Robert's Notes: This coin is particularly rare because it has a "Chopmark" - a Chinese merchant or banker's mark. You will see it circled in the second of our photos. Chopmarks were placed on coins that circulated in China after the merchant or banker had tested it and found it to be genuine (not a counterfeit with a gold or silver wash over the surface and a cheap copper or pot metal core). So, this Samurai coin circulated in China - perhaps taken there by a sailor or trader - and then was tested, found to be genuine, and stamped with a Chopmark. It is rare to discover these coins with a Chopmark, and it tells us one more chapter in this coin's fascinating history.The exquisite design and rectangle shapes of the Samurai coinage began in 1601 and survived for over 250 years, a stunning example of the artistry that flourished in the Edo Period. But when Japan reopened to trade with the West in 1853, the coinage quickly became obsolete as the silver and gold exchange rates gave huge opportunities for foreigner merchants and sailors to export the coins for profit, leading to the loss of large quantities of precious metals in the form of coins to exportation.
Since silver and gold coinage was generally owned only by the elite and wealthy, this beautiful Nibu-Kin coin may once have been carried in a small compartment in the handle of a katana, the sword carried by a proud samurai warrior.For more information of the connection between these Samurai Coins and Cannon Beach, Oregon, read: A Princess, Pirates, a Samurai... & a man named MacDonald
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