Tag Archives: Philippines

US Philippines 1927 Centavo Coin

This coin is in EF40 to EF45 shape. The scan doesn’t capture the golden copper color: this is a real beauty.

On the obverse, a bare chested Filipino man is shown sitting next to the forge of freedom. The blacksmith is built like Adonis – with huge muscles  flexed in a spreadeagled pose. His elbow is on the forge, a Thor-like hammer is dangling from his right hand, and his left hand is on his left knee. The guy is staring off into the distance at  Mt. Mayon, an active volcano with smoke billowing from the crater. On the upper edge of the coin is the denomination “One Centavo” and on the lower perimeter is the word “Filipinas”. The engraver was Melecio Figueroa.

The reverse design features an eagle perched on a shield with a two register shield. The upper register shows 13 5-sided stars in two rows. The lower register shows 13 vertical bars with stripes and solid bars alternating. This is the Seal of the US Philippine Territories (adopted in 1903). At the upper rim are the words “United States of America” and at the bottom is the year of issue. The mint mark is to the left of the date, below the dot.

US Philippines 1 Centavo 1927 Obverse

US Philippines 1 Centavo 1927 Reverse

US Philippines 1 Centavo 1927 Reverse

US Philippines 1 Centavo 1927 Obverse

Identification code: Philippines KM-163 (1903-1936)

Date: 1927

Mint Mark: M (Manila)

Mintage: 92,700,000.

Country of origin: United States (US Philippines Territory)

Composition: Bronze (95% copper, 4% tin, 1% zinc)

Size: 23mm

Weight: 5.18g

Other details: This was the highest mintage of any coin in the entire US Philippine series. The 2nd highest mintage was 1928 at 91,500,00. The most common coin that I see is the 1944S: there were “only” 58,000,000 of those minted.

Estimated Value: $20-30 in EF40 state

US Philippines 20 Centavo 1945-D Coin

The 20 centavo is an unusual American coin minted for use in the US Philippines. This coin is a fairly substantial silver piece, and huge numbers of them were produced at the end of World War II. The Japanese melted down large volumes of captured US Philippine coins during the war, and these were produced to meet the needs of circulation after Liberation.

On the obverse, Liberty is shown pounding on the forge of freedom. She is wearing a flowing but scanty dress: there seems to have been a material shortage at the tailor. The obverse of the coin shows Liberty in the act of 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 “Twenty Centavos” and on the lower perimeter is the word “Filipinas”. The engraver was Melecio Figueroa and there is some speculation that the young Filipina woman shown on the coin was based on his daughter.

The reverse design features an eagle perched on a shield with a two register shield. Compared to the Territorial Seal, the eagles wings are narrower and raised as if the bird is about to take flight. The upper register shows a turret with vertical bars in the background. The lower register shows a rampant sea lion. This is the Philippine Commonwealth Seal (adopted in 1936). 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 (“D” for Denver).

US Philippines 20 Centavo 1945 D : Obverse, shows liberty pounding on the forge of freedom

US Philippines 20 Centavo 1945 D : Obverse

US Philippines 20 Centavo 1945 D : Reverse, shows the American Commonwealth Seal

US Philippines 20 Centavo 1945 D : Reverse

Identification code: KM-182

Date: 1945

Mint Mark: D (Denver)

Mintage: 82,804,000 (100% of 1945 20 centavos were produced in Denver)

Country of origin: United States

Composition: 75% silver

Size: 22mm in diameter

Weight: 4 grams (0.0965 oz ASW)

Other details: The Philippine 20 Centavo is very similar to the ill-fated US 20 Cent piece (21 mm vs. 22 mm, with considerably less silver content). The American Administration didn’t issue a 25 centavo coin, so this coin largely fulfilled that role. If you think about it, isn’t it strange that we have 25 cent coins but not 25 dollar bills? Many currencies use a 20 cent piece instead of a quarter (most notably, the Euro).

This coin is slabbed by NGC and graded MS-66. I apologize for the fuzzy scans and will try to take some photographs to capture the beauty of this piece.

Estimated value: $20-$30

US Philippine Peso – 1905 S Silver Trade Dollar

This silver peso is an unusual coin that is gaining attention among the US numismatic community. It was minted for the US Philippines, and the peso was the largest denomination made. American pesos circulated widely throughout Asia as trade coinage, and they are one of my favorite patterns among all US coins.

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). Coin with no mint marks were minted at the Philadelphia Mint.

US Philippines 1 Peso 1905 S ICCS certified VF-30 : Obverse, showing a scantily clad woman pounding on a forge

US Philippines 1 Peso 1905 S ICCS certified VF-30 : Obverse

US Philippines 1 Peso 1905 S ICCS certified VF-30 : Reverse, with an eagle sitting atop the American Territorial crest

US Philippines 1 Peso 1905 S ICCS certified VF-30 : Reverse

Identification code: KM 168

Date: 1905

Mint Mark: S (San Francisco)

Mintage: 6,056,000 (more than 99.99% of the pesos issued in 1905 were minted in San Francisco – there were only 471 proofs issued in Philadelphia without a mint mark)

Country of origin: United States / US Philippines Territory

Composition: 90% silver

Weight: 26.9568 grams (0.78 oz ASW)

Size: 38mm

Other details: This coin is encapsulated in a sealed myler flip from ICCS and graded VF-30.

This coin was minted in 2 varieties. The 1905 curved serif peso (which this is an example of) is far more common than the 1905 straight serif peso.

How do you tell them apart? In 1906, the tip of the number 1 in the date was changed. One, or at most two of the sixty dies that were being used to produce 1905 pesos was punched with this changed pattern in the short window when both types of coin punches were in use. So, around November of 1905, some pesos were punched with a sharp edged number 1. This is a tricky variety to identify, but if you look closely at the tip of the number one, you’ll see a slight concave curve pointing up and to the left.

This is a Type-I peso (KM 168): it was minted from 1903-1906 and had a higher silver content. The Type-II peso (KM 172) was minted from 1907-1912 and had only 80% silver (for a total silver weight of 0.5144 ounces).

I think conventional wisdom has it backwards about which side of these coins is the front and which is the back. It seems odd to me that the date is on the reverse… the side with the date is almost always the obverse in other coins. Can you think of any other coins where the date is on the reverse?

While pesos were in circulation (1903-1945), they could be redeemed at any time for US dollars at a fixed conversion rate of 2:1. That meant 1 peso was worth 50 cents. Which would you rather have – this crown sized silver coin, or a 1905 Barber half dollar?

Estimated value: $50-65, with some consideration given to the encapsulation due to the number of counterfeits on the market. Ungraded examples are available in the $40-55 price range.

Here is a well written page describing the similar 1906-S US Philippine peso.