These are modern Japanese 5 yen coins. The rice stalk and gear are distinguishing patterns. Dating these coins can be a challenge for Westerners. Earlier coins come from the Showa (Hirohito) dynasty, which starts counting years in 1925, and later from the current Heisei (Akihito) dynasty, which starts counting in 1988. So, for instance, Heisei 1 is 1989.
You can see these characters on the non-rice side of the coin. After that comes the date, expressed as years of the particular dynasty.
The coin in our photo comes from the 33rd year of the Showa dynasty, or 1925 + 33 = 1958. The leftmost character means 'year.'
All in all, most dates of these coins are worth face value, 5 yen in Japan. Dates before Showa 34 (1959) are worth about $10 if in fully uncirculated condition. Coins dated Showa 32 (1957) are scarce and can be worth $30 in fully uncirculated.
, Genre: The Sinosphere
Requested by: Mickey, Fri, 01-Oct-2010 02:51:16 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Fri, 06-Sep-2013 15:24:42 GMT
Reviewed by CoinQuest. Appraisal ok., Fri, 06-Sep-2013 15:24:42 GMT
Requester description: see picture sent to your Contact Us e-mail
Tags: japan 5 yen showa heisei rice wheel gear usa us mail line bar bars grain grains wheat