Silver Coin JAPAN Ansei (1859-68) Bu, Ichibu. PCGS MS64 JNDA 09-52 Ansei
For those collectors looking for something a little different, Japanese Tokugawa Shogunate coinage might be just the thing. The coins are not round like most. Instead they are rectangular or oval, with unique and interesting designs.
During the years from 1192 to 1867 the Shogun governed Japan. These were military commanders appointed by the emperors. The term Shogunate refers to the feudal military dictatorships of the Shogun. The Tokugawa period which is also referred to as the Edo period (1603-1867) was a time of political stability. Society was divided into four classes - warriors, farmers, artisans, and merchants - and mobility between classes was forbidden.
Although Shogunate coinage was issued in bronze, gold, and silver, for PCGS Set Registry® purposes we have concentrated on the hammered gold and silver coins from 1601 to 1867. While the coins are not "dated" in the normal sense of the word, Japanese characters on the coins indicate the period in which the coin was made. The monetary system was based on the Ryo which is equivalent to the Koban. So, 16 Shu equals 1 Koban and 4 Bu equals 1 Koban. The Registry composites are listed by denomination and within each set the coins are by period and Krause catalogue number. Denominations include Shu, 2 Shu, Bu, 2 Bu, and Koban.
These coins did not have a fixed exchange rate. Instead, they were traded based on weight and fineness of the silver and gold. As market conditions changed, so did the value of the coins. During the 250 years the Shogunate coinage was used, standards fluctuated due to periods of inflation. By the mid-1800s world silver and gold prices provided foreigners an opportunity to buy Shogunate coinage low and sell it high outside of Japan. This led to a large loss of silver and gold within Japan and forced the country to eventually standardize its monetary system.
*NOTE: Artwork for demonstration purposes only. Prices subject to change based on daily gold and silver spot pricing.*