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Show Your Japanese Medal Hallmarks & Maker's Marks

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Here's a 1914-1915 war medal with a 大 "DAI" kanji stamped on the back. I've seen the same mark on the rising sun and red cross medals too. And the mystery continues... :speechless1:

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Emperor Puyi state visit to Japan medal with "M 1000" on the ring. That 1000 certainly denotes the silver content. And according to the OMSA book the M is for the Osaka mint...

John:

I just noticed that I have an M (Osaka) hallmark on my Manchukuo Third Class Pillars of State. I guess it would be too premature to suggest that all Manchukou medals were minted in Osaka.

Dick

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John:

I just noticed that I have an M (Osaka) hallmark on my Manchukuo Third Class Pillars of State. I guess it would be too premature to suggest that all Manchukou medals were minted in Osaka.

Dick

Richard,

Unless the Osaka Mint had a Manchukuo branch? Then again, I've had lots of Manchurian bagdes (military and non-military related) that were obviously made in Japan... So are you going to post a photo for all to see?

John

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Richard,

Unless the Osaka Mint had a Manchukuo branch? Then again, I've had lots of Manchurian bagdes (military and non-military related) that were obviously made in Japan... So are you going to post a photo for all to see?

John

Yes I certainly will try. I am not much of a photographer. The 'M' mark is stamped on the suspension ball at the very top of the medal.

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Nothing special, but the only hallmarked I got.

Sorry, bad pictures, but it?s an M.

Kjell

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Nothing special, but the only hallmarked I got.

Sorry, bad pictures, but it?s an M.

Kjell

Thanks for posting. Inspect them closely, you may be surprised where you find them. Found a few on the ring before.

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I have had a number of them. They turn up in Kansai flea markets a lot with this particular maker mark so that could indicate a manufacturer in that area.

A number of years ago I put this small chart in old NIPPON KUNSHO KENKYU-KAI Newsletter I published that might be of interest. I had picked up a group of 18 Red Cross medals during a flea market expedition one day in Kyoto and tallied the marks found on them. Here are the results:

At the time I thought that perhaps the Red Cross Membership Medals might be marked with the I-RO-HA system, but I haven't found much beyond these, and the few kanji marked pieces seem to prove otherwise. There were several distinct die versions among the medals as well.

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A number of years ago I put this small chart in old NIPPON KUNSHO KENKYU-KAI Newsletter I published that might be of interest. I had picked up a group of 18 Red Cross medals during a flea market expedition one day in Kyoto and tallied the marks found on them. Here are the results:

At the time I thought that perhaps the Red Cross Membership Medals might be marked with the I-RO-HA system, but I haven't found much beyond these, and the few kanji marked pieces seem to prove otherwise. There were several distinct die versions among the medals as well.

This is useful. These maker marks do seem to keep occuring on Red Cross medals. I have also found the Katakana "Su" character as a maker mark on these but it seems to occur less often than the others.

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I'm interested in this NIPPON KUNSHO KENKYU-KAI newsletter you mentioned. Is it still being done?

Thanks

John

And do you have back numbers ????

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I'm interested in this NIPPON KUNSHO KENKYU-KAI newsletter you mentioned. Is it still being done?

Thanks

John

Hi John,

No, the NKKK Newsletter is long gone. I "published" it for a year in 1985-86, mostly because almost no one was collecting Japanese awards or knew much about them. It was more or less monthly and contained eight pages of info each time. It was nothing fancy, but did contain some useful bits of info like the names of awards in kanji, romanized, and in English to help folks figure out if they had mis-matched cases (I saw 2 on ebay this morning!), a few pre-1940 articles/ book excerpts mentioning the awards, a nengo chart, etc. Basically the stuff that Peterson didn't cover. I did this while I was in grad school, but as time became tighter I handed it off to my friend Louis Demers who kept it going for a bit longer. I gave a set to the OMSA library, but it never seems to have made it into their collection somehow. One interesting thing, though, is that we kept a running record of the prices various awards were gettting off of dealers lists and auctions. Looking at it today I think I can safely say that the prices haven't changed all that much!

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Japan seems to be one of the few countries where the price of medals has either remained stable or dropped. The same is true for Japanese coins and banknotes which have gone south since the bubble burst in 1991. Given the scarcity of some of the better Japanese and Manchurian items when compared with numbers of medals awarded in other countries my view is that they are now underpriced and could start to rise in price again soon. In particular I think the documents are undervalued (and long may that remain the case while I continue to build my collection of them !).

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Japan seems to be one of the few countries where the price of medals has either remained stable or dropped. The same is true for Japanese coins and banknotes which have gone south since the bubble burst in 1991. Given the scarcity of some of the better Japanese and Manchurian items when compared with numbers of medals awarded in other countries my view is that they are now underpriced and could start to rise in price again soon. In particular I think the documents are undervalued (and long may that remain the case while I continue to build my collection of them !).

Amen!

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From a lady's Showa Enthronement medal. It looks like an "S", but at the same time, it looks like it could be something else. I was thinking something like the hiragana character "" What do you guys think? Might be a bit of an imaginative stretch lookig at a perfectly computer generated character, but these characters often get squishy, especially when on non-flat surfaces with worn dies. What do you guys think?

IMG_6071.jpg

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From a lady's Showa Enthronement medal. It looks like an "S", but at the same time, it looks like it could be something else. I was thinking something like the hiragana character "" What do you guys think? Might be a bit of an imaginative stretch lookig at a perfectly computer generated character, but these characters often get squishy, especially when on non-flat surfaces with worn dies. What do you guys think?

IMG_6071.jpg

No doubt, it's an "S." Seen it on other medals, and I just found it on a Red Cross medal for the first time ever. Thanks for posting!

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