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).
Identification code: KM-182
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