One of the first series of coins we did one of our exhaustive Coin Series Profiles on, the Japan Mints excellent 47 Prefectures coins have always offered an intriguing look at a country many in the West know comparitively little of. As the name suggest, this is a series of 47 coloured silver coins, each depicting one of the regions that make up the nation of Japan. Each of the coins takes iconic locations, traditions or people that are most associated with the region, and combines them to make an image that best sums up the Prefecture.
With a series running over nine years from 2008 until 2016, and comprising 47 coins, each selling for up to €100, it would be a shame if they were to sit in a drawer in their original packaging unseen by any and all. Fortunately the Japan Mint thought the same thing and created a really splendid looking collectors case that looks to do justice to the coins. There is however, a downside.
Available in two versions, the wooden case has two layers, the lower of which holds 25 coins, and the upper the other 22. It measures 350 x 350 x 90mm and weighs a not insubstantial 4.6kg, so clearly a well engineered piece and not a piece of stained plywood. The differences come with the optional addition of a 40mm, 43.7 g, black & gilded sterling (0.925) silver cloisonne medallion. Another nice touch, it does however, exacerbate the only issue with the box: price. It looks like the box without the medallion sells for a hefty 55,000 Yen. At current exchange rates, thats £300, US$460, €400, AU$625. The box with the medallion is 101,000 Yen ( £550, US$840, €740, AU$1150). It’s hard to argue the box isn’t a quality item that is worth the outlay, just that the price massively limits the audience for it, which is an equally massive shame. If you can afford it and like the coins, we reckon the set would make a superb and interesting look at this fascinating country. With the last few coins appearing over the next 10-12 months, some lucky collectors will have a fine item in their collections.