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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Member’s Coin of the Month:
The NI Coin of the Month:
Ryukyu Islands (Japan, Okinawa) 100 Mon, no date - 1862
These coins were minted in Bunkyu 2-3 (1862-63) by the Shimazu clan at Isonohama, near Kashogima, the political center for Satsuma and also for the Ryukyu. Ryukyu traders and emissaries frequented the city, and a special Ryukyu embassy building was established there. The coins were originally intended for trade with the Ryukyu but apparently were little used there. It is said that their production was a smokescreen to hide the production of illegal Tempo Value 100 coins. Obverse: Ryu Kyu Tsu Ho (Ryukyu Currency); Rev: To Hyaku (Value 100). The edge here is stamped in two places with the first syllable of Satsuma ( 'sa' ). It's nominal value of 100 mon soon declined to 88 mon. (ed. Hartill "Early Japanese Coins") These issues are recognized as being part of an Asia wide inflationary period that began in China during the Tai Ping Rebellion. KM C#100, Hartill large character variety #6.28.
The round Hanshuu Ryuukyuu Tsuuhou (half Shu; click link to see it) was ordered to circulate at the value of 248 mon, or twice the value of this 100 Mon coin. However it weighed merely 8 monme or about 10 to 12 times the weight of the average one mon coin. Han means "half" and "shu" is a gold currency weight. Therefore the Satsuma government was trying to command an exchange rate between copper currency and gold currency. Normally the relative exchange rates of silver, gold and copper currencies were unstable throughout Japan despite government attempts to decree them into one currency system. Thus although at one half shu this coin should have circulated at 32 coins per gold ryou (one koban coin), it is unlikely that it really did so. Info source: Nihon Ginkou Chousakyoku ed., Zuroku Nihon no kahei, vol. 4 (Tokyo: Touyou Keizai Shinpousha, 1973), pp. 319-322. From Luke Robert's "East Asian Cash" website.
The NI Bulletin:
The July/August 2016 edition of the NI Bulletin is now available on this website for members to download. Included in the July/August NI Bulletin are:
- The Dedication Medal of the City of Nuremberg for Emperor Charles V -- 1521
- Silver Medal of Mary Tudor, Queen of England by Jacopo da Trezzo
- The Stag Gulden of Wurttemberg
- Santa Fe (Columbia) Half Real 1630, Apprentice Assayer Alonso de Anuncibay
- Cyprus, Paphos; Nikokles c. 325-309 BC
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.