Twenty-two years ago, on August 1, 2000, the second 500 yen coin was released.
The 500-yen coin is one of the world’s largest denomination coins in general circulation. For this reason, there have been a series of forgery cases in the past, and since the first issue, it has been renewed at intervals of about 20 years.
The first 500 yen coin was born on April 1, 1982. Against the background of the rapid spread of vending machines, it appeared as a replacement for the 500-yen bill. The material is cupronickel, which is 75% copper and 25% nickel.
Since around 1999, counterfeit and altered coins have been discovered one after another, becoming a social problem. In 2000, the second 500 yen nickel-brass coin was issued with 72% copper, 20% zinc, and 8% nickel.
Since it was necessary to take immediate action, we changed the material while keeping the basic pattern as it was, making it easier for machines to detect counterfeit coins.
On November 1, 2021, the latest 500-yen coin, the Bicolor Grad, was produced to further enhance anti-counterfeiting power. It has a 3-layer structure with nickel brass on the outer circumference and cupronickel on the inside sandwiching the copper in the center.
The slope of the diagonal serrations on the rim and the feel of the serrations were different from other coins, making counterfeiting even more difficult.
On the other hand, it is said that some vending machines, money changers, and bus fare boxes do not accept third-generation 500-yen coins. It seems that it will take some time before the new 500 yen coin can be used casually.