Japan Mameita-gin Bean Money with Daikoku (god of plenty)  1601 to 1865
Japan Mameita-gin Bean Money with Daikoku (god of plenty) 1601 to 1865

Here is a very interesting segment of numismatics (coin collecting): Japanese mameita-gin, also known as bean money. There are no inscriptions on the coins, so coins are attributed by pattern only. Bean money has a long history, stretching from the late 1500s to the mid 1800s. Values, no surprise, go up as coins get older, but proper attribution and overall condition and eye appeal are paramount.

Mameita-gin are made of silver alloys, some with very low silver content. Percentage of silver ranges from below 15 percent to above 80 percent. Rarely do the coins look like 'standard' silver. They are usually dark.

To understand mameita gin, you must first know about Daikoku, or Daikokuten, a Japanese god of plenty or god of wealth.

He is usually depicted seated on two rice bags, with a wish-granting mallet in his right hand, and a large bag of precious things in his left hand. The 'god of plenty' usually appears on both sides of mameita gin, but sometimes only on one side.

The second thing you must understand are Japanese eras, or periods of time. There is a good summary on Wikipedia [Press Here]. Mameita-gin coins appear as early as the Keicho era (1595AD) to as late as the Ansei era (1865AD).

While Daikoku appears on just about all mameita gin, subtle differences in his pattern allow numismatists to assign eras (i.e., date ranges) to individual coins.

There is an excellent page that describes the patterns for each mameita-gin era at

Once you have identified the era and estimated the wear and eye appeal of your mameita-gin, you can use the information below to get an approximate idea of value.

Keicho, Genroku, Hoei, Shotoku, Kyoho
worn: $200 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $400
well preserved: $800

Genbun, Bunsei, Tenpo, Ansei
worn: $100 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $250
well preserved: $500

Finally, there are some mameita-gin which have small or large characters on the reverse, called era designators. Coins with era designators are generally worth more than normal coins with Daikoku on both sides.

Coin: 21661 , Genre: The Sinosphere
Requested by: pirgah, Fri, 29-Dec-2017 23:54:58 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Fri, 29-Dec-2017 23:58:16 GMT
Requester description: There are various blobs or bulges in the pattern, which is common to both sides. Coin is very thick. There is a large, tear-shaped blob on one side. There is a diamond shape also. My dentist says it is from Japan.
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