About Japanese Currency
About Japanese Currency
The legal tender in Japan is the Yen which was adopted by the Meiji government in 1871 as the New Currency Act. In the foreign exchange market it is the third most traded currency after the US Dollar and Euro. Therefore, it is important to know the value of the yen coins and notes.
The smallest coin is the 1 yen coin. Although the notes and coins in Japan are not separated in dollars and cents like in other countries, the Japanese 1 yen coin is equivalent to a penny or a 1¢. It weighs about one gram as it is made out of 100% aluminum and so it will even float on water.
Each of the Japanese yen coin has the year that it was produced written on the coin. It is denoted by the nengo (year name) and a number. So for example it will say Heisei 18 (平成十八年). Then on the other side of the coin it says nihonkoku in Japanese characters which means Japan and then it will have its respective value on the bottom.
On one side of the Japanese 1 yen coin the number 1 is embossed and then on the other side of it there is a young sapling. The young sapling on the coin is believed to represent the growth of Japan.
There is a Japanese yen coin that has a hole right in the centre of it and this is the 5 yen coin. It is equivalent to a nickel or a 5¢. The Japanese 5 yen coin is made from a mix of copper and zinc and weighs around 3.75 grams. One side of the coin has the year it was made and then in Japanese characters it says nihonkoku which means Japan. There is also a small sprout of rice.
Then on the other side it has its respective value and also a fully grown ear of rice sprouting from the water. This is believed to represent the farming, fishing and industry of Japan.
The Japanese 10 yen coin is a bronze coin that is made from copper and zinc and a bit of tin mixed in as well. It weighs about 4.5 grams. One side of the coin has the number 10 for its respective value and it is surrounded by laurels and has the year that is was produced written on it.
The other side has a picture of the Byodo-in which is a very famous Buddhist temple in Kyoto and it is known as the Phoenix Hall. The side that has the Byodo-in depicted also has the respective Japanese in characters and then also says nihonkoku in Japanese characters.
Weighing at 4 grams and made from copper and nickel is the 50 yen coin. And just like the 5 yen coin the Japanese 50 yen coin also has a hole right in the middle of it. The hole in the middle of it was originally added so that people could distinguish it from the 100 yen coin which is a similar size and colour.
However, the 50 yen coin is made a little bit smaller now so that people can easily differentiate the 100 yen coin from the 50 yen coin. One side of the coin simply has the number 50 for its respective value and the year of production. On the other side there are chrysanthemums which is a symbol of longevity and rejuvenation.
As I mentioned above the 100 yen coin is very similar to the 50 yen coin as it is made of a blend of copper and nickel so it is a very similar colour and touch. But it is slightly heavier than the 50 yen coin as it is 4.8 grams and it does not have a hole in the centre. It is equivalent to a 1 US dollar.
On one side of it is simply has he number 100 on it and the year it was produced. Then on the other side of it it has a depiction of sakura cherry blossoms which are an iconic symbol of the Japanese Spring season. It also has the Japanese characters for nihonkoku and 100 yen.