Korea Gwangmu Phoenix Nickel
Korean - Gwangmu era Year 9
1905 Korea 5 Chon KM# 1126
4 grams; Copper-Nickel; size: 20.5 mm
Obverse: Imperial Phoenix facing left, date above, denomination below
"Daehan" 大韓, Korean - Gwangmu era Year 9
Reverse: Value within wreath below flower
Ruler: Kuang Mu
5 Chon (五錢) Coins
The 5 chon (五錢) coins were only produced in the years 1905, 1907 and 1909 with the 1909 (yunghui, yung hi 3) coin being very rare.
One 1909 5 chon coin sold at auction for $138,000 in September 2011.
All the coins were made at the mint in Osaka, Japan (日本大阪造幣局) and have a diameter of 20.8 mm, a thickness of 2 mm, and a weight of 4 grams.
The composition of the coins are 75% copper and 25% nickel.
Korean Fun, Yang and Whan Coins (1892-1902)
The currency of Korea began to be based on the yang (兩) beginning in the year 1892 with the implementation of the silver standard currency reform. The yang was further divided into fun (分) which was equal to 1/100th of a yang. The coin denominations and their compositions were 1 fun (brass), 5 fun(copper), ¼ yang (initially cupronickel and later copper around silver), 1 yang (80% silver) and 5 yang (90% silver).
Some denominations in this series continued to be minted until 1902. All the coins were produced at the mint in Incheon (仁川典局). The dates on the coins discussed above reflected the number of years since the founding (gaeguk 開國) of the Choson (Joseon) or Yi Dynasty in 1392 ("year 1") by General Yi Seong-gye. The Choson Dynasty (including the short-lived Korean Empire (1897-1910)) ended in 1910 when Korea became a colony of Japan.
As a result of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), Korea found itself free of Chinese hegemony. In 1897, the Yi (Choson, Josean) Dynasty ended with King Gojong proclaiming the establishment of the "Empire of Korea". In so doing, King Gojong became Emperor Gwangmu. King Gojong, who became Korea's first emperor, is shown at the left.
Beginning in 1897, the regnal year of the monarch began to be used on coins to denote the year instead of calculating the year since the founding of the Choson Dynasty. Coins minted 1897-1907 are dated from the year Emperor Gwangmu (Kuang Mu, Kwangmu 光武 광무제), formerly King Gojong (Kojong 高宗 고종) of the Choson (Yi) Dynasty, ascended the throne of the "Great Korean Empire" (大 韓帝國 대한제국 1897-1910) with the year 1897 being "year 1" (元年).
Coins minted 1907-1910 are dated from the year Emperor Yunghui (Yung Hi 隆熙 융희제), formerly known as Sunjong (純宗 순종), ascended the throne with 1907 being year 1" (元年). The name of the country was variously displayed on the coins as "Great Korea" (大朝鮮), "Korea" (朝鮮) or "Daehan" (大韓). Coins denominated in fun and yang continued to be minted from 1892-1902.
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