The 45th installment in the Japan 47 Prefectures Coin Program has been released and is now available.
The Japan 47 Prefectures Coin Program was launched in 2008 and is set to conclude later this year with the Tokyo Prefecture coins. For each prefecture two coins are issued. A 1000 Yen proof 1oz silver coin of .999 Fine silver, measuring 40mm. And a circulating 500 Yen bi-metallic coin, made from copru-nickel alloy, released in regular business strikes for general circulation as well as uncirculated and proof strikes for collectors.
The Japan Mint officially makes available approximately 10% of the coins issued for overseas collectors.
The colourized obverse design for the Chiba silver coin features the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line in the background. With the prefectures official flower, the Nanohana Mustard Flowers, in the foreground.
The 1oz silver ¥1000 coin is available in a clear plastic jewel case or in a more elaborate booklet 'deluxe' casing. The deluxe version also includes a mini sheet of five 82 Yen stamps.
The bi-metallic ¥500 coin features a stretch of the Kujukuri Beach on the obverse. A beach stretches for a total length of approximately 66 km along the eastern shore of the Boso Peninsula, and is a popular holiday destination in Japan.
All of the coins share a common reverse design. For the 1000 Yen coin that is a depiction of cherry blossoms, falling snow crystals and a crescent moon. The numbers “47” and “60” are applied to the largest snow crystal with latent imaging technology, viewable only from differing angles. 47 representing the 47 Japanese prefectures and 60 the 60th Anniversary of the Enforcement of the Local Autonomy Law.
The reverse design of the bi-metallic 500 Yen coin in turn features at it's center an old Japanese Cash coin with Kanji lettering that translates as “Local Autonomy”. The same latent imaging technology is applied to the center of this coin as to the 1000 Yen coin.