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Japan 5, 10, 20, 50 Sen and 1 Yen  1873 to 1900
Japan 5, 10, 20, 50 Sen and 1 Yen 1873 to 1900

Early Japanese coins like this one are enjoying strong collector interest. This pattern, with the encircled dragon on the front and two-sided wreath and blossom on the back appears on the silver coins of denomination 5, 10, 20, and 50 Sen and 1 Yen. There are 100 sen in one yen. Copper and gold coins also carry the same pattern. This page addresses only silver coins. View our page on copper issues here.

The dates of these cois are from the Meiji Dynasty, which started in 1867. To find the date of your coin, use the listing of Japanese characters below and a web site such as AllCalendars.net. The coin in our picture comes from Meiji 30, or 1867 + 30 = 1897.

Catalog values for these coins are quite high, especially for coins in good condition. The coin in our picture is in average circulated condition. Gague your coin from this one, and apply the concepts on our Important Terminology page to convert catalog values to actual values. Remember, also, that these coins, especially the large ones, are often counterfeited, so be sure you trust the person involved in any transaction. If you think your coin may be valuable, find a knowledgable coin dealer or coin collector and get an opinion. CoinQuest and web sites like it are no match for an actual, first-person inspection of a coin. First-person inspection always gives better estimates of value than any price guide.

5 SEN
worn: $10 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $25
well preserved: $40
fully uncirculated: $75
coins dated 1876 are usually worth half these values
coins dated 1874 are worth about 5 times these values
coins dated 1880 are very rare and are worth $2000 or more


10 SEN
worn: $5 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $10
well preserved: $30
fully uncirculated: $65
coins dated 1873, 1895, 1896, and 1897 are usualy worth half these values
coins dated 1891 and 1892 are worth about 3 times these values
coins dated 1880 are very rare and are worth $5000 or more

20 SEN
worn: $5 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $12
well preserved: $20
fully uncirculated: $50
coins dated 1873, 1874, 1875, 1891 and 1900 are worth about twice these values
coins dated 1888 are worth about 5 times these values
coins dated 1880 are very rare and are worth $1000 or more

50 SEN
worn: $15 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $30
well preserved: $80
fully uncirculated: $200
coins dated 1885 are worth about 5 times these values
coins dated 1874, 1875, 1876, and 1877 are worth at least $1000 even in worn condition
coins dated 1880 are very rare and are worth $2000 or more

1 YEN
worn: $75 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $120
well preserved: $225
fully uncirculated: $850
coins dated 1874, 1878, 1879 are worth at least $300 in worn condition, much more if in better condition
coins dated 1875 are very rare and are worth $4000 or more

Coin: 8776 , Genre: The Sinosphere
Requested by: Negi, Fri, 16-Sep-2011 20:49:47 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Tue, 03-Dec-2013 02:47:28 GMT
Reviewed by CoinQuest -- Appraisal ok., Tue, 03-Dec-2013 02:47:28 GMT
Requester description: 1875 Slight damage but otherwise well preserved. All letters are japanese and I do not understand japanese. Only latin letters on coin say '10 sen'. Slight wear on lettering. One side appears to have a dragon, though I can't tell. Other side has a wreath much like the reverse if an indian head cent, and has a single cherry blossom above two japanese letters.
Tags: japan 5 10 20 50 sen 1 yen damage well preserved preserve letters letter japanese i only latin lettering one dragon wreath an indian head cent single cherry blossom flower two leters lettered japanise japenese japanize japanesse ones dragons fler fleurs lises leis lisse flur folwers stems trefoils floral lily posy bouquet flowers flour fllower bud fleur bloomed trefoil floret floer stem flowery lilys fluer fleures pedals circle chrysanthemum

Comments

I have a Japanese coin (5 sen) from this time period but I am unsure how to date it, please help. - James
To date your coin, use the character sheet on this page together with the date converter found in the link. When you look at the side with the dragon and hold the coin so "5 SEN" is at the bottom, the date will be found at 2 o'clock on the coin. The orientation of the writing is with the bottom of the characters towards the rim. For example, the coin in our image has the sign for "10" and then the sign for "3", meaning "three tens" or the year 30 in the Meiji period, which is 1897 AD. - CoinQuest (Chris)

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Sun, 23-Nov-2014 06:56:06 GMT, unknown: 2025662