Mito Tora Sen

This is a very popular E-sen with an image of a tiger on the reverse. Most were cast in copper but iron issues exist. The top left image was recently auctioned on eBay and brought $138.50. It is a beautiful-looking iron issue. But, as far as I know, its seed coin is different from the one used to cast copper issues. In other words, there were two varieties of seed coins: one for casting copper and one for casting iron issue. The problem with this beautiful iron one is that it is not the correct variety for iron. I illustrate three genuine coins for comparison. Can you identify the differences? The beautiful iron one is likely a recent casting using a genuine copper issue.


Morioka Dozan is a real tough coin to find, unless, of course, it's an imitation. I show two photos here: one on the left is believed to be genuine; the coin on the right is from recent eBay auction where it brought $160.

The seller writes, "Japanese Morioka copper 100 Mon coin in oval shape like Tenpo Tsuho with 4 characters on both side issued in 1866. KM#50. Rare coin. VF condition. 47.8x31.8mm and 22.9g. Guaranteed genuine."

I show another Morioka that is worth only a few dollars.

Tenpo Tsuho Seed Coin? The same seller had this coin, too, in which it also brought a very high price of $160. "Unusual Japanese Lead-Tin 100 Mon coin in oval shape, Tenpo Tsuho, issued in 1835-70. Scarce special SAMPLE coin or MOTHER coin. VF condition. 49x32.1mm and 23.7g."

I really don't know what this coin is, but it is not a seed. From its color, it may be a Hakudo-Sen or white copper issue. But it could also be something that was made recently. Sometimes it is difficult to say for sure without seeing the actual coin.

Very, very obvious fake. Fraction of a second look at it all it takes. This is the piece the commentator is talking about.