The collecting of international numismatic items (coins, currency and exonumia) can be a fun and interesting hobby. Anyone with a desire to learn of the history of civilizations and countries can learn what was considered to be so important that their money proudly displayed it. Others wish to learn or teach finer details of unique coins. Education and the sharing of knowledge is a primary focus of NI, with the scholarly NI Bulletin, the library and the publications. In addition, the semi-annual Bid Sale allows members to acquire items of interest or to sell excess numismatic items. This is done in a spirit of friendship with members who have similar interests.
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Numismatics International’s Coin Spotlight:
KOREA - "Charmed" 100 Mun ~ 1866
This is a One Hundred Mun ("Value Hundred" tangbaekchon or dangbaekjun [sang pyong tong bo] coin issued by the Kingdom of Korea and the Treasury Department (Ho Jo). The One Hundred Mun is the only denomination of sang pyong tong bo coinage for which accurate mint records exist. These coins were first cast by the Treasury Department on December 12, 1866 and put into circulation beginning January 15, 1867. The last coin was produced on June 16, 1867 which means these coins were cast for only 172 days. A total of 1,784,038 "One Hundred Mun" coins were cast by the government.
In general the One Hundred Mun coins minted by the government have a diameter of 40.6 mm, a thickness of 2.8 mm and a weight of 25.1 grams. There are about 50 varieties of the 100 Mun coins with differences so slight (character stroke style, size, etc) it is hard for a Westerner to discern. Adding to the confusion is the fact that they were very profitable to counterfeit in those times. Only the fact that these inflated issues were very unpopular limited the fakes. They were used for other uses other than money. Like this one they were used as charms and as part of chatelaines. Others were carved, engraved and formed into various other shaped charms, which is another numismatic avenue unto itself. I've seen them embedded into oak chests, particularly money chests. The Koreans used a small hand grinder to pulverise beans and grain, so you often find poor examples of these coins with the center hole worn and the edges worn down because they were stacked as washers to separate the grinding surfaces at a desired spacing. A standard catalog of Korean coins shows more than 40 varieties, but even to this day they are illustrated with rubbings. Other than nice original examples you can seek out rare specimens of 'mother coins' that were used to make impressions for casting, and ones that used odd metal alloys that made them look silver colored. In my vain attempt to describe the varieties to a Western numismatic audience I collected quite a few of them. You can see some of my other examples here.
The NI Bulletin:
The March/April 2017 edition of the NI Bulletin is now available on this website for members to download. Included in the March/April NI Bulletin are:
- Pieces of Riel for Making Cob Planchets
- Gold Extracted from Silver Captured in the First Opium War
- A Stolberg Double First, An Unpublished Half Taler on an Unpublished Mule
- 1 Guilder 1954 of Queen Juliana
If you are not an Numismatics International member, and you wish to view a sample of the NI Bulletin, please visit the "NI Bulletin Sample" page on this website.