Korean Protectorate Coinage: Scarce 20 Chon from 1905 (Kwangmu Year 9)

Today's post is a large size silver 20 Chon minted during the Japanese Protectorate era of Korea. It is the scarcest year with the lowest mintage!


大韓    光武九年     이십     20 Chon 

Quick Overview:

Country: Korea (Protectorate)
Date: 1905 (Undated) - Kwangmu 9th Year 
Dynasty: Korean Protectorate 
Region/Province: Korea
Composition: Silver
Catalog: Krause: KM# 1128

Historical Background:

The Korean Protectorate Era was the last era of Korean Sovereignty (To some extent) till her full annexation in 1910. 

The increased Japanese influence in the Protectorate era is very easily seen. The Protectorate Era began with the Russian defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, and the signing of the Eulsa Treaty of 1905, also known as the "Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905." This treaty resulted because of the Japanese victory during the 1904-1905 war against Russia. This aforementioned treaty "deprived Korea of its diplomatic sovereignty and made Korea a protectorate of Imperial Japan" (Wikipedia). 

Remarks, Variety, Mintage, Rarity: 

As background, the Korean Coins minted in the Japanese Protectorate Era bear uncanny and nearly identical appearance to the Sen Coins of Imperial Meiji Japan. For instance, there is the identical size, composition, similar legend layout, and the identical Japanese coiled and flying dragon. Moreover, the Korean silver and copper Chon and won coins were minted under contract by the Imperial Japanese Mint in Osaka, Japan. This was the same mint that produced the general issue coinage of Japan. 

1905 (Kwangmu 9)
 1 Million 
KM#1128 - 5.39g - Large Die Size (22mm)
1906 (Kwangmu 10)
 2.5 Million 
KM#1128 - 5.39g - Large Die Size (22mm)
1907 (Kwangmu 11)
 1.5 Million 
KM# 1134 - 4.04g - Small Die Size (20mm)
1908 (Yunghi 2)
 3 Million 
KM# 1140 - 4.04g - Small Die Size (20mm)
1909 (Yunghi 3)
 2 Million 
KM# 1140 - 4.04g - Small Die Size (20mm)
1910 (Yunghi 4)
 2 Million 
KM# 1140 - 4.04g - Small Die Size (20mm)

My coin is the first in the series from the Kwangmu 9th year of reign, which converts to 1905. It has the lowest mintage and is the one of two in the larger size and heavier weight variety. 

My coin is in about a XF condition. The high points of wear, which is typically the scales of the dragon on the obverse, is sharply struck and present in my example. The denticles on the rims are present and all Hanja and Korean characters are sharply present and not worn from wear. On the reverse, there are some wear on the leaves that compose the wreath. I would say that this is a circulated coin, though not worn completely from wear. Furthermore, on the obverse, the Hanja characters denoting the denomination, 20 Chon, is clearly defined. The Hibiscus flower that is in the top center is also evident, though the minor details, such as the center and leaves, are a bit worn. 

Overall, a nicely struck coin. There is some "patina" or "toning" on both sides. Great scarce specimen to add to my collection! 

Mint Information:

Unlike the previous issues of Korean coinage in the Dynastic and Empire eras, all Protectorate Era coinage were minted at the Osaka Mint. Previous Empire era coinage were made at Incheon and Gyeonseong (Seoul). 

Osaka Mint Information:


Great Intro to Korean Numismatic History, in English:

The Korean Yang (and the currency system)
My other coins from the Korean Joseon, Empire, and Protectorate Eras