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East India Company, based in London, produce high quality coins in limited mintages, for the collector market.
Struck in ultra-high relief, the reverse side of the silver one ounce proof quality pieces, features an exceptionally detailed depiction of a Japanese dragon as found on the first trade dollar, surrounded by a traditional oriental patterned ornate border which appears on each Trade Dollar in the collection. Engraved with a uniquely patterned obverse which includes an elegant effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II created by British sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, the 2019-dated Japanese Trade Dollar 1oz silver proof coins have a limited mintage of just 1500 presentation pieces. A lasting tribute to a currency born out of commerce and trade, The East India Company’s 2019 Japanese Trade Dollar is part of a five-coin series and is certain to stand out as one of the collection’s most admired pieces.
The history of the Japanese Trade Dollar
The Japanese trade dollar was, for the most part, an experiment to enter the lucrative markets of Chinese trade and in order to encourage Japanese merchants to increase their own economic activity. The coins were equivalent to the Trade Dollars introduced two years earlier from the United States.
The first coins issued in 1875 included the regnal year of 8 and the last were denoted as 10 although they may have been struck in the 11th year of the Emperor’s reign referred to as the Meiji era. The design for Japan’s Trade Dollar carried over from the first silver Yen coins struck in 1870. The obverse side of these exceptional coins portrayed a traditional depiction of a coiled dragon holding a tamashi which is an orb or treasure sphere regarded as a special jewel said to contain supernatural power.
According to myth, if a dragon loses its tamashi, it will lose its own supernatural power. The Dragon and orb were enclosed in a circle of dots and around which are inscribed the date of the coin in Kanji, the adopted logographic Chinese characters used in the Japanese writing system.