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1897 Japanese 20 Yen

By: Andrew P.


It was January 3rd, 2020 and the ground was surprisingly still unfrozen in some areas of Colorado Springs, so I decided to go door-knocking. I talked to a nice couple who gave me permission to metal detect their 1920s era yard with my Minelab CTX 3030. It was just an average, small yard, and I was not expecting to find much. After about 30 minutes of finding a few wheat pennies, I was about to call it quits when I decided to dig a signal along the property fence that I was sure was a pull tab. Only 2” down, out pops this weird round gold-colored object! At first, I thought that it was just some painted lead token, but after feeling how heavy it was, I knew it had to be something else. I knocked on the door to show the homeowner, where we washed it off and saw the brilliant shining gold. It looked Japanese, so we started googling Japanese gold coins. Turns out it’s an 1897 Japanese 20 Yen! I suspect it may have come over to the U.S. after WW2, perhaps lost by a kid who was playing with his dad’s war memorabilia. Or maybe it was lost by one of the many Japanese immigrants who made their home in Colorado Springs. Either way, I’m sure it has quite the story. This was a day I will always remember and was the perfect start to 2020!