Various Questions

Please click the questions.

  1. What is Japan Mint's contact information?
  2. When was Japan Mint opened?
  3. Does Japan Mint produce coins & banknotes?
  4. Does Japan Mint appraise the value of coins?
  5. I would like to visit Japan Mint.
  6. Why are coins round-shaped?
  7. Who issues coins and banknotes?
  8. Which is the obverse side of Japanese coins?
  9. Why is Yen used as coinage unit in Japan?
  10. What to do with unusable coins?
  11. Why do you make holed coins and mill their edges?
  12. How many coins can you use in daily transactions?
  13. In what occasions are commemoraive coins issued?
  14. What is Annual Coin Test?
  15. What is a proof coin?
  16. What is a premium coin?
  17. How to make ancient Japanese coins?
  18. What is "Kocho-Junisen"?
  19. When was the motto "In God We Trust" placed on U.S. coinage?
  20. What is a mintmark of USA?
  21. How many countries join the Euro?
  22. How many denominations does the Euro issue?
  23. What is on the obverse (or heads) of Australian coins?
  24. Circulation Coinage? «THE BRITISH ROYAL MINT»
  25. Japan Mint & Historical Spots?
  26. Japan Mint & Events?

1. What is Japan Mint's contact information?

Email: pub@mint.go.jp
Website: www.mint.go.jp
Phone: 06 6351 6150
Fax: 06 6351 5481
Mailing address:
Japan Mint
Temma, 1-1-79
Kita-ku Osaka 530-0043
Japan

2. When was Japan Mint opened?

On April 4, 1871.
The occasion was made a high holiday for the whole population of Osaka. The ceremony started with Prime Minister Sanjo presenting his speech. After the speech he declared the Mint opened and ordered the mint machinery to be set in motion, which represented not merely the beginning of a new monetary system in Japan but the beginning of industrialization of Osaka city. Displays of fireworks were provided by the Government, and the day after the inaugural ceremony, the Mint was thrown open to the populace, who for three successive days thronged the buildings in one unbroken crowd of all ages and both sexes.

3. Does Japan Mint produce coins & banknotes?

Japan Mint produces coins only. Banknotes are produced by National Printing Bureau.

4. Does Japan Mint appraise the value of coins?

The Mint does not appraise the value of coins. We suggest that you bring your coin to several coin dealers for appraisal.

5. I would like to visit Japan Mint.

Tours are available. Please call 06 6351 6150. You can observe the coin production process and watch a video. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Mint Shop where you can buy various souvenirs.
Mint Tour/Mint Museum information
Mint Shop information

6. Why are coins round-shaped?

Round-shaped coins are handled easier than square-shaped coins. They are more resistant than other-shaped coins against erosion. As round-shaped coins are easier to be mass-produced, a lot of coins in the world are round-shaped. When you get merchandises from vending machines, it is much easier for you to put round-shaped coins into the slots.

7. Who issues coins and banknotes?

Coins are issued by the government. Banknotes are issued by the Bank of Japan.

8. Which is the obverse side of Japanese coins?

In our working practice the side borne dated mark has been called reverse (tail).

9. Why is Yen used as coinage unit in Japan?

Main reasons

  1. The shape of coin was converted from square into round. In Japan we pronounce Yen for roundness.
  2. As in China "Yen", the unit of banknote, was pronounced "Yuan", so the Japanese "described as "Yen". (At that time "Edo" was described as "Yedo").

10. What to do with unusable coins?

The Bank of Japan withdraws these unusable coins. Japan Mint remelts them to make new coins.

11. Why do you make holed coins and mill their edges?

  1. Originally the coin was milled in order to
    (1) prevent scalping the edge of precious gold and silver coins.
    (2) indicate the highest valued denomination coin at that time.
  2. Now in order to
    (1) identify the specific coin easily (distinguish the specific coin from others).
    (2) prevent counterfeiting.

12. How many coins can you use in daily transactions?

According to the Japanese Currency Law, maximum pieces of up to 20 coins of the same denomination can be used as legal tender.

13. In what occasions are commemorative coins issued?

Commemorative coins are issued to mark the national celebrations and commemorative events under the authorization of the Cabinet.
Commemorative Coins issued up to now

14. What is Annual Coin Test?

The test is held to ensure and check whether the weight of coins is within the range of stipulated allowance.

15. What is a proof coin?

It is a brilliantly polished numismatic coin. The proof coin is carefully produced with special techniques.

16. What is a premium coin?

The premium coin is a commemorative coin, made of precious metal, and is sold by the government at a price above the surface denomination.

17. How to make ancient Japanese coins?

In case of "Wado-Kaiho" or "Wado-kaichin" (708 AD), molten bronze were poured into an earthen mould. It was taken out of the mould after the bronze being cooled and hardened.

18. What is "Kocho-Junisen"?

Twelve kinds of copper coins were issued by the government during 250 years or so following the mintage of the Wado Kaichin or Wado Kaiho in 708.

19. When was the motto "In God We Trust" placed on U.S. coinage?

The motto "In God We Trust" was first placed on U.S. coinage in 1864.

20. What is a mintmark of USA?

Mintmarks designate where a coin was struck. Current mintmarks and mints include: (P) Philadelphia (D) Denver (S) San Francisco (W) West Point

21. How many countries join the Euro?

The following 19 countries (in 2016)
* Republic of Austria (Austria)
* Kingdom of Belgium (Belgium)
* Republic of Cyprus (Cyprus)
* Republic of Estonia (Estonia)
* Republic of Finland (Finland)
* French Republic (France)
* Federal Republic of Germany (Germany)
* Hellenic Republic (Greece)
* Republic of Italy (Italy)
* Ireland
* Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
* Republic of Malta (Malta)
* Portuguese Republic (Portugal)
* Slovak Republic (Slovakia)
* Republic of Slovenia (Slovenia)
* Spain
* Kingdom of the Netherlands (The Netherlands)
* Republic of Latvia
*Republic of Lithuania

22. How many denominations does the Euro issue?

The euro coinage comprises 8 denominations; 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 eurocents, and 1 and 2 euros.

23. What is on the obverse (or heads) of Australian coins?

An image of the reigning monarch. Currently, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

24. Circulation Coinage? «THE BRITISH ROYAL MINT»

TWO POUNDS

Alloy: Inner Circle – Cupro-nickel Outer Circle – Nickel-brass
Weight: 12.00 gms
Diameter: 28.40 mm
Composition: Inner 75% Copper 25% Nickel
Outer 76% Copper 4% Nickel 20% Zinc

ONE POUND

Alloy: Nickel-brass
Weight: 9.50 gms
Diameter: 22.50 mm
Composition: 70% Copper 5.5% Nickel 24.5% Zinc

FIFTY PENCE

Alloy: Cupro-nickel
Weight: 8.00 gms
Diameter: 27.30 mm
Composition: 75% Copper 25% Nickel

TWENTY PENCE

Alloy: Cupro-nickel
Weight: 5.00 gms
Diameter: 21.40 mm
Composition:
84% Copper
16% Nickel

TEN PENCE

Alloy: Cupro-nickel
Weight: 6.50 gms
Diameter: 24.50mm
Composition: 75% Copper 25% Nickel

FIVE PENCE

Alloy: Cupro-nickel
Weight: 3.25 gms
Diameter: 18.00 mm
Composition: 75% Copper 25% Nickel

ONE PENNY

Alloy: From Sept 1992 to January 1998: Copper-plated steel
Weight: 3.56 gms
Diameter: 20.03 mm
Composition: From Sept 1992: Copper-plated steel
Pre-Sep’92: Bronze 97% Copper 2.5% Zinc 0.5% Tin

25. Japan Mint & Historical Spots?

Sempukan

Having been designated an important cultural property by the Ministry of Education in 1956, this building named "Sempukan" is known to be one of the oldest Western-style buildings existing in Japan. The Sempukan was built in 1870 by Thomas Walter, a British architect. It was originally used as a reception hall by Japan Mint, today, however, it is the property of the City of Osaka.

Yoriki Yakutaku Mon (an entrance to the Edo Period officer-of-the-law's residence)

The whole neighborhood presently called Temma, now the seat of Japan Mint, was in the Edo period (1615 to 1868) the official residence of those days’ Temma Yoriki (law enforcement officials). The entrance located in front of the Mint Club House is one of the gates. (It is said to have belonged to Tohnai Nakajima, a Yoriki).

The old site of "Senshindo" (designated a prominent historical place by the Osaka City Government)

Here Heihachiro Ohshio, a former Temma Yoriki resided, opened a private school named "Senshindo" and taught various learning. Because of the distressing circumstances of the common people during the Tempo 8 (1837) famine, he started an insurrection known as "Tempo-no-ran" (The Tempo Revolt).

Gaslights

The pair of gaslights located just inside the old Front Gate are the oldest in Japan still remaining in good condition today.

26. Japan Mint & Events?

Cherry Blossom Viewing

Every year, during cherry blossom time around the middle of April, the entire Yodo Riverside lane, a full length of 560m, is opened to the public for one week for cherry blossom viewing. This event has been held for over a century since 1883.
Cherry Blossoms information

Sumo

Japan Mint is responsible for the presentation of the Mint President's Cup in the Osaka Grand Sumo Tournament.

Annual Coin Test

The Annual Coin Test, the first of which was conducted in 1872, is held to determine whether or not the produced coins are within the range of stipulated accuracy.

Fairs and Exhibitions

Some other services include Fairs held by the Head Office, Saitama Branch and Hiroshima Branch.
Event information