Origin: These rectangular silver coins were produced by the Tokugawa shogunate at the end of the Edo Period, from 1853 to 1865. Known as "Kaei Isshugin," each coin is about 96% pure silver and was stamped with the character "定" by the mint to show its authenticity.
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 issu-gin, produced at the end of Tokugawa rule, measure only 17mm by 10mm (0.7 by 0.4 inches)
Each includes a Certificate of Authenticity.
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