Jump to content

Red Cross medal hallmarks/mintmarks


fukuoka
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just an interesting tidbit I found:

We all may know that the RC medals have a lot of different hallmarks. It was a bit puzzling, but I think I have a vague answer. In my 1953 official history of the Japan Mint, there is an article on the hallmarking of pure gold & silver items. And one line in that section stuck out. It said that the use of katakana and other symbols indicated the years of manufacture on other items. I am assuming the phrase 'other items' is referring to the RC medals among others. Previously I had thought that the marks referred to different places of manufacture, but that appears to be wrong.

However, there was no chart or other hint as to what years the hallmarks indicated. But we take each piece of the puzzle one by one...

Cheers, Rich

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, interesting indeed! The marks do however seem to be within a specific period of years as early pieces of silver do not appear with hallmarks but later ones do. The trick is figuring out which period! One thing though that kinda furthers that mystery though is that certain medals found in paper boxes can bear the same mark as those found in the later "pasteboard" cases. (I'm also suspicious of certain pieces being of an alloy, not aluminum or silver, that bear hallmarks as well. I don't think these pieces were limited to silver or aluminum only, but that is another topic.) It does make sense that these marks could indicate at least a series of sorts, periods make sense too.

Does the history indicate that any red cross medals were made by Osaka? I've never seen one with the characteristic "M"! Though "S" exists, I thought maybe that was the same company that made the S-marked Showa Enthronement medals.

You probably already know that weapons like guns and bayonets used katakana to indicate a series after a certain period in time, but these were strictly numerical runs, with varying series being given to different manufacturers, but these are included other marks to indicate the arsenal that made them as well in addition to the series marks and serial#s. I've tried to relate the marks on medals to the rhyme and reason of weapons manufacture, but it doesn't work!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both of my older histories of the Mint (the 70th and 80th Year histories) mention RC medals and have some dim photos, too. I have 3 different 100 Year histories of the Mint, but neither mention RC medals, as far as I can recall. I have to double check that, but I was specifically looking for that kind of info, and I didn't find anything.

One thing about those histories is that they are mainly concerning with coinage, as you can imagine. Medals and commemorative items are not the main focus and are often neglected or just glossed over, especially in the later books. However, I have found small bits of medal info hidden within discussions about coins, so I may have missed some things.

Cheers, Rich

Cheers, Rich

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The 1953 Mint history asserts that the member medals were minted there starting at the beginning, Meiji 21. They were the single medal in the classification of 'member medals' (shain-shou 社員章), as opposed to 'war medals.' The merit medals of the RC began to be minted at the Japan Mint in Showa 18 [1943] and were pure silver. They were classified with a number of other medals as 'commendation medals' (hyoushou-shou 表彰章). For example, the war wound badge was included in this category.

Edited by fukuoka
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Speaking of hallmarks, and rather than starting a new thread just for this, I figured I'd post it here - check your Orders of Merit - anybody have any marks on theirs? Found this on one that just arrived, kinda neat. This is Yuukoushou in a black lacquer case. Believed to be perhaps an older styling of the word "kotobuki", but not sure.... Rich? Paul?

Of the silver and gold orders I have, I've never seen a hallmark except on the button rosettes occasionally, never the medals. This is the first one, but I'm wondering if this was applied by other than the maker after the fact. Any ideas?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...