Japanese Ichibu Gin Silver Coin 1837-1868
The Ichibu Gin, or One Bu Silver, is one of the most common denominations of Japanese bar money seen today. They were minted from 1837 up until 1869 in fairly large numbers. One Bu was worth 1/4 Ryo in Japanese commerce.
The obverse reads “Ichibu Gin”, or “One Bu Silver”, and the reverse includes the same text as the Nanryo Gin: “Jo”, “Ginza”, and “Joze”. Both sides have a border of sakura (cherry blossoms), which can be used to date them. On most examples, one flower on each side will be inverted, and the position of this flower can attribute it to one of three eras. Specific elements of the calligraphy can be used as well.
Originally, these coins were 99.1% silver, but when Japanese ports were opened in 1859 they debased them to exchange for foreign silver. By the end of the type in 1869, they contained only 80.7% silver.
Incuse stamp 定 (= Jo) over 4 kanji in rectangle surrounded by 30 sakuras (cherry blosoms) one of them inverted.
Bottom left 2 strokes of 是 cross.
Ginza (Silver Mint)
Joze (Mint Official)
3 vertical kanji in rectangle surrounded by 30 sakuras (cherry blossoms) one of them inverted
Translation: 1 bu silver
Vertical reeding on short sides with 2-3 incuse stars
slanted reeding on long sides with 3 incuse stars
Dimensions: around 23mm x 16.00mm