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Japanese 1 rin coin

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1 rin
Coin from 1873
General information

Merchant flag of Japan (1870) Empire of Japan





Measurements and composition

0.91 g


15.75 mm








Imperial Seal of Japan, value



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The 1 rin coin was issued by the Empire of Japan for circulation from 1873 to 1884 (M6 to M17). Uncirculated patterns were produced in 1869 (M2), 1870 (M3), and 1873, and in 1892 (M25) 1 rin coins bearing standard designs were minted but never put into circulation. All examples were produced during the reign of Emperor Meiji, commonly known as Mutsuhito outside of Japan.


Pattern coins (1869-1870)Edit

The earliest Japanese coin denominated at 1 rin is a non-dated pattern that was produced in 1869, the second year of Emperor Meiji's reign. It is composed of copper. The coin is round in shape and has a circular hole in its center. The hole represents the sun, and several light rays are shown "emitting" from it on both sides of the coin. The Japanese text "銭一換 枚十以" (Romanized: Sen ichi kan mai jū i) is shown inscribed around the bottom rim on the obverse, and means that the coin had a value equal to 110 of a sen. Displayed on the reverse is the value "一釐" (Romanized: Ichi rin; English: "one rin"), with the digit (一) printed at the top of the coin and the denomination (釐) written at the bottom, separated from each other by the hole in the coin's center.

A second 1 rin pattern coin was produced in 1870, the third year of the emperor's reign. It is composed of copper like the previous coin, and is round in shape. The Imperial Seal of Japan — which consists of an image of a chrysanthemum flower — is shown in the center of the obverse. The value, inscribed above the seal, is identical to that on the 1869 pattern, but the last two characters are switched, making it read "銭一換 枚以十" (Romanized: Sen ichi kan mai i jū) instead. The Japanese date is printed around the bottom rim of the coin as "年三治明", which signifies production during the third year of Emperor Meiji's reign. Featured on the obverse is a radiant depiction of the sun. The value "厘" (Romanized: rin) is engraved at the left side of the coin, superimposed over some of the sun rays.

Circulation coin (1873-1892)Edit

The first circulation 1 rin coin was minted in 1873, the sixth year of Meiji's reign. It is composed of copper, has a mass of 0.91 grams, and measures approximately 15.75 millimeters in diameter. The coin is round in shape and has medallic alignment. The Imperial Seal of Japan is featured in the center of the reverse. Featured at the left side of the coin is the Japanese state title of Japan, "本日大" (Dai Nippon), and displayed at the right side is the year of minting, written in the same format as on the 1870 pattern coin, with the number printed between "年" and "治明". The coin's value is written in Latin script as "1 RIN" at the very bottom of the coin. Featured on the reverse is the Japanese value "一厘" (Ichi rin), with each character printed on its own line. Both sides of the coin have a thin circular border around the rim. In 1873 a similarly designed pattern coin denominated at 1 rin was produced, and differs only from the circulation coin by the value on the obverse, which is printed as "1 MIL" instead of "1 RIN", and the border around the rim, which is a bit larger.

The circulation coin was minted by the Japan Mint during the years 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1880, 1882, 1883, 1884, and 1892. Over these years, a total of 44,491,550 examples were produced.

Japanese years
Numeral Japanese date Gregorian date
M6 1873
M7 1874
M8 1875
M9 1876
M10 1877
十三 M13 1880
十五 M15 1882
十六 M16 1883
十七 M17 1884
二十五 M25 1892


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Japanese yen
Banknotes 5s10s50s¥1¥5¥10¥50¥100¥500¥1000¥2000¥5000¥10,000
Coins 1r5r1s2 s5s10s20 s50s¥1¥2¥5¥10¥20¥50¥100¥500¥1000¥100,000
Miscellaneous Bank of JapanJapan MintNational Printing Bureau

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