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Counterstamped gold koban


Diameter: 70.000 mm
Weight: 17.810 g

CM C1435

Room 68: Money

    Counterstamped gold koban

    From Japan, counterstamped with a Dutch mark, and circulated in Indonesia, late 17th century AD

    A Japanese coin for use in a Dutch territory

    In the seventeenth century, most of Indonesia was controlled by the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie). At this time most of the money used in Indonesia for trade was either Spanish or Dutch silver coins, or bronze coins from China and Japan. Occasionally the Company struck emergency coin issues in the city of Batavia (modern-day Jakarta).

    In 1673 and 1681 counter-stamped Japanese kobans like this one, were circulated in the region. They were counter-stamped by the Dutch, and valued at nine or ten rijksdaalders. These were accepted in the Dutch possessions, indicating the spread of their trade.

    The history of the Japanese koban dates back to the sixteenth century. The earliest koban were issued in the Tensho era (1573-92) by Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616), who would later become the first shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty. Ieyasu established his headquarters in Edo (modern Tokyo) and set about minting new coins for circulation in his territory in the Gold Mint (Kinza) and Silver Mint (Ginza). These coins were known as 'Musashi sumigaki koban' ('small koban, written in ink, of Musashi region'). They were the first coins issued by the Tokugawa clan and the first gold coins issued in Edo.

    C. Scholten, The coins of the Dutch oversea (Amsterdam, J. Schulman, 1953)


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