These are very valuable coins. Some are super valuable. Handle them with care and
DO NOT CLEAN YOUR COIN. CLEANING RUINS VALUE
The Japanese Empire issued these beautiful gold coins with characteristic dragon and chrysanthemum and somewhat unusual flowing banners in the design.
Dating your particular coin is important, as some dates are more valuable than others. The dates range from year 3 to year 33 of the Meiji Dynasty, that is, from 1870 to 1900. For a thorough explanation of Japanese dating, click to AllCalendars.net.
The 10 yen coin in our picture comes from Heritage Auctions where it sold for an amazing $276000 US dollars, about three times its catalog value. As always, CoinQuest thanks Heritage for use of its beautiful coin image.
If you are the owner of such a coin, be sure to take steps to protect it and authenticate it. Sad to say, there are many, many counterfeits of rare coins, and anything this valuable is sure to attract crooks. Seek out a knowledgeable collector or coin dealer and get a first-hand opinion about authenticity. You can start and e-mail exchange with CoinQuest, and we can offer our opinion on real-or-fake status based on imagery, but a first-hand appraisal is best. Use, also, the coin weights cited below to help with authentication. An accurate scale, such as a jeweler's scale, is needed. Our secondary picture shows a sample of a crude counterfeit, worth zero.
Below we give some approximate catalog values for genuine coins. As always, catalog values are only rough guidelines. Usually, catalog values are inflated over actual buy and sell prices, but, as seen from the Heritage example above, this is not always the case
2 YEN (17 mm diameter, 3.33 grams coin weight, 0.096 troy ounces gold)
worn: $400 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $500
well preserved: $800
fully uncirculated: $1200
2 yen dated after Meiji year 3 are very valuable, cataloging over $50000 in average circulated condition
5 YEN (24 mm diameter, 8.33 grams coin weight, 0.241 troy ounces gold)
worn: $1200 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $1500
well preserved: $1800
fully uncirculated: $2500
5 yen dated Meiji year 5 and year 6 are somewhat more common and are worth about one-half the values above
5 yen dated Meiji years 10 through 30 are more rare and are worth about three times the values above
10 YEN (29 mm diameter, 16.66 grams coin weight, 0.482 troy ounces gold)
worn: $2500 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $2600
well preserved: $3000
fully uncirculated: $4500
10 yen dated Meiji year 9 and year 10 are very valuable, cataloging over $50000 in average circulated condition
10 year dated after Meiji year 29 are more common and are worth about one-fifth of these values
20 YEN (35 mm diameter, 33.33 grams coin weight, 0.965 troy ounces gold)
worn: $20000 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $25000
well preserved: $30000
fully uncirculated: $45000
20 yen dated Meiji year 9 are somewhat more common and are worth about one-third these values
20 yen dated Meiji year 10 and year 13 are more rare and are worth about three times these values.