Japan: All That Glitters

Japan searches for the forger of $71 million in bogus coins

Coin fanciers responded excitedly in 1986 when Japan began issuing its first gold coins since World War II. Minted by the Bank of Japan to commemorate the | 60th year of Emperor Hirohito's reign, the 24-karat pieces were coveted by collectors even though the Ministry of Finance set the price of the 20-gram coins at 100,000 yen (now $690) -- more than twice the value of their weight in gold. To meet heavy demand, Japan minted 11 million coins.

Collectors were dumb struck last week, after Japanese officials disclosed that the country had been flooded with at least 103,000 bogus Hirohito...

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