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Korea - 1 Chon - Enameled
Korea - 1 Chon - Enameled

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Registered: August 2005
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 2,365
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Presented here is a Rare 'set' of enameled coins of Korea. This 1 Chon in black is about as good as it gets condition wise. These were issued for a few months between 1882-83 by the Tae Dong Treasury Department. These cins were an effort to 'modernize' Korean coinage and make it more acceptable and impressive to foreign traders. However, the added cost of applying and melting the cloisonne enamel during manufacture and the rising value of silver soon found these coins leaving the country as fast as they could be made. Fakes have been seen that are obvious to those who have seen the real thing. Enamel comes in black, blue, and green (aqua) and their scarcity seems to follow that order. A crude reeding exists. Very high condition ones like this show a 'smokey' tarnish in wavy patterns; this is from the firing required to melt the glass powder.
TRANSLATION: Ob: (top, bottom) "Great East"; (right, left) "One Chon". Reverse under enamel, "Ho", for Treasury Department. This specimen was obtained in a Lepcyck sale in 1977 and is now one of the 3 shown on the PCGS site for this highest grade listed, MS62, see their photo at this [ [ link ] ] RARE in this grade!

Korean Dae Dong silver coin (Chon) minted in 1882. But prior to that time, in the year 1882 which was the 19th year of the reign of King Gojong (Kojong), Korea began to cast a new type of coin. Unlike the copper sang pyong tong bo coins, these coins were made of silver and no longer had a square hole in the center. The inscription on these new coins begins with dae dong and includes a number from one through three. Dae dong means "Great East" (Great Eastern Kingdom) and is another name for Korea.
The denomination was chon which was "1/10 of an ounce". A Korean "ounce" was 37.5 grams. The numbers "one", "two" and "three" represented 0.1 ounce, 0.2 ounce and 0.3 ounce, respectively. For example, the coin shown here is a number "one". Dimension and weight: (1 Chon, 20 mm, 3.4-3.7 grams), the 2 Chon coin (28 mm, 7.1-7.7 grams) and that for the 3 Chon coin (33 mm, 10.6 grams).
There are several varieties of the 3 Chon coin including large character, medium character and small character. These new silver coins also have a distinctive reverse side. All the coins were made by the same Treasury Department Mint (Hojo) that had been casting the sang pyong tong bo coins. However, the mint mark (Ho) on the new coins was placed in a circle in the middle of the reverse side and was surrounded by colored enamel (blue, green or black).
Unfortunately, these new coins, which imitated Western coins, failed to achieve their goal of stabilizing the monetary system. The price of silver was rising as was the cost of production. The coins were hoarded by the yangban who were the nobles and ruling class, and taken out of the country for their intrinsic metal content. As a result, minting of these coins ceased in June 1883.
VIEW or DOWNLOAD these Korean Coin articles:
A "Survey of Korean Coins" article, and others, are available in the Moneta Library:
German Coin Techinques in Korea - Won Yu-Han: [ link ]
Korea - A Numismatic Survey - Boling: [ link ]
Rulers of Korea: [ link ]
· Date: February 25, 2006 · Views: 11,435 · Filesize: 45.8kb, 98.5kb · Dimensions: 860 x 437 ·
Keywords: korea korean chon cloisonne enamel
Denomination: 1 Chon
Reference #: KM 1081
Date/Mintmark: ND (1882-83)
Condition: PCGS MS62 (none higher by PCGS)
Weight: 3.7 gm; 23 mm
Metal: silver (Black enamel)

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