Phenomenal Japanese Boekigin (Trade Dollar)

week’s highlight from our August 14-16 Hong Kong Auction (to be held at the
Mira Hotel in Hong Kong) is the finest graded Japanese Trade Dollar. This
example, dated Meiji 9 (1876), is an impressive NGC-MS67! The obverse depicts
the familiar curled dragon holding the pearl of wisdom surrounded by a beaded
border, and the weight, denomination and purity in English, while the date is
written in Japanese.  The reverse bears
another familiar design with wreath around and chrysanthemum flower at 12
o’clock, legend at center “Boekigin,” commonly referred to as a Trade Dollar
(literal translation — Trade Silver). 

like the United States Trade Dollar and to lesser extents the French Indo-China
Piastre and British Trade Dollars (both of which came later), the Japanese
trade dollar was issued to compete with the prolific 8 Reales then in
circulation in the Far East.  Both the Japanese
and the United States Trade Dollars were only struck for a few years before
they were officially discontinued. The overall purity and weight of both Trade
Dollars was just a touch higher than their 8 Reales competitors and would
ultimately cause their demise. Because of the higher metal content they were
often mistreated to steal the silver, hoarded or just plain melted down. After
their discontinuance the Japanese went back to striking silver one Yen pieces,
which were on par with the 8 Reales, but could never fully compete. The United
States on the other hand demonetized the Trade Dollar in mid-1876, but
continued striking them as a way for individuals to store bullion. This was an
interesting period when there were many parallels between Japanese and the
United States trade coinage in that neither realized their full potential in
the international markets.

present example displays beautiful satiny surfaces with frosted devices on both
the obverse and reverse. Only the most trivial of marks are found under close
scrutiny and there is light attractive tone in the peripheries around the whole
circumference of the obverse. It is a truly magnificent example that is sure to
excite even the most sophisticated collectors.

are no longer accepting consignments for our August Hong Kong auction. We are
however currently taking consignments of world and ancient coins and world
paper money for our October Collectors Choice Online Auction (CCO), our January
2018 New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) Auction, and our
April 2018 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. If you are interested in consigning your
coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be
sure to contact one of our consignment directors.

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West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

Hong Kong, China Office • +852 2117 1191

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