolated for over 200 years, their exchange rates for precious metals had not yet caught up with the rest of the world. As a result, American traders could exchange $4 for 12 of these Ichibu-gin, then exchange those for $12 worth of gold. This exploit resulted in a huge outflow of gold from the Japanese islands.
Tokugawa coinage was introduced in 1601, to stop Japan from relying on Chinese-made bronze coins which were used for centuries earlier. Gold and silver were in short supply on the Japanese islands, which lead Japan to ban the export of bullion currency in the 1700's. In the 1800's, the scarcity of gold and silver as well as natural disasters and high government spending caused coins to become smaller and smaller over time. These coins measure 19mm by 16mm, substantially bigger than the smaller Issu-gin that we have for sale as well.
Each includes a Certificate of Authenticity.
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Our original glass and leatherette display boxes showcase your relic above a custom information card, with a design unique to History Hoard.