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Rare Japanese Gold Plate Money Hits Auction Block

Nearly Two Dozen Japanese Gold Obans Offered by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in April Hong Kong Sale

(Santa Ana, California) – Some 22 distinctly different Japanese gold plate coins known as Obans are being offered at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Hong Kong sale beginning April 5, 2021. These rare gold pieces, ranging from the 16th century up through the 19th century, have face values ranging from 1 Ryo to 10 Ryo and pre-date the modern era of Japanese coinage. Each coin was authenticated and graded by Professional Coin Grading Service (, which encapsulated the pieces in grades as high as MS63.

1573-91 Japan Oban, PCGS MS60. Click image to enlarge.

“Any single Japanese Oban is rare in itself,” states PCGS President Brett Charville. “So, to have 22 examples representing various eras in Japan’s history and in an array of denominations, too, just goes to highlight how special the Pinnacle Collection is. We at PCGS were excited when these pieces came across our grading desks and are proud to have played an important role in their long-term preservation.”

While each of the Obans is rare and expected to fetch at least four- and five-figure prices, there are a few that have already reached six figures in pre-sale bidding. These include a Hishi Oban (10 Ryo) ND Tensho Era piece minted circa 1588 and representing among the first Obans minted in Japan. Approximately six specimens are known to survive and most reside in various institutions. Graded PCGS MS60, this exceedingly rare 10 Ryo Oban has a presale estimate of $700,000 to $900,000.

Two other pieces gaining much presale attention are the Naga Oban (10 Ryo), ND Tensho Era (ca. 1573-1591) graded PCGS Graffiti AU Details and Oban (10 Ryo), ND Genroku Era (ca. 1695-1704) graded PCGS MS61. Both of these massive gold pieces carry presale estimates of $200,000 to $300,000 but are poised to climb much higher as fervent competition between impassioned bidders continues.

The 22 different Japanese Obans are being offered as part of a larger 162-lot sale that includes a diverse array of rare coins mostly of Asian origin but also hailing from Russia, Venezuela, Afghanistan, and many other locales around the world. Live bidding for the first auction session is scheduled to kick off April 5, 2021. For more information on the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio April 2021 Hong Kong Auction or the Pinnacle Collection, visit the firm’s website at, call 800-458-4646, or email [email protected]

About Professional Coin Grading Service

Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) is a third-party coin and banknote grading company that was launched in 1986. Over 35 years, PCGS has examined and certified more than 45 million U.S. and world coins, medals, and tokens with a combined value of over $41.7 billion. For more information about PCGS products and services, including how to submit your coins for authentication and grading, please visit or call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.

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