The 1912 silver peso was hard for me to find – it took me quite a while to find this one at a price I was willing to pay. I think it conservatively grades EF40, and may garner an EF45.
1912 was the last year that this coin was made, and the mintage numbers weren’t particularly high. That, combined with a century of disinterest in the coin has led to a severe shortage in high grades. American pesos circulated widely throughout Asia as trade coinage, and many were damaged with chopmarks or assay slices.
On the obverse, Liberty is shown pounding on the forge of freedom. It was designed by Melecio Figueroa and there is some speculation that the young Filipina woman shown on the coin was based on his daughter. She is wearing a flowing dress, similar to the garb of Liberty on other period coinage. The obverse of the coin shows Liberty in the act of one-handedly striking an anvil with a hammer while her other hand holds an olive branch. In the background is Mt. Mayon, an active volcano with smoke billowing from the crater. On the upper edge of the coin is the denomination “One Peso” and on the lower perimeter is the word “Filipinas”.
The reverse design features an eagle perched on a shield with symbols from the American flag. At the upper rim are the words “United States of America” and at the bottom is the year of issue. To the left of the year is the mint mark (“S” for San Francisco). Coins with no mint mark were minted at the Philadelphia Mint.
Identification code: Philippines KM-172
Mint Mark: S (San Francisco)
Country of origin: United States of America
Composition: 80% Silver (0.5144 oz ASW)
Size: 38 mm
Weight: 20 grams (0.5144 oz ASW)
Estimated Value: $80-150