The 10,000-yen (US$92) coin costs a lot more than 10,000 yen.

Japan’s Ministry of Finance recently announced that the country’s three denomination of yen bills will be getting redesigns in 2024, but some special flare is coming to the country’s coinage sooner than that.

On May 1, the ascension ceremony was held for Emperor Naruhito. However, the new emperor’s enthronement ritual won’t take place until October, at which time the Japan Mint will be issuing two special coins to commemorate the historic event.

The first of these is a two-tone 500-yen (US$4.60) coin, made of nickel and copper. The coin’s face depicts the Takamikura, the octagonal canopied dais and chair upon which the emperor sits as the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan are presented to him during the ceremony. The coin’s reverse side is adorned with the imperial family’s chrysanthemum crest surrounded by a wreath made of branches of the Japanese cherry birch and Japanese rose (rosa rugosa). Ringing the coin’s surface is the inscription “Nation of Japan, Reiwa Era First Year, in commemoration of the Emperor’s Enthronement Ceremony.”

Even more opulent is the special 10,000-yen coin, which bears a phoenix soaring above wispy clouds on its front, and the same artwork and inscription as the 500-yen coin on its back.

However, while the 500-yen coin can be obtained by request from banks for its face value of 500 yen, the 10,000-yen coin will actually cost you 140,555 yen. Why the 14-times markup? Because the 20-gram (0.7-ounce) coin is made out of pure gold.

5 million 500-yen coins will be issued, along with 50,000 10,000-yen coins, with 30,000 of each offered in a two-coin, 142,593-yen set. The pure-gold coins will only be available for purchase directly from the Japan Mint at a yet-undisclosed date, but regular banks across the country will begin issuing the 500-yen coin starting in October, with September being the first chance to submit applications for them.

Source, images: Ministry of Finance
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