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Japan 1 and 2 Shu  1853 to 1859
Japan 1 and 2 Shu 1853 to 1859

Neat coin, Louis. These were minted from bars of silver during the Shogun (military leader) rulership of Japan between 1787 and 1867. There are 1 shu and 2 shu denominations, annotated using the numerals that look like horizontal bars at the top of the front side of the coin. Our secondary picture shows a 2 shu. These coins are known as 'hammered coins' because the process used to make them involved hammers (big hammers) and handheld dies. Much of the time the minter did not get the dies lined up very well, so some of the pattern gets lost, as shown in our photos.

There are other rectangular coins from Japan which look similar, but not identical, to our photos. This page covers only coins that look like the photos.

The 2 shu in the secondary picture comes from Stack's Bowers and Ponterio where it sold in 2012 for $850 US dollars. That gives you and idea of value for 2 shu coins.

However, 1 shu coins are much more common and sell for much less than 2 shu coins. Typical catalog values are:

1 SHU (shown at angles in our primary picture)
worn: $15 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $25
well preserved: $40
fully uncirculated: $200

As always on CoinQuest, these are very approximate values and they must be interpreted using the information on our Terminology page.

The coin in the primary picture comes from a discussion thread over at CoinCommunity.

Coin: 14214 , Genre: The Sinosphere
Requested by: Louis, Mon, 15-Apr-2013 02:05:14 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Sat, 04-May-2013 01:43:13 GMT
Reviewed by CoinQuest. Appraisal ok., Fri, 03-Apr-2015 21:44:47 GMT
Requester description: It is a small silver bar, with 3 Japanese characters on the front. The only two I can read say 'one' and 'silver'. It also has 5 Japanese symbols on the back and the only one I can read says 'silver'. Four of these symbols, including the one for silver, are clustered at the bottom, but the 5th one is above the other 4 and is stamped into the coin. I believe the stamped symbol to be intentional though. The edges of the bar's surface have tiny circles that go around the bar. Thanks for appraising 1 shu
Tags: japan 1 2 shu japanese japanise japenes japenese japanize japanesse japanes silver bar 3 characters character front only two i one 5 symbols symbol four th 4 stamped stamp circles circle go siliver sliver argent silber silverish slver silb bars logograms ones syombol symbles symbal simbol symbels symobols simble stamps circled encircle crrcle cirle circlet ring circlr circal citcle encircled ringed circumscibed cirlce circel encircles encircling rings circling cirlces circular cicurling circumscribed dot bead pearl beaded period beading beads pionts point periods dots points pearls

  

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Mon, 05-Dec-2016 14:30:42 GMT, unknown: 10975387