The Japan Mint is issuing the most extensive and beautiful series of coins in its history commemorating 47 Prefectures. The large Prefecture 40 mm. coins are being minted in gem proof quality from 99.9% pure silver, limited to 100,000 of each, and picture local scenery in full color.
Gunma is featured on the newest Prefecture coin. The design shows Tomioka Silk Mill, established in 1872 by the Japanese government with the intent to create mass production of silk in high quality. Silk was a principal export of Japan in the 19th century, and it was said that more than 400 women from all over Japan worked there, learning techniques of machine reeling, and later becoming leaders of silk industries in their home towns when they left.
Official American distributor Panda America offers these in original government packaging with a Certificate of Authenticity. Earlier issues in the Prefecture Series, that was launched in 2008, are still available from Panda America.