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The Mint of the Philippine Islands (1920-1941)

Category:  Series Sets
Owner:  coin928
Last Modified:  3/29/2022
Set Description
Mint of the Philippine Islands


The Mint of the Philippine Islands is often referred to by U.S. coin collectors as the Manila Mint, as though it was a branch of The U.S. Mint. It is also often identified as the only branch mint outside of the continental United States. While The Mint of the Philippine Islands was aU.S. mint, it was not a branch of THE U.S. Mint. It was actually a branch of the U.S. Department of War, and might best be described as the only United States Colonial Mint!

HISTORY OF THE MINT

It is virtually impossible to understand the history of the Philippine Mint in Manila without also being aware of the events that led to its creation and influenced the first years of operation. The most important of these are 1) the monetary system designed for the Philippines by Charles A. Conant (a highly regarded economic and banking expert of the day), 2) the impact that World War I had on the Philippine economy, and 3) the economic crisis that gripped the country from 1919 through 1922.

The U.S. Secretary of War Elihu Root sent Conant to the Philippines in July 1901 to prepare a plan for a new currency and banking system. Conant returned to the U.S. and presented his plan for the new monetary system in November 1901. It was adopted in 1902, and the first coinage was produced in March of 1903 by the Philadelphia mint. Without going into great detail, the fundamental characteristics of the new system relevant to the story of the Philippine mint are:
  • The legal currency of the Philippine Islands would be the (theoretical) gold peso at the rate in gold coin of one US dollar for two Philippine pesos.
  • Two funds were created to facilitate this new monetary system:
    • The Gold Standard Fund was established for the purpose of maintaining parity of the silver Philippine peso with the gold standard peso.
    • The Silver Certificate Reserve was created to maintain a quantity of silver coin sufficient to back the paper currency (Silver Certificates) in circulation. When it was first created, the reserve contained one silver peso for each silver certificate in circulation. This requirement changed over time.
  • A silver peso with an Actual Silver Weight (ASW) of 0.78 troy ounces. It is important to note that the 1903 Philippine Peso contained more silver than the 1903 U.S. Morgan dollar (ASW of 0.7734 troy ounces) and was worth half as much! When silver prices rose dramatically in late 1905, the size and weight of the Philippine peso minted from 1907-1912 was reduced so that it contained an ASW of 0.5144 troy ounces. That was now less than a Morgan dollar, but still worth only half as much.
  • Subsidiary silver coinage produced in denominations of 50, 20, and 10 Centavos.
Although the legislation signed by President Theodore Roosevelt on July 1, 1902 provided that coins should be struck in Manila if practicable, it would be another 18 years before that actually happened. The minting of all Philippine coinage in San Francisco had been satisfactory up until 1915-1916. World War I was intensifying, and U.S. Mint resources were strained. The Philadelphia mint was producing more foreign coins than usual for Central and South America to fill the void left by the incapacitated European mints. The San Francisco mint was also having to produce more domestic coinage to satisfy the increased war time demand. In the Philippines, the increased world demand for raw materials such as hemp for rope, coconut oil, and sugar all caused an economic boom which increased the demand for circulating coinage. The final straw was a rise in silver prices beginning in 1916 that eventually caused the bullion value of the reduced size and weight U.S. Philippine silver coinage to exceed its face value, causing hoarding by the public. The coin shortage was so severe that the Philippine National Bank even printed fractional currency notes in denominations of Ten, Twenty, and Fifty Centavos in the fall of 1917. All of these factors finally drove the Philippine government to exercise their right to create a mint on Philippine soil. Act No. 2738 signed into law by Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison on February 16, 1918, begins as follows:

An Act establishing the Mint of the Philippine Islands and appropriating funds for said purpose. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Legislature assembled and by the authority of the same:
SECTION 1. A Bureau is hereby created in the Department of Finance which shall be known as the Mint of the Philippine Islands.
SEC. 2. The mint of the Philippine Islands shall have a Director and an Assistant Director, who shall be appointed by the Governor-General, by and with the consent of the Senate ...


The Mint of the Philippine Islands was explicitly created by the Philippine Legislature as a Bureau in the Department of Finance of the Philippine Government. From its inception in the Philippine Organic Act of 1902 through its closing in December 1941, it was always intended to be, and ultimately was administered as a part of the Philippine government. Although it was very dependent upon the U.S. Mint for its technology and engraving skills, the administrative relationship was no different than with any other foreign mint. The Philippine mint paid the U.S. Mint for all equipment, services and dies acquired for its operations. That's why U.S. Mint reports never included the coinage produced by the Manila Mint.

The initial funding of Php100,000 for the fabrication of the mint equipment was also approved on February 16, 1918 in Section 8 of Act 2738. According to a memorandum sent to the Director of the U.S. Mint in August 1918, the Governor-General sent the Treasurer of the Philippine Islands, Dr. Albert P. Fitzsimmons to the United States … in the interest of the establishment of a government mint in the Philippine Islands. During this trip, Fitzsimmons was directed to examine the organization, installing of machinery, and the operation of the United States Mints at San Francisco, Denver and Philadelphia. The University Journal (Alumni Edition) of the University of Nebraska reported in January, 1919 that Dr. A.P. Fitzsimmons, treasurer of the Philippine Island visited in Lincoln in November [1918], having come to the United States to obtain machinery for a government mint. This is interesting because he was still Insular Treasurer at the time of this trip, but he already had responsibility for the mint. Fitzsimmons discovered that because World War I was ongoing, the machinery needed could not be obtained commercially. The Philadelphia mint did however have a large portion of the necessary equipment in stock and was willing to manufacture the rest under the supervision of Clifford Hewitt, the Chief Engineer and metallurgist of the mint. As a result of his trip, Fitzsimmons placed an order with the Philadelphia mint for all of the equipment necessary for the establishment of a Mint in the Philippine Islands. Work on the minting equipment probably began in November or December of 1918.

In April 1918, silver prices passed the threshold at which the bullion value of the reduced size and weight silver peso exceeded its face value. One month later, the 10, 20, and 50 centavos also became worth more as bullion than as circulating coinage. The coinage crisis of 1906 had occurred yet again, and Act No. 2776, was approved on May 6, 1918 to deal with the problem. It was entitled An Act to regulate the currency system of the Philippine Islands and to establish a reserve fund for the same, amending therefor certain provisions of’ the Administrative Code and contained several very significant revisions to the administrative code. The creation of the Currency Reserve Fund by merging the Silver Certificate Reserve and the Gold Standard Fund proved later to be one of the most damaging to the Philippine economic system and a major contributor to the financial crisis or 1919-1922. Section 1612 defined the composition, weight, and fineness of all Philippine coinage. The act reiterates the specifications for the then current coinage but also includes the following:

... Provided, That in case the public good requires it, the Governor-General is hereby authorized to order by proclamation, with the consent of the presiding officers of both Houses of the Legislature, the reduction of the weight and fineness of the Philippine coins as follows:
  • The peso to contain fifteen grams of silver, eight hundred thousandths fine.
  • The fifty-centavo piece to contain seven grams and fifty centigrams of silver, seven hundred and fifty thousandths fine.
  • The twenty-centavo piece to contain three grams of silver, seven hundred and fifty thousandths fine.
  • The alloy of these silver coins to be copper.
  • The ten-centavo piece to contain five grams of an alloy composed of seventy-five per cent of copper and twenty- five per cent of nickel.
  • The five-centavo piece to contain three grams of an alloy composed of seventy-five per cent of copper and twenty-five per cent of nickel.
  • The one-centavo piece to contain five grams of an alloy composed of ninety-five per cent of copper and five per cent of tin and zinc.
The legislature had created a third set of specifications for the U.S. Philippine coinage, but did not commit absolutely to the type of massive recoining that took place in 1907. They left the final decision to the Governor-General. This third set of specifications was never used, but beginning in 1918, the pesos that had been coined between 1907 and 1912 became the primary feed-stock for the production of all silver coinage through 1941.

An additional Php250,000 was appropriated on December 21, 1918 (Act 2785) to cover salaries and all of the expenses incurred in installing the minting equipment and preparing the mint for operation. In June 1919, Dr. Fitzsimmons, the Secretary of the Bureau of the Treasury was appointed Director of the Mint to oversee construction and initial operation. This was a lateral transfer for Fitzsimmons which was affected primarily to relieve him as Secretary of the Treasury. Lack of oversight at the Treasury under his watch had been identified as a major contributing factor to the severity of the financial crisis that gripped the Philippines from 1919 through 1922. The mint had the same stature as the Bureau of the Treasury and Mint Director Fitzsimmons continued to report directly to Alberto Barreto, the Secretary of Finance.

The new Mint of the Philippine Islands was not housed in a new building. Instead, it occupied the first floor of the old Intendencia Building which it shared with the Philippine Treasury, Senate, and other government offices. Clifford Hewitt incorporated the latest minting technology in the designed and construction of the machinery. The new equipment was assembled and tested at the Philadelphia Mint in June 1919, before it was shipped through the Panama Canal. It arrived in Manila in November 1919, and over the next 7 months, Hewett supervised the installation of the equipment, the preparation of the mint and the training of the Filipino staff for opening in 1920.

The Report of the Director of the U.S. Mint for Fiscal Year 1919 reports that the minting equipment created was as follows:

Complete coining equipment, to be electrically operated, for installation in the mint shortly to be established at Manila, P. I., has been constructed at the Philadelphia Mint. This machinery consists of 2 coining presses, 2 rolling mills, 1 cutting press, 1 topping machine, 1 strip shear, 1 upsetting machine, 2 tumbling barrels, 1 coin reviewing machine, 1 automatic weighing machine, 1 six-foot bullion balance, 4 hand balances, 1 rotary annealing furnace, 6 oil melting furnaces, 5 sets of punches and beds, 5 ingot molds, and all accessories necessary to complete the installation for the coinage of silver, nickel and bronze.

The coining presses were built from patterns acquired and are the first coining presses ever built in any mint in the United States. They, as well as all of the machinery mentioned, have been thoroughly and successfully tested. The manufacture of this machinery demonstrates that the machine shop of the Philadelphia Mint is fully equipped for and capable of taking care of all machinery requirements oi the Mint Service. During the past year the shop has been taxed to its capacity.


Another Php220,000 was appropriated on December 28, 1919 when the Philippine legislature passed Act No. 2875 in order to fund the operations of the mint for 1920. A little over six months later, amid much fanfare, the first official coinage at the new Mint took place in ceremonies on the morning of Thursday, July 15, 1920. Under the direction of Clifford Hewett, Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison coined the first bronze centavo. Speaker Osmeña of the House of Representatives, then struck the first of the medals which were issued to commemorate the opening. Less than three months later on October 11, 1920, a fire consumed much of the upper floors. Fortunately, being on the lower floor, the mint emerged unscathed, and resumed production the very next day. Production through the end of 1920 totaled 6,958,752 U.S. Philippine coins with a face value of Php105,029.00, 14,000 coins for the Culion Leper Colony, and 5,900 Mint Opening Medals (2,200 in silver and 3,700 in Bronze). Philippine numismatist and polymath Dr. Gilbert S. Perez was present at the opening ceremonies and wrote about the event in The Mint of the Philippine Islands published by the American Numismatic Society in 1921 as No. 8 in its Numismatic Notes and Monographs series.

By the time the mint opened, the demand for additional coinage was already declining. World War I had ended and the demand for Philippine raw materials dropped dramatically along with other commodity prices. That, combined with bad monetary policy on the part of the U.S. administration and corruption at the Philippine National Bank had sent the Philippine Islands into a severe economic crisis that would not begin to turn around until 1922. The bullion value of silver in the one peso coin reached a high of Php1.36 in January 1920, but by opening day had declined to Php0.96 and would never again exceed the face value.

As the economic crisis of the period worsened, the Philippine legislature passed appropriations Act No. 2935 on January 15, 1921 which provided Php246,295 for operations in 1921, but also contained a provision allowing transfer of the Mint to the Bureau of the Treasury.

48. In the discretion of the Council of State, the Philippine Mint may be transferred to the Bureau of the Treasury as a dependency thereof. In this case, the positions of Director and Assistant Director of the Mint shall be deemed automatically abolished, and the Council of State may then authorize for the Bureau of the Treasury an additional position of division chief with a salary not to exceed that ordinarily paid to chiefs of divisions of like importance and responsibility.

Dr. Fitzsimmons had performed much better as Director of the Mint than he had as Secretary of the Treasury. He took the mint from a concept and an empty building to a modern, fully functional, nearly self-contained, state of the art coining facility. Along with Clifford Hewitt, he oversaw the acquisition, construction, installation and initial operation of all of the necessary equipment, the opening of the mint, and nearly 11 months of production spanning two coining years. The mint operated for eleven months at full production and one month at half production during 1921 with a total production of 17,436,798 coins in all denominations from one centavos through 50 centavos with a face value of Php2,092,624.32. Gilbert Perez had reported that the mint was capable of producing 85,000 coins per day with an annual capacity of 25,000,000. The level of production in 1921 did not even come close to the capacity reported by Perez and would not be reached again until the birth of the Commonwealth. The 1921 mintage figure were only exceeded in 1936, 1937, and 1938. 1937 proved to be the most prolific year for the mint when it produced 24,449,364 coins, but the face value was only Php1,165,598.52 because nearly 65% were one centavo coins. 1921 really was the most productive year for the Mint of the Philippine Islands.

In March 1921, newly inaugurated U.S. President Warren G. Harding sent a special mission to the Philippines to investigate conditions in the Philippines. The mission was led by Major-General Leonard Wood and former Philippine Governor-General William Cameron Forbes and thus became known as the Wood-Forbes Mission. When the legislature passed Act No. 2935, Fitzsimmons surely knew that his days as Director of the Mint were numbered, but the commencement of the Wood-Forbes investigation most certainly accelerated his decision to resign his position in May of 1921 to return to the United States. His tenure as Director of the Mint had allowed him to exit gracefully from the Philippines with the successful launch of the new mint and to avoid any fallout from his lack of oversight as the Secretary of the Treasury which had led to the near collapse of the Currency Reserve Fund. The Western Medial Review, March 1922, commented on Dr. Fitzsimmons return to the United States:

DR. A.P. FITZSIMMONS TO BE HOME IN MARCH

Roy L. Stewart has received letters from Dr. A.P. Fitzsimmons formerly of Tecumseh who has been eight years in the Philippines, stating that he expects to be in Nebraska again in March
[ 1922]. He sailed from Liverpool with his family February 15.
Dr. Fitzsimmons was treasurer of the islands and ex officio director of the mint at Manila until he resigned to return home. He was said to have been one of the most popular officials in the Philippines and according to friends his resignation was not demanded by the incoming administration.
Dr. Fitzsimmons his wife and one daughter have traveled on a sight-seeing tour through the east visiting India and other Asiatic places of interest, stopping for a while in Palestine, Egypt, Italy and France before reaching England. ...


It is interesting, and possibly a bit telling, that the article specifically states that his resignation was not demanded by the incoming administration, and that he took a very circuitous and time consuming route back to the United States at a time when the Wood-Forbes commission was in the midst of their investigation in the Philippines.

On November 1, 1921, the Council of State exercised the provision of Act No. 2935, demoting the Philippine Mint to become a division of the Bureau of the Treasury. The secretary of finance then designated the chief of the cash division, bureau of the treasury, as superintendent of the mint without extra compensation. At the time of the transfer, the mint had 59 employees, but just two months later only 35 remained. By June 28, 1922, the number of employees had been reduced to 11 and by April 13, 1923, only 3 employees remained. These were: a superintendent, who was also cashier and chief of the cash division of the bureau of the treasury; a cashier and assistant superintendent who had charge of the stock of the mint supplies, machinery, and other equipment; and a mechanic whose duties were to clean and keep all the machinery of the mint in proper condition. The mint had been operated at full capacity for the first eleven months of 1921, and at half capacity during the month of December. Other than a small number of Culion Leper Colony coins, only one centavo pieces were struck for general circulation in 1922, and all minting operations probably ceased well before the end of the year.

In June of 1922, Act No.3058 was passed. It abolished the Currency Reserve Fund, reinstated the Gold Standard Fund, and created the Treasury Certificate Fund for backing the paper currency. With silver prices down, it also amended act 2776 by removing the third set of Philippine coin specifications created in 1918. The Philippines was still in an economic crisis however, and the demand for new circulating coinage was small, so the mint remained inactive for all of 1923 and 1924.

With the recovery well underway, minting was resumed on January 2, 1925, and was operated by the general fund of the treasury for the first 6 months before it was then again moved down one more level in the hierarchy of the Department of Finance. From July 1, 1925 through December 31, 1934, the Mint was operated by the Gold Standard Fund under the Bureau of the Treasury. The mint struck only one and five centavo coins for the years of 1925 through 1927. In 1928 the existing supply of silver 20-centavo coins had run low and the mint personnel had to improvise in order to satisfy the demand since there was no time to order dies from the Philadelphia mint. This gave rise to the other mule of the series when a 20 centavo obverse die from a previous year was married with a five centavo reverse die dated 1928 to produce 100,000 20 centavo mules. Silver 10 and 20 centavo coins were minted again in 1929, but then suspended until 1935. In 1935, the Gold Standard Fund was replaced by the Exchange Standard Fund and the mint operations were taken over by the new/renamed fund until it closed permanently in December 1941. With the birth of the Commonwealth in 1935, the mint produced its only commemorative coinage, and coincidentally, its only one peso coins in 1936. The years of 1936 through 1938 were some of the most productive for the mint. With sufficient quantities of Commonwealth coinage produced, the quantities of coins minted from 1939 through 1941 returned to pre-Commonwealth levels.

CLOSURE AND DESTRUCTION
The City of Manila was bombed on December 8, 1941, just hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Intenencia/Aduana building was severely damaged in the bombing, but the mint was on the ground floor and while not destroyed, production at the mint probably never resumed. The mint remained relatively intact, but unused throughout the Japanese occupation from 1942-1945. The building was destroyed in February 1945 during the final battle to retake Manila from the Japanese occupying forces. After the city was retaken, the building was left open for several weeks during which time, the contents were looted by scavengers and souvenir hunters. Coin World magazine reported in January 2012 that an obverse die Wilson/ManilaMint Opening Medal had been discovered in the estate of a U.S. Army warrant officer who served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. According to his typewritten account, the mint in Manila was bombed and left wide open for looting. While others were scavenging silver bars, he only picked up the obverse die. We will never know what other treasures and records were lost.

The building was reconstructed after the war and housed the offices of the National Treasury, followed by the Central Bank of the Philippines, and finally the Commission on Elections. In 1979 the building burned and left as nothing but a hollow stone facade. Plans were made in 1981 to resurrect the building to become the home of the National Archives, but nearly 40 years later, little has been done to rebuild it.

COINAGE
Although the Philippine Mint produced Medals and Coins for the Culion Leper Colony, the primary function of the mint was to produce coinage for general circulation in the Philippine Islands as warranted by demand. The work horses of the Philippine coinage system in the early years had been primarily the one, ten, and twenty centavo coins because these were the coins most similar to what the Filipino people were accustomed to using prior to 1903. It took more than 11 years for the supply of five centavo coins struck in 1903 and 1904 to be assimilated into circulation, but by 1916 the five centavo coin had been accepted by the general population. This acceptance is shown in the table below which summarizes the entire mintage of the Philippine mint by denomination. Nearly 70% of all coins struck in Manila were one centavos, but from a value perspective, the twenty centavos coin was the big winner, contributing nearly 29% of the total value of all coins minted.

MINT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS (1920-1941)
_______________Total Mintage and Equivalent Peso Value by Denomination_______________
Denomination__Number of Coins__Percent of Total__Value of Coins__Percent of Total Value
Centavo142,310,15969.5%Php1,423,101.5916.9%
5 Centavos32,242,04115.7%Php1,612,102.0519.2%
10 Centavos15,413,0387.5%Php1,541,303.8018.4%
20 Centavos12,123,0465.9%Php2,424,609.2028.9%
50 Centavos2,756,7631.35%Php1,378,381.5016.4%
Peso_____20,0000.01%Php__ 20,000.000.24%
Totals204,865,047Php8,399,498.14


MINT MARKS
No mint marks were used on any of the coins produced by the Philippine mint during the first three years of operation with two notable exceptions. My suspicion is that no one at the time felt it was necessary to identify the source mint on the coinage because there was only one mint in the Philippine Islands. It may have stayed that way if not for the efforts of Dr. Perez. Perez became a member of the American Numismatic Association in February 1920, and was a frequent contributor to their publication, The Numismatist from the early 1920's well into the 1950's. The following excerpt from the September 1922 issue of The Numismatist documents a written exchange between Dr. Perez and Assistant Insular Treasurer Salvador Lagdameo:
Perez-Lagdameo

Dr. Perez didn't realize at the time that he would have to wait two more years to see this promise fulfilled for the regular U.S. Philippine coinage. In 1925, one and five centavo pieces began circulating, each bearing a solid block M under the dot to the left of the date.

The first block style M would be used on all denominations struck for general circulation from 1925 through 1936. The 50 Centavos and Pesos struck in 1936 to commemorate the birth of the Commonwealth of the Philippines introduced the new Commonwealth reverse and with it, a change in the style of mint mark. This second style of mint mark was only used for one more year in 1937 because it did not strike up well in production. Some 1937 one centavo coins even appear to have no mint mark at all. The third and final Manila mint mark style appears like an inverted W and was used from 1938 through 1941. All three Manila mint mark styles are illustrated below.

Manila Mint Mark Styles


The one peso and 20 centavos Culion Leper Colony coins struck in 1922 do bear the mark of the Philippine Mint in the form of a stylized PhM stamped into the center of the date side of the coins. This may just be a coincidence, or it could be a result of the exchange between Lagdameo and Perez since it was applied after the coins were struck. A photo of the 1922 counter-stamped "mint mark" appears below on the left. In 1925 and 1927, the Philippine Mint was identified by the letters P below the star to the left of the date, and M below the star to the right of the date. The image below on the right is a composite of the two letters from a 1925 Peso, and is not how they actually look on the coin. The last issue struck in 1930 contains no mint mark.

Culion Leper Colony Mint Mark Styles


THE COURSE OF SILVER
Every serious collector knows that fluctuations in the price of silver had a profound impact on U.S. Philippine coinage in 1907, but few realize that the series would again be dealing with this problem in 1917.

In September 1917, the price of silver briefly rose to a level where the face value of all of the currently circulating silver coinage was less that the bullion value. This caused hoarding and possibly exportation and melting as well. The price declined enough for the next six months to a safe level but rose again in April of 1918. From April 1918, through May 1920, the currently circulating silver coinage was worth more as bullion than its face value. The 50, 20, and 10 Centavos were not at as much risk as the Peso because their fineness was .75 vs. .80 for the Peso. Several plans were discussed in 1918 to deal with the problem. Noted economist Edwin Kemmerer advised that a large quantity of Pesos be recoined into 50 Centavos, but that a full recoinage to a reduced size and weight should not take place unless the price of silver rose dramatically. Bureau of Insular Affairs Chief, General Frank McIntyre also opposed a general recoinage, but accepted that a recoinage to a new reduced size and weight may become necessary. McIntyre also recommended that silver Pesos be recoined into subsidiary silver denominations, but only when necessitated by demand. In the end, McIntyre prevailed and Act No. 2776 passed into law in May 1918. Recoining of silver pesos commenced immediately in San Francisco, but only to the extent necessary to satisfy the demand. No speculative recoining was done in 1918 or 1919 by the U.S. Mint.

According to Philippine Treasury reports, ALL of the silver coins minted by the Philippine mint were recoined from previously issued U.S. Philippine coins. Over 97% of the silver used between 1920 and 1941 was obtained by melting reduced size and weight silver pesos struck from 1907 through 1912. The rest came from all denominations of silver coins struck between 1903 and 1906. During this 21 year period, at least 4,000,000 and possibly as many as 5,000,000 (1907-12) pesos were melted and recoined into ten, twenty and fifty centavo pieces. The commemorative pesos and fifty centavos struck in 1936 were recoined from 6,000 (1903-06) pesos and 4,000 (1907-12) pesos. Existing silver coins were not the only ones melted and recoined. Many Five Centavo coins were recoined when the size and weight of the Five Centavos was reduced in 1930. Likewise, many One Centavo coins were melted and recoinied beginning in 1937 when the reverse was changed to the Commonwealth design.

References
  • Hill, D. (2013, July-September). Clifford Hewitt: International Man of Mystery? ANS Magazine, 12(3), pp. 36-43.
  • Nagano, Y. (2015). State and Finance in the Philippines 1898-1941 (First ed.). Singapore: NUS Press (National University of Singapore).
  • Perez, G. S. (1921). The Mint of the Philippine Islands - Numismatic Notes and Monographs No. 8. New York: American Numismatic Society.
  • Phillips, F. H. (1976, March). Philippine Coins, The Forgotten U.S. Coinage. (N. N. Harris, Ed.) The Numismatist, 89(3), pp. 525-528.

Set Goals
The set of items presented here are intended to represent the entire range of coins and medals produced by The Mint of the Philippine Islands in Manila. They are presented chronologically in order to show how the spectrum of production changed from year to year. Varieties are included where possible.

The list of coins and medals may however be incomplete. The Report of the Secretary of Finance (Alberto Barretto) for calendar year 1921 contained one very interesting sentence with respect to the production of the mint in 1921. ... 200 bronze medals were struck for the officers and crew of the U.S.S. Helena, in September, under authority of the secretary of finance. I have never seen one of these medals, and I don't know of anyone who has, but it would certainly be interesting to find one. The reporting of the use of the mint to strike coins for the Philippine Health Service is only occasionally mentioned in treasury reports, so it is quite possible that other medals or tokens were also produced by the mint. Any record of these was probably lost to history during World War II.

Rev. 11/19/2017

Slot Name
Origin/Country
Item Description
Full Grade
Owner Comments
Pics
View Coin 1920 Mint Opening Medal - Bronze United States SC$1 1920 HK-450 WILSON DOLLAR MANILA MINT OPENING ALLEN-M2 MANILA MINT OPENING NGC AU Details Philippines - 1920 HK-450 Bronze SC$1 Wilson Dollar / Manila Mint Opening - Allen #M2 (HK-450) - Mintage: 3,700

This piece is a bit of a stretch for my Minted in the USA set but is perfect to start off the Mint of the Philippine Islands set. It’s not a coin, nor was it struck at a mint in the USA. It was however struck in a new mint constructed in an insular territory of the United States of America. This so-called “Wilson Dollar” was very likely struck on July 15, 1920, to commemorate the opening day of the Philippine Mint in Manila which would be used almost exclusively to produce US/Philippine coinage.

The obverse is dominated by the portrait of President Woodrow Wilson who is identified only as the “PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.” It was designed by George T. Morgan and is a slightly abbreviated version of the design found on the second Wilson inauguration medal in the United States Mint Presidential series.

The female figure on the reverse is often assumed to be Liberty, since this is a U.S. Mint medal. Occasionally, she is identified as Justice, probably because of the scales she is holding in her right hand. Neither of these are correct however. The reverse (also designed by Morgan) actually depicts "Juno Moneta" protecting and instructing a novice in the art and science of coin production. Juno Moneta is the Roman Goddess of Good Counsel, whose name means "Adviser" or "Warner", a very appropriate choice for a medal commemorating the opening of a mint.

According the The British Museum, "The origins of the modern English words 'money' and 'mint' lie in ancient Rome. In the period of the Roman Republic, from about 300 BC onwards, coins were made near the temple of the goddess Juno Moneta. It was located on the Capitol (the modern Campidoglio), the citadel of Rome. The goddess's name, Moneta ('Warner' or 'Reminder') eventually came to refer to the place where the coins were made, the 'mint', and to its product, 'money', both of which derive ultimately from the Latin word moneta."

The design of the medal was first credited to Clifford Hewitt by noted numismatist and polymath Gilbert S. Perez who was present at the Philippine Mint on July 15, 1920 for the opening ceremonies. In 1921, he published his first person accounting of the events in Numismatic Notes And Monographs No. 8, The Mint of the Philippine Islands in which he stated Speaker Osmeña of the House of Representatives [...] struck off the first medal (designed by Mr. Clifford Hewitt) which was issued in commemoration of the opening. The medal was certainly struck under the direction of Mr. Hewitt, who was responsible for the assembly and installation of the minting equipment, but the design and engraving credit clearly belongs to George T. Morgan. Morgan's initial even appears on the base of Wilson's bust on the obverse and and to the right of Juno's left foot on the reverse. We will never know exactly why Gilbert Perez credited the design to Clifford Hewett, but since he did, that credit has been propagated by many other authoritative sources. Mr. Perez also described the reverse design as the figure of Liberty protecting and instructing beginners in the art of coining, holding in her right hand a pair of scales to demonstrate the absolute necessity for care and exactness in operation which all mint work demands. He got that wrong too, so his errant credit of the design to Mr. Hewitt may not be that surprising. Fact checking in the 1920s was not as rigorous as it is today.

3,700 of these medals were stuck in bronze, 2,200 in silver, and a small quantity in gold. The number stuck in gold is most commonly quoted as 5, although six are known to have been certified by the grading services and many very knowledgeable dealers maintain that even more uncertified examples exist. The 1934 treasurers report states that at the end of 1934, 1,053 of the silver and 2,117 of bronze medals remained unsold. Mint records from 1935-1938 do not provide the same level of detail as in 1934, but it is possible to speculate on how many of each remained unsold in 1938. Demand for these mint opening medals rose shaprly when the Commonwealth of the Philippines was born in 1935 and the three commemorative coins were issued in 1936. At the end of 1938, less than 700 silver medals and less than 1800 bronze medals remained in the treasure. This represents about 30% of the silver 48% of the bronze medals so it is very likely that 1,500 to 1,600 silver medals and 1,800 to 2,000 bronze medals may have escaped being dumped into the Pacific Ocean in 1941 to keep them from falling into enemy hands when Japan invaded the Islands. These pieces were salvaged after the war but were corroded by the exposure to sea water, and are often sold as “sea salvaged.” Many of those that escaped the ravages of the salt water have been cleaned, so pristine, unadulterated examples are relatively rare, particularly in Bronze.

This Medal
This particular medal is one of the 3,700 minted in Bronze and originally sold for $0.50 in 1920. I purchased this specimen raw and submitted it to NGC for certification and grading. I was a bit disappointed with the Details grade, but not too terribly surprised. It is not a sea salvaged piece, and despite the improper cleaning, the medal exhibits great color and eye appeal. In spite of the larger mintage, original bronze specimens are much more difficult to obtain than their silver counterpart. My search will continue.

Date acquired: 11/11/2011 (raw medal)
Date graded: 11/26/2011 (self submitted to NGC)

References
  • Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974 by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975
  • Numismatic Notes And Monographs No. 8, The Mint of the Philippine Islands by Gilbert S. Perez, The American Numismatic Association, New York, NY, 1921
  • United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961
Rev. 11/6/2017
View Coin 1920 Mint Opening Medal - Silver United States SC$1 1920 HK-449 WILSON DOLLAR MANILA MINT OPENING ALLEN-M1 NGC MS 62 Philippines - 1920 HK-449 Silver SC$1 Wilson Dollar / Manila Mint Opening - Allen #M1 - Mintage: 2,200

This piece is a bit of a stretch for my Minted in the USA set but is perfect to start off the Mint of the Philippine Islands set. It’s not a coin, nor was it struck at a mint in the USA. It was however struck in a new mint constructed in an insular territory of the United States of America. This so-called “Wilson Dollar” was very likely struck on July 15, 1920, to commemorate the opening day of the Philippine Mint in Manila which would be used almost exclusively to produce US/Philippine coinage.

The obverse is dominated by the portrait of President Woodrow Wilson who is identified only as the “PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.” It was designed by George T. Morgan and is a slightly abbreviated version of the design found on the second Wilson inauguration medal in the United States Mint Presidential series.

The female figure on the reverse is often assumed to be Liberty, since this is a U.S. Mint medal. Occasionally, she is identified as Justice, probably because of the scales she is holding in her right hand. Neither of these are correct however. The reverse (also designed by Morgan) actually depicts "Juno Moneta" protecting and instructing a novice in the art and science of coin production. Juno Moneta is the Roman Goddess of Good Counsel, whose name means "Adviser" or "Warner", a very appropriate choice for a medal commemorating the opening of a mint.

According the The British Museum, "The origins of the modern English words 'money' and 'mint' lie in ancient Rome. In the period of the Roman Republic, from about 300 BC onwards, coins were made near the temple of the goddess Juno Moneta. It was located on the Capitol (the modern Campidoglio), the citadel of Rome. The goddess's name, Moneta ('Warner' or 'Reminder') eventually came to refer to the place where the coins were made, the 'mint', and to its product, 'money', both of which derive ultimately from the Latin word moneta."

The design of the medal was first credited to Clifford Hewitt by noted numismatist and polymath Gilbert S. Perez who was present at the Philippine Mint on July 15, 1920 for the opening ceremonies. In 1921, he published his first person accounting of the events in Numismatic Notes And Monographs No. 8, The Mint of the Philippine Islands in which he stated Speaker Osmeña of the House of Representatives [...] struck off the first medal (designed by Mr. Clifford Hewitt) which was issued in commemoration of the opening. The medal was certainly struck under the direction of Mr. Hewitt, who was responsible for the assembly and installation of the minting equipment, but the design and engraving credit clearly belongs to George T. Morgan. Morgan's initial even appears on the base of Wilson's bust on the obverse and and to the right of Juno's left foot on the reverse. We will never know exactly why Gilbert Perez credited the design to Clifford Hewett, but since he did, that credit has been propagated by many other authoritative sources. Mr. Perez also described the reverse design as the figure of Liberty protecting and instructing beginners in the art of coining, holding in her right hand a pair of scales to demonstrate the absolute necessity for care and exactness in operation which all mint work demands. He got that wrong too, so his errant credit of the design to Mr. Hewitt may not be that surprising. Fact checking in the 1920s was not as rigorous as it is today.

3,700 of these medals were stuck in bronze, 2,200 in silver, and a small quantity in gold. The number stuck in gold is most commonly quoted as 5, although six are known to have been certified by the grading services and many very knowledgeable dealers maintain that even more uncertified examples exist. The 1934 treasurers report states that at the end of 1934, 1,053 of the silver and 2,117 of bronze medals remained unsold. Mint records from 1935-1938 do not provide the same level of detail as in 1934, but it is possible to speculate on how many of each remained unsold in 1938. Demand for these mint opening medals rose shaprly when the Commonwealth of the Philippines was born in 1935 and the three commemorative coins were issued in 1936. At the end of 1938, less than 700 silver medals and less than 1800 bronze medals remained in the treasure. This represents about 30% of the silver 48% of the bronze medals so it is very likely that 1,500 to 1,600 silver medals and 1,800 to 2,000 bronze medals may have escaped being dumped into the Pacific Ocean in 1941 to keep them from falling into enemy hands when Japan invaded the Islands. These pieces were salvaged after the war but were corroded by the exposure to sea water, and are often sold as “sea salvaged.” Many of those that escaped the ravages of the salt water have been cleaned, so pristine, unadulterated examples are relatively rare, particularly in Bronze.


This Medal
This particular medal is one of the 2,200 minted in silver and originally sold for $1.00 in 1920. I purchased this specimen raw and submitted it to NGC myself for certification and grading. I was very pleased with the result.

Date acquired: 4/12/2005 (raw medal)
Date graded: 6/23/2009 (self submitted to NGC)

References
  • Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974 by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975
  • Numismatic Notes And Monographs No. 8, The Mint of the Philippine Islands by Gilbert S. Perez, The American Numismatic Association, New York, NY, 1921
  • United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961
Rev. 11/6/2017
1920 Mint Opening Medal - Gold United States SC$1 1920 HK-1031 WILSON DOLLAR - GOLD MANILA MINT OPENING ALLEN-M3 Philippines - 1920 HK-1031 Gold SC$1 Wilson Dollar / Manila Mint Opening - Allen #M3
Mintage 8 or more (Eight known to have been certified, possibly with crossover)

The gold so-called “Wilson Dollar” was very likely struck at the Philadelphia mint, but may have been struck in Manila to commemorate the opening day of the Manila Mint in the Philippines.

The obverse is dominated by the portrait of President Woodrow Wilson who is identified only as the “PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.” It was designed by George T. Morgan and is a slightly abbreviated version of the obverse design found on the United States Assay Commission Medals of 1919, 1920, and 1921.

The female figure on the reverse is often assumed to be Liberty, since this is a Mint medal associated with U.S. coinage. Noted numismatist and polymath, Dr. Gilbert S. Perez was present at the Philippine Mint on July 15, 1920 for the opening ceremonies and identified her as Justice in the October 1920 issue of The Numismatist, probably because of the scales she is holding in her right hand. Neither of these are correct however. The reverse (also designed by Morgan) actually depicts "Juno Moneta" protecting and instructing a novice in the art and science of coin production. Juno Moneta is the Roman Goddess of Good Counsel, whose name means "Advisor" or "Warner", a very appropriate choice for a medal commemorating the opening of a mint. The design of the reverse is a modified mirror image of a design Morgan used on the U.S. Assay Commissions Annual Medals in 1882-1885, 1890, and 1892.

According the The British Museum, "The origins of the modern English words 'money' and 'mint' lie in ancient Rome. In the period of the Roman Republic, from about 300 BC onwards, coins were made near the temple of the goddess Juno Moneta. It was located on the Capitol (the modern Campidoglio), the citadel of Rome. The goddess's name, Moneta ('Warner' or 'Reminder') eventually came to refer to the place where the coins were made, the 'mint', and to its product, 'money', both of which derive ultimately from the Latin word moneta."

The design of the medal was first credited to Clifford Hewitt by Dr. Perez in 1921 when he published his first person accounting of the events in Numismatic Notes And Monographs No. 8, The Mint of the Philippine Islands in which he stated Speaker Osmeña of the House of Representatives [...] struck off the first medal (designed by Mr. Clifford Hewitt) which was issued in commemoration of the opening. Ever since then, that credit has been propagated by many other authoritative sources until it became accepted as fact. The medal was certainly struck under the direction of Mr. Hewitt, but the design elements and engraving credit clearly belong to George T. Morgan whose initial even appears on the base of Wilson's bust on the obverse and and to the right of Juno's left foot on the reverse.

Clifford Hewitt, devoted several years of his life to bring the Mint of the Philippine Islands to life. He designed the equipment, assembled it, shipped it to Manila through the Panama Canal, and spent seven month installing it and training the Filipino staff in the art and science of coin production. All of this effort came to fruition on July 15, 1920 with the striking of the first One Centavo coins and these "So-Called Dollars." Given the scope of Hewitt's responsibility and involvement, it seems quite likely that he was also involved in and responsible for a medal to commemorate the opening. Although we know he did not create the elements or execute the engraving, Hewitt may have conceived the idea for combining these particular elements into a single medal which would symbolize the successful completion of the mint. This too could be considered design.

Upon successful completion of his work in Manila, Hewitt spent the next 12 years in Shanghai China establishing the Chinese Central Mint. Unlike Manila, Hewitt's time in China is well documented and even includes descriptions of his design work on the new coinage. The obverse featured a profile of Nationalist founding leader Sun Yat-sen, and a classic Chinese junk, or boat, with two sails backed by the rays of the sun on the reverse. These too were images prescribed by the Chinese Government, but were likely composed into a coin by Hewitt. Hewitt certainly considered himself the designer of the new dollar sized silver coin, and by extension the Mint Completion Medal of 1930, which shared its most prominent design features: I completed the Chinese Mint and put it into full operation March 1933, with a coin designed by myself with Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s profile on the obverse and a typical Chinese junk on the reverse, which is now the coinage of the Chinese Government. Hewitt’s initials, CH, can even be found to the right of Sun Yat-sen’s shoulder on the medal’s obverse.

Unfortunately, the details of any conversations between Clifford Hewitt and Dr. Perez will never be known, but Hewitt's design of the Manila Mint Opening medal could be very similar to his design of the medal for Chinese Central Mint opening which followed ten years later.

3,700 of these medals were stuck in bronze, 2,200 in silver. The price of these medals to the public was one peso for the bronze and two pesos for the silver, and these prices remained unchanged for the 21 years that they were available from the government. A small quantity was also struck in gold, but exactly how many and where they were struck is still a subject of much speculation.

The gold medals were created as presentation pieces and as such were struck at least three times to fully strike up the detail. This multiple striking led to some slightly noticeable doubling of the devices. The number stuck in gold is most commonly quoted as five, although six are known to have been certified by the grading services. One of the gold pieces was presented to President Woodrow Wilson (who was suffering from a stroke at the time), one to Newton D. Baker the U.S. Secretary of War, and three (or possibly more) were retained in the Philippines and for many years and presumed lost during World War II. One uncertified example is said to exist in the The Money Museum of the Central Bank of the Philippines. Many very knowledgeable dealers also maintain that even more uncertified examples exist, so how can this be?.

Coin World magazine reported in January 2012 that an obverse die had been discovered in the estate of a U.S. Army warrant officer who served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. According to his typewritten account, the mint in Manila was bombed and left wide open for looting. While others were scavenging silver bars, he only picked up the obverse die. The die was examined by several well known numismatists and authenticated as genuine. Since these dies were obviously never canceled, it is possible that other gold medals could have been struck "off the books" at the mint at any time in the 1920's or 1930's. This could account for the expanded number of gold medals that seem to exist.

The 1934 report of the Treasurer states that 1,053 of the silver and 2,117 of bronze medals remained unsold at the end of calendar year 1934. Treasury reports from 1935-1938 do not provide the same level of detail as in 1934, but they do state the combined total value in pesos of all of the mint opening medals remaining unsold at the end of each calendar year. That makes it possible to speculate on approximately how many of each remained at the end of 1938. Unfortunately, I do not have access to Treasury reports for 1939-1941, so 1938 is as far as I can reasonably go. Demand for these mint opening medals rose sharply when the Commonwealth of the Philippines was born in 1935 and the three commemorative coins were issued in 1936. At the end of 1938, less than 700 silver medals and less than 1800 bronze medals remained in the treasure. This represents about 30% of the silver and 48% of the bronze medals, so it is very likely that 1,500 to 1,600 silver medals and 1,800 to 2,000 bronze medals may have escaped being dumped into the Pacific Ocean in 1942 to keep them from falling into enemy hands when Japan invaded the Islands. These pieces were salvaged after the war but were corroded by the exposure to sea water, and are often sold as “sea salvaged.” Many of those that escaped the ravages of the salt water have been cleaned, so pristine, unadulterated examples are relatively rare, particularly in bronze.

CERTIFIED GOLD MEDALS
Grading Service_Cert. Number_Grade______________________
NGC1784584-004MS62
NGC2190217-001MS61
ANACSUNKNOWNMS60
NGC2197418-001AU58
PCGS83784389AU55 (formerly PCGS-24592857)
NCS5206198-001UNC Details, Mount Removed
ANACS1040348MS60 Details, Cleaned
ANACSUNKNOWNMS60 Details

The MS62 specimen was sold by Heritage Auctions in April 2008 for $69,000 in their Signature Coin Auction #1104 as Lot 2531. It then reappeared three months later at the Heritage US Coin Signature Auction #1114 as Lot 2151 where it sold for $74,750.

The PCGS AU55 first appeared at the Lynn Knight auction of the Dr. Gregory Pineda collection in June 2012 with cert. #24592857, and sold for $41,400. It then reappeared at the Heritage 2013 January 6-7 Ancient & World Coin Signature Auction - New York #3021 as Lot 22446 and sold for $44,062.50. Sometime after this sale this medal was re-holdered with the new cert. #83784389.

References
  • Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974 by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975
  • Numismatic Notes And Monographs No. 8, The Mint of the Philippine Islands by Gilbert S. Perez, The American Numismatic Association, New York, NY, 1921
  • United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961
  • 'Wilson Dollar' medal obverse die surfaces - Coin World, January 31, 2012
  • Annual Report of the Treasurer of the Philippine Islands to the Secretary of Finance, Manila Bureau of Printing, for each of the calendar years 1920-1938
  • Medals of the United States Assay Commission 1860-1977, by R.W. Julian and Ernest E. Keusch, TAMS Journal 29: 5(2), October 1989
Rev. 11/15/2017
View Coin 1920 - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1920 USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.19 NGC MS 64 RB Lyman Allen #2.19 (KM #163) - Mintage: 3,552,259

Although the legislation signed by President Theodore Roosevelt on July 1, 1902 provided that "coins should be struck in Manila if practicable," it would be another 18 years before it actually happened. The minting of all Philippine coinage in San Francisco and subsequent shipment across the Pacific Ocean was awkward at best, so, on February 8, 1918, the Philippine legislature appropriated 100,000 pesos for the construction of the Manila Mint.

The Manila Mint, however, was not a new building. Instead, it occupied the first floor of the old Intendencia Building which it shared with the Philippine Treasury, Senate, and other government offices. Clifford Hewitt, the chief engineer of the U.S. Mint, designed and supervised the construction of the machinery. Hewett wanted to incorporate the latest minting technology and had the machinery assembled and tested at the Philadelphia Mint in June 1919. It was then shipped through the Panama Canal and arrived in Manila in November 1919. Over the next 7 months, Hewett supervised the installation of the equipment and the preparation of the mint for opening in 1920.

The first official coinage at the Manila Mint took place in ceremonies on the morning of Thursday, July 15, 1920. Under the direction of Clifford Hewett, Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison coined the first bronze centavo.

Although there is no mint mark, this is one of the first coins minted at the new US Mint in Manila.

This particular coin exhibits a weak strike which is typical of the early Manila Mint issues. There is a substantial amount of red for an RB grade.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year.

Date acquired: 8/6/2008 (already graded by NGC)

References:
- DeLorey, T. "THE U.S. MINT Of The Philippines," COINage, January 1997, pp. 72-78.
- Perez, G.S. "The Mint in the Philippine Islands," Numismatic Notes and Monographs (1921), Number 8.
- von Klinger, E. "America's overseas Mint" - Coin World, November 29.2004, pp 120.

Rev. 12/10/2015
View Coin 1920 - 5 Centavos United States 5C 1920 USA-PHIL ALLEN-4.10 PCGS MS 63 Lyman Allen #4.10 (KM #164) - Mintage: 1,421,078

Although the legislation signed by President Theodore Roosevelt on July 1, 1902 provided that "coins should be struck in Manila if practicable," it would be another 18 years before it actually happened. The minting of all Philippine coinage in San Francisco and subsequent shipment across the Pacific Ocean was awkward at best, so, on February 8, 1918, the Philippine legislature appropriated 100,000 pesos for the construction of the Manila Mint.

The Manila Mint, however, was not a new building. Instead, it occupied the first floor of the old Intendencia Building which it shared with the Philippine Treasury, Senate, and other government offices. Clifford Hewitt, the chief engineer of the U.S. Mint, designed and supervised the construction of the machinery. Hewett wanted to incorporate the latest minting technology and had the machinery assembled and tested at the Philadelphia Mint in June 1919. It was then shipped through the Panama Canal and arrived in Manila in November 1919. Over the next 7 months, Hewett supervised the installation of the equipment and the preparation of the mint for opening in 1920.

The first official coinage at the Manila Mint took place in ceremonies on the morning of Thursday, July 15, 1920. Under the direction of Clifford Hewett, Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison coined the first bronze centavo.

Although there is no mint mark, this is one of the first coins minted at the new US Mint in Manila.

This is a nice, well struck Manila mint coin with minimal marks in the fields.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year.

Date acquired: 7/7/2013 (Already graded by PCGS)

References:
- DeLorey, T. "THE U.S. MINT Of The Philippines," COINage, January 1997, pp. 72-78.
- Perez, G.S. "The Mint in the Philippine Islands," Numismatic Notes and Monographs (1921), Number 8.
- von Klinger, E. "America's overseas Mint" - Coin World, November 29.2004, pp 120.

Rev. 11/22/2015
View Coin 1920 - 10 Centavos United States 10C 1920 USA-PHIL ALLEN-8.15 NGC MS 64 Lyman Allen #8.15 (KM #169) - Mintage: 520,000

General
Although the legislation signed by President Theodore Roosevelt on July 1, 1902 provided that "coins should be struck in Manila if practicable," it would be another 18 years before it actually happened. In 1917, a high demand for coinage due to World War I, and rising silver prices caused a severe shortage of circulating coins. Economic commerce was impacted and the Philippine legislature decided it was time for a mint on Philippine soil. Act No. 2738, signed into law by Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison on February 16, 1918 appropriated the initial 100,000 pesos to begin construction of the Mint in Manila.

The "new" Philippine Mint was not to be housed in a new building. Instead, it occupied the first floor of the old Intendencia Building which it shared with the Philippine Treasury, Senate, and other government offices. Clifford Hewitt, the chief engineer of the U.S. Mint, designed and supervised the construction of the machinery. Hewett wanted to incorporate the latest minting technology and had the machinery assembled and tested at the Philadelphia Mint in June 1919. It was then shipped through the Panama Canal and arrived in Manila in November 1919. Over the next 7 months, Hewett supervised the installation of the equipment and the preparation of the mint for opening in 1920.

The first official coinage at the Philippine Mint took place in ceremonies on the morning of Thursday, July 15, 1920. Under the direction of Clifford Hewett, Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison coined the first bronze centavo.

It is ironic that the very month the new Philippine mint opened in 1920, the economic boom fueled by World War I had ended, the Philippines was in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the price of silver had fallen below the par value of the coinage. The immediate need for the mint would pass very quickly.

This Coin
Although there is no mint mark, this is one of the first silver coins minted at the new Philippine Mint in Manila. As of this revision, this particular coin is one of only 6 to be graded MS64 by NGC with none finer.

Varieties
None reported for this date.

Date acquired: 6/19/2014 (raw coin)
Date graded: 9/12/2014 (self submitted to NGC)
Date regraded: 12/28/2014 (resubmitted to NGC)

References
- DeLorey, T. "THE U.S. MINT Of The Philippines," COINage, January 1997, pp. 72-78.
- Perez, G.S. "The Mint in the Philippine Islands," Numismatic Notes and Monographs (1921), Number 8.
- von Klinger, E. "America's overseas Mint" - Coin World, November 29.2004, pp 120.

Rev. 11/4/2019
View Coin 1920 - 20 Centavos United States 20C 1920 USA-PHIL ALLEN-11.16 NGC MS 63 Lyman Allen #11.16 (KM #170) - Mintage: 1,045,415

Although the legislation signed by President Theodore Roosevelt on July 1, 1902 provided that "coins should be struck in Manila if practicable," it would be another 18 years before it actually happened. The minting of all Philippine coinage in San Francisco and subsequent shipment across the Pacific Ocean was awkward at best, so, on February 8, 1918, the Philippine legislature appropriated 100,000 pesos for the construction of the Manila Mint.

The Manila Mint, however, was not a new building. Instead, it occupied the first floor of the old Intendencia Building which it shared with the Philippine Treasury, Senate, and other government offices. Clifford Hewitt, the chief engineer of the U.S. Mint, designed and supervised the construction of the machinery. Hewett wanted to incorporate the latest minting technology and had the machinery assembled and tested at the Philadelphia Mint in June 1919. It was then shipped through the Panama Canal and arrived in Manila in November 1919. Over the next 7 months, Hewett supervised the installation of the equipment and the preparation of the mint for opening in 1920.

The first official coinage at the Manila Mint took place in ceremonies on the morning of Thursday, July 15, 1920. Under the direction of Clifford Hewett, Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison coined the first bronze centavo.

Although there is no mint mark, this is among the first coins minted at the new US Mint in Manila.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year.

Date acquired: 2/15/2021 (Already graded by NGC)

References:
- DeLorey, T. "THE U.S. MINT Of The Philippines," COINage, January 1997, pp. 72-78.
- Perez, G.S. "The Mint in the Philippine Islands," Numismatic Notes and Monographs (1921), Number 8.
- von Klinger, E. "America's overseas Mint" - Coin World, November 29.2004, pp 120.

Rev. 2/25/2021
View Coin 1920 - 50 Centavos United States 50C 1920 USA-PHIL ALLEN-14.09 PCGS MS 64 Lyman Allen #14.09 (KM #171) - Mintage: 420,000

Although this coin bears no mint mark, it was one of the first 50 Centavo coins struck by the new US Mint in Manila after opening in 1920. No mint mark was used for the first two years of operation and since 50 Centavo coins of this type were only struck in 1920 and 1921, no 50 Centavo coin other than the 1936 commemorative ever bore the "M" mint mark.

The strike is typically weak overall, and is particularly week in the hair detail and the date. The 2 and 0 of the date are rarely found fully struck on these coins and demand a premium when they are. It is however very well preserved and none have received a higher numeric grade from either PCGS or NGC.

Date acquired: 6/2/2013 (already graded by PCGS)

Rev. 11/26/2015
View Coin 1920 - Culion 10 Centavos United States 10C 1920 USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY KM-9 NGC XF 40 KM-9 - Culion Leper Colony 1920 10 Centavos - Mintage:20,000
Struck in Aluminum with a diameter of 28.8mm.
McFadden #: 759
Basso #: 231
Shafer #: SL-7

This coin is part of the second series of coins issued for use in the Culion Leper Colony and among the first to be minted at the then new U.S. branch mint in Manila. Like all of the regular issue coins issued by the Manila mint in 1920, they carry no mint mark. The design is essentially the same as that of the first series issued in 1913 by the private firm of Frank & Company in Manila. The obverse is composed of the denomination surrounded by the text "CULION LEPER COLONY" above and "PHILIPPINE ISLANDS" below. The reverse consists of a rather crude rendering of a Caduceus as the central element surrounded by the words "BUREAU OF HEALTH," two separating stars and the date. All of the reference sources (except McFadden) designate the obverse and reverse this way, but NGC places the reverse facing the front of the holder. I personally prefer the NGC designation, but will go with the majority of reference books for consistency. Like the first series, these coins were also minted in Aluminum, but were ever so slightly reduced in diameter from 29 to 28.8mm.

This coin is mislabeled on the NGC holder as KM-8 (which is the 1913 10 Centavo coin). I suspect, but can not prove that the KM numbers in use at the time this coin was graded were different than those in use today, so at the time it was graded, the number was probably correct.

All of the coinage for the Culion Leper Colony was well circulated and mint state specimens are extremely rare. So rare, in fact that the Krause only lists prices for grades up through XF40. As of this revision, this is the only 1920 10 Centavo coin to have been graded and encapsulated by NGC.

Varieties: None reported for this date and denomination.

Date acquired: 9/23/2012 (Already graded by NGC)

References:
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961: 41-45
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975: 76-80
• "The Numismatic Aspects of Leprosy" by R.R. McFadden, J. Grost, and D.F. Marr, D.C. McDonald Associates, Inc., 1993: 58-69
• "Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Krause & Mischler (Identifies coins by their "KM" numbers 1-18 and A5.)

Rev. 12/24/2015
View Coin 1920 - Culion 20 Centavos United States 20C 1920 USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY KM-12 NGC VG 8 KM-12 - Culion Leper Colony 1920 20 Centavos - Mintage:10,000
Struck in Aluminum with a diameter of 32.3mm.
McFadden #: 760
Basso #: 232
Shafer #: SL-8

This coin is part of the second series of coins issued for use in the Culion Leper Colony and among the first to be minted at the then new U.S. branch mint in Manila. Like all of the regular issue coins issued by the Manila mint in 1920, they carry no mint mark. The design is essentially the same as that of the first series issued in 1913 by the private firm of Frank & Company in Manila. The obverse is composed of the denomination surrounded by the text "CULION LEPER COLONY" above and "PHILIPPINE ISLANDS" below. The reverse consists of a rather crude rendering of a Caduceus as the central element surrounded by the words "BUREAU OF HEALTH," two separating stars and the date. All of the reference sources (except McFadden) designate the obverse and reverse this way, but NGC places the reverse facing the front of the holder. I personally prefer the NGC designation, but will go with the majority of reference books for consistency. Like the first series, these coins were also minted in Aluminum, but were ever so slightly increased in diameter from 32 to 32.3mm.

This particular coin is well worn, but unlike most of the Culion Leper Colony coins, it has not been cleaned. An original, uncleaned piece is nice to have regardless of grade.

Varieties: None reported for this date and denomination.

Date acquired: 7/16/2013 (raw coin)
Date graded: 1/27/2014 (self submitted to NGC)

References:
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961: 41-45
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975: 76-80
• "The Numismatic Aspects of Leprosy" by R.R. McFadden, J. Grost, and D.F. Marr, D.C. McDonald Associates, Inc., 1993: 58-69
• "Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Krause & Mischler (Identifies coins by their "KM" numbers 1-18 and A5.)

Rev. 12/24/2015
View Coin 1920 - Culion Peso United States PESO 1920 USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY KM-15 NGC XF Details KM-15 - Culion Leper Colony 1920 One Peso - Mintage:4,000
Struck in Aluminum with a diameter of 35.4mm.
McFadden #: 761 (Type I)
Basso #: 233
Shafer #: SL-9

This coin is part of the second series of coins issued for use in the Culion Leper Colony and among the first to be minted at the then new U.S. branch mint in Manila. Like all of the regular issue coins issued by the Manila mint in 1920, they carry no mint mark. The design is essentially the same as that of the first series issued in 1913 by the private firm of Frank & Company in Manila. The obverse is composed of the denomination surrounded by the text "CULION LEPER COLONY" above and "PHILIPPINE ISLANDS" below. The reverse consists of a rather crude rendering of a Caduceus as the central element surrounded by the words "BUREAU OF HEALTH," two separating stars and the date. All of the reference sources (except McFadden) designate the obverse and reverse this way, but NGC places the reverse facing the front of the holder. I personally prefer the NGC designation, but will go with the majority of reference books for consistency. Like the first series, these coins were also minted in Aluminum, with the same diameter.

This particular coin is a nice, albeit cleaned example of this desirable date. Notice also that there is a 45 degree die rotation.

There are three varieties of this issue:
-------------------------------------------------
• Type I - Pointed serif on 1, (narrow numerals) "P" in PESO over third "P" in PHILIPPINES. Far to stars. (McFadden #: 761)
• Type I(a) - Blunt serif on 1, (rounder numerals) "P" in PESO over third "P" in PHILIPPINES. Far to stars. (not identified by McFadden, but listed by Krause as a variation of KM-15)
• Type II - Pointed serif on 1, (narrow numerals) "P" in PESO over third "I" in PHILIPPINES. Near to stars. (McFadden #: 762)

Date acquired: 10/14/2013 (raw coin)
Date graded: 1/27/2014 (self submitted to NGC)

References:
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961: 41-45
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975: 76-80
• "The Numismatic Aspects of Leprosy" by R.R. McFadden, J. Grost, and D.F. Marr, D.C. McDonald Associates, Inc., 1993: 58-69
• "Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Krause & Mischler (Identifies coins by their "KM" numbers 1-18 and A5.)

Rev. 12/24/2015
View Coin 1921 - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1921 USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.20 NGC MS 64 RB Lyman Allen #2.20 (KM #163) - Mintage: 6,282,673

Despite the lack of a mint mark, these coins were minted at the U.S. Branch mint in Manila. A reasonable number of these coins have been graded by the major services, but high grade red brown example are difficult to obtain and full red examples are virtually non-existent. As of this revision, NGC has graded none as full red.

This particular coin exhibits a better than average strike on both obverse and reverse than is typical of the early Manila mint issues. It is very well preserved and deserving of the grade. There is a significant amount of red on this coin for the RB grade.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year.

Date acquired: 9/1/2013 (already graded by NGC)

Rev. 12/8/2015
View Coin 1921 - 5 Centavos United States 5C 1921 USA-PHIL ALLEN-4.11 PCGS MS 63 Lyman Allen #4.11 (KM #164) - Mintage: 2,131,529

Despite the lack of a mint mark, these coins were minted at the U.S. Branch mint in Manila.

This is a nice, well struck Manila mint coin with minimal marks in the fields. The streaky toning is a bit distracting, but the detail on the obverse is quite good for a Manila mint coin.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year.

Date acquired: 7/21/2013 (already graded by PCGS)

Rev. 11/22/2015
View Coin 1921 - 10 Centavos United States 10C 1921 USA-PHIL ALLEN-8.16 NGC MS 65 Lyman Allen #8.16 (KM #169) - Mintage: 3,863,038

General
From the time construction was authorized for the Philippine Mint in February 1918, The Mint of the Philippine Islands was identified as a bureau of the Philippine Department of Finance, equal in stature to the Philippine Bureau of the Treasury. The Philippine economy was booming in 1918 primarily due to World War I because the Philippines was a major supplier of raw materials such as hemp for rope, coconut oil, and sugar. Demand for circulating coinage was high in the Philippines and all of the U.S. mints were at capacity producing U.S. coinage and coinage for Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, and Siam(modern day Thailand). Worldwide demand for these raw materials fell dramatically when the war ended. That, combined with bad monetary policy on the part of the U.S. administration and corruption at the Philippine National Bank sent the Philippine Islands into a severe economic crisis that would not begin to turn around until 1922.

As the economic crisis of the period worsened, the Philippine legislature passed appropriations Act No. 2935 on January 15, 1921 which provided Php246,295 for mint operations in 1921, but also contained a provision allowing transfer of the Mint to the Bureau of the Treasury. The mint operated for the first eleven months at full production and at half production during the month of December 1921 with a total production of 17,436,798 coins in all denominations from one centavos through 50 centavos with a total face value of Php2,092,624.32. Gilbert Perez had reported that the mint was capable of producing 85,000 coins per day with an annual capacity of 25,000,000. The level of production in 1921 did not even come close to the capacity reported by Perez and would not be reached again until the birth of the Commonwealth. In all of its years of operation, 1921 was one of the most productive year for the Mint of the Philippine Islands and one of only two years in which all circulating denominations were produced.

On November 1, 1921, the Council of State exercised the provision of Act No. 2935, demoting the Philippine Mint to become a division of the Bureau of the Treasury. The secretary of finance then designated the chief of the cash division, as superintendent of the mint. At the time of the transfer, the mint had 59 employees, but just two months later only 35 remained. By June 28, 1922, the number of employees had been reduced to 11 and by April 13, 1923, only 3 employees remained. In less than 24 months, the new Philippine Mint was completely shut down awaiting the rebound of the Philippine economy and a return in demand for new circulating coinage.

The number of ten centavos coins struck in 1921 was the largest annual quantity produced in the 22 year life of the mint.

Varieties
None reported for this date.

This coin
This particular coin is a relatively well struck and pleasingly white example of this date. It's taken many years for me to find one of this quality.

Date acquired: 10/31/2019 (already graded by NGC)

References
- Shafer, N. "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands." Racine, Wisconsin: Whitman Publishing Company, 1961.

Rev. 11/24/2020
View Coin 1921 - 20 Centavos United States 20C 1921 USA-PHIL ALLEN-11.17 PCGS MS 63 Lyman Allen #11.17 (KM #170) - Mintage: 1,842,631

Varieties: None cataloged for this year.

Date acquired: 5/5/2013 (already graded by PCGS)

Rev. 12/6/2015
View Coin 1921 - 50 Centavos United States 50C 1921 USA-PHIL ALLEN-14.10 NGC MS 64 Lyman Allen #14.10 (KM #171) - Mintage: 2,316,763

Date acquired: 6/2/2013 (already graded by NGC)

Rev. 11/26/2015
View Coin 1922 - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1922 USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.21 PCGS MS 64 RB Lyman Allen #2.21 (KM #163) - Mintage: 3,519,100

Despite the lack of a mint mark, these coins were minted at the U.S. Branch mint in Manila. This is the last of the three years that no mint mark was placed on coins minted at the Manila mint. The one centavo coin was the only denomination minted by the Manila mint in 1922 (with the exception of 18,435 coins for the Culion Leper Colony) and no coins of any denomination were minted in Manila in 1923 or 1924. When minting resumed in 1925, the "M" mint mark was added.

High grade examples of this date, while not plentiful, can be had, although full red specimens are very rare. As of this revision, NGC has graded no full red coins.

This coin exhibits a better than average strike for early Manila mint issues. The shield on the reverse is full and well defined even on the left side. The obverse shows good definition in the hair and ear, and even some definition of the fingers on the right hand although not complete.

There are virtually no contact marks in the fields or devices on either side of the coin and a fair amount of red remains on both obverse and reverse.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year.

Date acquired: 12/30/2012 (already graded by PCGS) (believed to be from the justhavingfun collection)

Rev. 12/8/2015
View Coin 1922PhM - Culion 20 Centavos United States 20C 1922PM USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY KM-13 NGC VF 35 KM-13 - Culion Leper Colony, Philippine Commission of Public Health - 1922PM 20 Centavos - Mintage: 10,155
Struck in Copper-Nickel with a diameter of 31.8mm.
McFadden #: 763 - Type I with normal date
McFadden #: 764 - Type II with recut date (this coin)
Basso #: 234
Shafer #: SL-10

This coin was part of the third series of coins issued for use in the Culion Leper Colony. It was minted by the US branch mint in Manila, Philippines and bears the "PhM" mint mark which is actually a small circular counter stamp applied to the center of the obverse of the coin. The design is very similar to the coins issued in 1913 and 1920, but unlike the previous two issues, these coins were minted in Copper-Nickel. The obverse is composed of the denomination surrounded by the text "CULION LEPER COLONY" and "PHILIPPINE ISLANDS." The reverse consists of a rather crude rendering of a Caduceus as the central element surrounded by the words "BUREAU OF HEALTH," two separating stars and the date. All of the reference sources (except McFadden) designate the obverse and reverse this way, but NGC places the reverse facing the front of the holder. I personally prefer the NGC designation, but will go with the majority of reference books for consistency.

Varieties:
The references are a bit unclear on exactly how many varieties exist for this coin. Krause lists this coin with only one number but indicates that it may be found struck on both thick and think planchets. McFadden mentions nothing about think or thin planchets, but does differentiate between coins with recut and normal dates, assigning a distinct number to each. Shafer and Basso identify no varieties for this date/denomination. Given this lack of definitive information, there could be as many a four distinct variations.

This coin appears to have a recut date, but I have not seen a large enough quantity of coins to be able to tell if this particular coins was struck on a thick or thin planchet. The 9 and second 2 in the date do exhibit a noticeable doubling, but then again so do the initial "PH" in PHILIPPINE and the final "E" in SERVICE on the reverse. That final "E" actually appears for have been struck a second time using a letter "F" punch. On the obverse, the "C" in CENTAVOS appears to be recut over a much smaller underlying letter "C" The "PhM" mint counter stamp was struck so hard on this coin that it impacted the elements of the reverse. The wear on this coin is substantial, and there are a couple of distracting marks which probably accounts for the VF35 grade. As of this revision, this is the only example of this issue/denomination to have been graded by NGC.

Date acquired: 1/2/2010 (raw coin)
Date graded: 8/22/2013 (self submitted to NGC)

References:
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961: 41-45
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975: 76-80
• "The Numismatic Aspects of Leprosy" by R.R. McFadden, J. Grost, and D.F. Marr, D.C. McDonald Associates, Inc., 1993: 58-69
• "Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Krause & Mischler (Identifies coins by their "KM" numbers 1-18 and A5.)

Rev. 9/15/2013
View Coin 1922PhM - Culion Peso (Straight Wings) United States PESO 1922PM USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY CADUCEUS STRAIGHT WINGS KM-16 NGC XF 40 KM-16 - Culion Leper Colony, Philippine Commission of Public Health - 1922PM 1 Peso (Straight Wing Variety) - Mintage: 8,280 (includes both varieties)
Struck in Copper-Nickel, diameter 35.2mm
McFadden #: 765
Basso #: (235)
Shafer #: SL-11

This coin was part of the third series of coins issued for use in the Culion Leper Colony. It was minted by the US branch mint in Manila, Philippines and bears the "PhM" mint mark which is actually a small circular counter stamp applied to the center of the obverse of the coin. The design is very similar to the coins issued in 1913 and 1920, but unlike the previous two issues, these coins were minted in Copper-Nickel. The obverse is composed of the denomination surrounded by the text "CULION LEPER COLONY" and "PHILIPPINE ISLANDS." The reverse consists of a rather crude rendering of a Caduceus as the central element surrounded by the words "BUREAU OF HEALTH," two separating stars and the date. All of the reference sources (except McFadden) designate the obverse and reverse this way, but NGC places the reverse facing the front of the holder. I personally prefer the NGC designation, but will go with the majority of reference books for consistency.

The majority of the 8,280 coins were minted with straight wings on the Caduceus (KM#16), but a small number were minted from another die pair, the most notable feature of which is curved wings on the Caduceus (KM #17). All were well circulated, and many surviving specimens have been harshly cleaned. High grade specimens (AU and above) must be virtually nonexistent since Krause does net even provide pricing for grades above XF.

I feel very lucky to have acquired this specimen in XF40 which surprisingly still contains a hint of the original mint luster in the fields.

Varieties
---------------------------------------
KM-16 - (commonly known as the Straight Wing Variety) Obverse: The "P" in PESO is immediately above the third "I" in PHILIPPINES; Reverse: Upper edge of the Caduceus wing is straight and the base of the Caduceus staff points to the first "2" in 1922.

KM-17 - (commonly known as the Curved Wing Variety) Obverse: The "P" in PESO is immediately above the third "P" in PHILIPPINES, and the "C" in CULION is strongly doubled. Reverse: Upper edge of the Caduceus wing is curved and the base of the Caduceus staff points to the space between the "9" and "2" in 1922.

Date acquired: 3/3/2011 (Already graded by NGC)

References:
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961: 41-45
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975: 76-80
• "The Numismatic Aspects of Leprosy" by R.R. McFadden, J. Grost, and D.F. Marr, D.C. McDonald Associates, Inc., 1993: 58-69
• "Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Krause & Mischler (Identifies coins by their "KM" number 1-18 and A5.)

Rev. 12/24/2015
View Coin 1922PhM - Culion Peso (Curved Wings) United States PESO 1922PM USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY CADUCEUS CURVED WINGS KM-17 NGC XF 40 KM-17 - Culion Leper Colony 1922PM One Peso (Curved Wing Variety) - Mintage: 8,280 (includes both varieties)
Struck in Copper-Nickel, diameter 35.2mm
McFadden #: 766
Basso #: (235a)
Shafer #: SL-11

This coin was part of the third series of coins issued for use in the Culion Leper Colony. It was minted by the US branch mint in Manila, Philippines and bears the "PhM" mint mark which is actually a small circular counter stamp applied to the center of the obverse of the coin. The design is very similar to the coins issued in 1913 and 1920, but unlike the previous two issues, these coins were minted in Copper-Nickel. The obverse is composed of the denomination surrounded by the text "CULION LEPER COLONY" and "PHILIPPINE ISLANDS." The reverse consists of a rather crude rendering of a Caduceus as the central element surrounded by the words "BUREAU OF HEALTH," two separating stars and the date. All of the reference sources (except McFadden) designate the obverse and reverse this way, but NGC places the reverse facing the front of the holder. I personally prefer the NGC designation, but will go with the majority of reference books for consistency.

The majority of the 8,280 coins were minted with straight wings on the Caduceus (KM-16), but a small number were minted from another die pair, the most notable feature of which is curved wings on the Caduceus (KM-17). All were well circulated, and many surviving specimens have been harshly cleaned. High grade specimens (AU and above) must be virtually nonexistent since Krause does not even provide pricing for grades above XF.

This coin is the curved wing variety and unlike many Culion coins, it is original and uncleaned. I feel very pleased (and greatly relieved) that it did NOT receive a Details grade.

Varieties
---------------------------------------
KM-16 - (commonly known as the Straight Wing Variety) Obverse: The "P" in PESO is immediately above the third "I" in PHILIPPINES; Reverse: Upper edge of the Caduceus wing is straight and the base of the Caduceus staff points to the first "2" in 1922.

KM-17 - (commonly known as the Curved Wing Variety) Obverse: The "P" in PESO is immediately above the third "P" in PHILIPPINES, and the "C" in CULION is strongly doubled. Reverse: Upper edge of the Caduceus wing is curved and the base of the Caduceus staff points to the space between the "9" and "2" in 1922.

Date acquired: 10/07/2013 (raw coin)
Date graded: 9/12/2014 (self submitted to NGC)

References:
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961: 41-45
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975: 76-80
• "The Numismatic Aspects of Leprosy" by R.R. McFadden, J. Grost, and D.F. Marr, D.C. McDonald Associates, Inc., 1993: 58-69
• "Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Krause & Mischler (Identifies coins by their "KM" number 1-18 and A5.)

Rev. 9/12/2014
View Coin 1925M - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1925 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.22 PCGS MS 65 RD Lyman Allen #2.22 (KM #163) - Mintage: 9,332,000

The 1925 Centavo is the first to be produced by the Manila mint with a mint mark. A sturdy looking block "M" was added at the suggestion of the well known numismatist, Dr. Gilbert S. Perez. These coins tend to be well struck and full red examples are available.

This coin is one of many well struck, full red coins struck from an easily identifiable die pair. The obverse exhibits a number of small surface blobs particularly above the letters "IP" and below the "N" in "FILIPINAS" which indicate that it was minted with a die pitted by rust. This is quite possibly because the die had been left over from 1922 and had been sitting idle for 3 years. This particular coin is a beautiful red example .

Varieties: None cataloged for this year.

Date acquired: 7/31/2021 (Already graded by PCGS)

References:
- "The Numismatist," August 1939, pp.635. "Comment on the Philippine Coinage" by Dr. Gilbert S. Perez.

Rev. 8/3/2021
View Coin 1925M - 5 Centavos United States 5C 1925 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-4.12 PCGS MS 63 Lyman Allen #4.12 (KM #164) - Mintage: 1,000,000

The 1925 5 Centavo is the first in the series to be produced by the Manila mint with a mint mark. A sturdy looking block "M" was added at the suggestion of the well known numismatist, Dr. Gilbert S. Perez. These coins tend to be well struck with a full evenly struck field of stars beneath the eagle on the reverse and well defined fingers on the right hand on the male figure on the obverse.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year.

Date acquired: 11/18/2012 (already graded by PCGS)

Rev. 11/22/2015
View Coin 1925PM - Culion Peso United States PESO 1925PM USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY KM-18 NGC AU 55 KM-18 - Culion Leper Colony, Philippine Commission of Public Health - 1925PM One Peso - Mintage: 20,000
Struck in Copper-Nickel with a diameter of 35.4mm.
McFadden #: 767
Basso #: 236
Shafer #: SL-12

This coin is part of the fourth series of coins issued for circulation in the Culion Leper Colony. It incorporates an entirely new design than those that proceeded it. The obverse is composed of the bust of Dr. José Rizal, one of the most revered heroes of the Philippines, and the legend "CULION LEPER COLONY - PHILIPPINE ISLANDS." The reverse is composed of the seal of the Philippine Health Service, the value, the date, and "PM" identifying the Philippine Mint. The two letters appear on the reverse with the "P" beneath the star to the left of the date, and the "M" beneath the star to the right.

I don't understand the label on the holder, It states that the catalog number is KM-25, but my edition of Krause & Mishler lists this coin as KM-18. There are no Culion coins even listed with a number greater than 18. This coin is in an older NGC holder, so I strongly suspect that K&M eliminated some listings and renumbered sometime after this coin was encapsulated.

There are no varieties reported for this issue/denomination.

Date acquired: 10/28/2012 (Already graded by NGC)

References:
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961: 41-45
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975: 76-80
• "The Numismatic Aspects of Leprosy" by R.R. McFadden, J. Grost, and D.F. Marr, D.C. McDonald Associates, Inc., 1993: 58-69
• "Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Krause & Mischler (Identifies coins by their "KM" number 1-18 and A5.)

Rev. 9/15/2013
View Coin 1926M - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1926 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.23 NGC MS 65 RB Lyman Allen #2.23 (KM #163) - Mintage: 9,000,000

Manila Mint centavos from 1926 are generally well struck and fairly easy to find, although gem grade Red and Red Brown examples are elusive.

This coin is very nearly a full red specimen. It exhibits an above average strike for an early Manila mint issue.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year

Date acquired: 11/19/2019 (already graded by NGC)

Rev. 11/26/2019
View Coin 1926M - 5 Centavos United States 5C 1926 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-4.13 NGC MS 62 Lyman Allen #4.13 (KM #175) - Mintage: 1,200,000

This coin is a really nice well struck specimen for this date. The devices are nearly blemish free and there are no noticeable marks in the fields, so I'm not sure why it only received a grade of MS62.

Varieties: None cataloged for this date.

Date acquired: 4/6/2014 (raw coin)
Date graded: 9/12/2014 (self submitted to NGC)

Rev. 9/12/2014 (o/r)
View Coin 1927M - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1927 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.24 PCGS MS 66 RD Lyman Allen #2.24 (KM #163) - Mintage: 9,270,000

One Centavos struck at the Manila mint in 1927 tend to exhibit a much better strike than in earlier years. Full red and red brown examples are also much easier to obtain.

This coin is a nice, well struck, vibrant, high quality, full red example of this date.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year

Date acquired: 8/04/2013 (already graded by PCGS)

Rev. 12/8/2015
View Coin 1927M - 5 Centavos United States 5C 1927 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-4.14 PCGS MS 64 Lyman Allen #4.14 (KM #164) - Mintage: 1,000,000

This coin is reasonably well struck for a Manila mint issue. The stars and stripes of the shield are crisp & bold and the entire reverse is virtually mark free. The obverse is not quite as well struck with some weakness in the hair and facial details. The fingers on the right hand though are very well defined. There are also a few marks on the figure's knee and ankle as well as some light discoloration which probably kept it from attaining an MS65 grade. One other interesting feature of this coin is the metal flow patterns just inside the denticles on both sides of the coin. These are most noticeable on the obverse.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year.

Date acquired: 10/24/2010 (already graded by PCGS)

Rev. 11/22/2015
View Coin 1927PM - Culion 1 Centavo - KM-3 United States 1C 1927PM USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY 1 BUTTON - STRAIGHT "S" KM-3 NGC AU Details KM-3 - Culion Leper Colony, Philippine Commission of Public Health - 1927PM 1Centavo - Total Mintage: 30,000 (all varieties)
Struck in Copper-Nickel with a diameter of 21.2mm.
McFadden #: 768
Basso #: 237
Shafer #: SL-13a

This copper nickel coin is part of the fifth issue of coins for the Culion Leper Colony and was minted by the US branch mint in Manila, Philippines. The obverse consists of the bust of the lawyer and statesman Apolinario Mabini as the central element. As on the 1925 Peso, the mint is identified using the letter "PM" which stand for Philippine Mint. The letters appear on the reverse with the "P" beneath the star to the left of the date, and the "M" beneath the star to the right.

There are four cataloged varieties of this issue:
--------------------------------------------------------------
KM-3 Type I - One Button Coat, legible Motto, "7" in date over "T" in CENTAVO

KM-4 Type II - One Button Coat, Illegible Motto, end of ribbon two widths from shield edge, tilted "S" in the shield, "7" in date over "N" in CENTAVO- thin planchet

KM-4 Type II - One Button Coat, Illegible Motto, end of ribbon two widths from shield edge, tilted "S" in the shield, "7" in date over "N" in CENTAVO- thick planchet

KM-A5 Type III - Two Button Coat, Illegible Motto, end of ribbon one width from shield edge, straight "S" in the shield

Early references (Shafer and Basso) indicate only two varieties. Their description Type II (KM-4) agrees with the later sources (Krause and McFadden). Their description of Type I however seems to be a combination of Type I and Type III. Shafer describes Type I as "much better executed, carried the legend 'FOR A HEALTHY NATION' on ribbon under seal on reverse, and two buttons on Mabini's coat on the obverse. This die was broken soon after striking began, and a second die was prepared." The later sources describe the varieties as above, and McFadden provides pictures of actual coins to back it up. Based on all of my sources, I believe that the first die did break, and a second was hastily prepared, but I do not believe that it happened early in the run as stated by Shafer. Based on the pricing presented in Krause, I believe that the mintages of Type I and Type II are roughly equal, and that yet a third die was required, and that a much smaller quantity was produced from that third die, which had also been rather hastily executed. The relative scarcity of examples with a two button coat may have led Shafer to believe that the first die failed early in production.

This particular coin is a nice example of this rare, obscure variety. Like many Philippine coins, and Culion coins in particular, this coin has been cleaned.

Date acquired: 10/12/2013 (raw coin)
Date Graded: 1/27/2014 (self submitted to NGC)


References:
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961: 41-45 ( Identifies coins by "SL" numbers 1-16 with varieties identified by letters.)
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975: 76-80 (Identifies coins by numbers 225-240 with varieties identified by letters.)
• "The Numismatic Aspects of Leprosy" by R.R. McFadden, J. Grost, and D.F. Marr, D.C. McDonald Associates, Inc., 1993: 58-69 (Identifies coins by numbers 750-774 with varieties cited by type.)
• "Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Krause & Mischler (Identifies coins by their "KM" number 1-18 and A5.)

Rev. 12/24/2015
View Coin 1927PM - Culion 1 Centavo - KM-4 United States 1C 1927PM USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY SLANTED "S" KM-4 NGC MS 63 KM-4 - Culion Leper Colony, Philippine Commission of Public Health - 1927PM 1Centavo - Total Mintage: 30,000 (all varieties)

This copper nickel coin is part of the fifth issue of coins for the Culion Leper Colony and was minted by the US branch mint in Manila, Philippines. The obverse consists of the bust of the lawyer and statesman Apolinario Mabini as the central element. The bust on this KM-4 variety is very poorly executed and I am at a complete loss to explain the concentric circles that are part of it. As on the 1925 Peso, the mint is identified using the letter "PM" which stand for Philippine Mint. The letters appear on the reverse with the "P" beneath the star to the left of the date, and the "M" beneath the star to the right.

There are four cataloged varieties of this issue:
--------------------------------------------------------------
KM-3 Type I - One Button Coat, legible Motto, "7" in date over "T" in CENTAVO

KM-4 Type II - One Button Coat, Illegible Motto, end of ribbon two widths from shield edge, tilted "S" in the shield, "7" in date over "N" in CENTAVO- thin planchet

KM-4 Type II - One Button Coat, Illegible Motto, end of ribbon two widths from shield edge, tilted "S" in the shield, "7" in date over "N" in CENTAVO- thick planchet

KM-A5 Type III - Two Button Coat, Illegible Motto, end of ribbon one width from shield edge, straight "S" in the shield

Unfortunately, I am unable to tell if this coin is the thick or thin planchet KM-4 variety. NGC does not differentiate between thick and think planchet KM-4 varieties, so I will have to search elsewhere for which one this is.

Early references (Shafer and Basso) indicate only two varieties. Their description of this coin, Type II (KM-4) agrees with the later sources (Krause and McFadden). Their description of Type I however seems to be a combination of Type I and Type III. Shafer describes Type I as "much better executed, carried the legend 'FOR A HEALTHY NATION' on ribbon under seal on reverse, and two buttons on Mabini's coat on the obverse. This die was broken soon after striking began, and a second die was prepared." The later sources describe the varieties as above, and McFadden provides pictures of actual coins to back it up. Based on all of my sources, I believe that the first die did break, and a second was hastily prepared, but I do not believe that it happened early in the run as stated by Shafer. Based on the pricing presented in Krause, I believe that the mintages of Type I and Type II are roughly equal, and that yet a third die was required, and that a much smaller quantity was produced from that third die, which had also been rather hastily executed. The relative scarcity of examples with a two button coat may have led Shafer to believe that the first die failed early in production.

Very few coins minted for the Culion Leper Colony survive in mint state condition, so I feel very lucky to have acquired this specimen. As of this revision, there are only two mint state specimens graded by NGC, both in MS63, and both in my collection. The other coin was acquired first and had already been graded MS63 by NGC. This coin was acquired second and was self submitted to NGC. It is slightly darker than the other coin, but exhibits a slightly better strike.

Many features on this coin indicate that the die was hand cut. Note the following:
• Uneven lettering on the obverse. In particular, the "U" in "CULION", and the "L" and "P" in "LEPER".
• Overs-struck "P"s in PHILIPPINE.
• "C" over "S" in the word "CENTAVO" on the reverse.

Date acquired: 2/10/2013 (raw coin)
Date graded: 8/22/2013 (self submitted to NGC)

References:
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961: 41-45 ( Identifies coins by "SL" numbers 1-16 with varieties identified by letters.)
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975: 76-80 (Identifies coins by numbers 225-240 with varieties identified by letters.)
• "The Numismatic Aspects of Leprosy" by R.R. McFadden, J, Grost, and D.F. Marr, D.C. McDonald Associates, Inc., 1993: 58-69 (Identifies coins by numbers 750-774 with varieties cited by type.)
• "Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Krause & Mischler (Identifies coins by their "KM" number 1-18 and A5.)

Rev. 12/24/2015
View Coin 1927PM - Culion 1 Centavo - KM-A5 United States 1C 1927PM USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY 2 BUTTONS - STRAIGHT "S" KM-A5 NGC VF 20 KM-A5 - Culion Leper Colony, Philippine Commission of Public Health - 1927PM 1Centavo - Total Mintage: 30,000 (all varieties)
Struck in Copper-Nickel with a diameter of 21.2mm.
McFadden #: 770
Basso #: (closest is 237)
Shafer #: SL-13

This copper nickel coin is part of the fifth issue of coins for the Culion Leper Colony and was minted by the US branch mint in Manila, Philippines. The obverse consists of the bust of the lawyer and statesman Apolinario Mabini as the central element. As on the 1925 Peso, the mint is identified using the letter "PM" which stand for Philippine Mint. The letters appear on the reverse with the "P" beneath the star to the left of the date, and the "M" beneath the star to the right.

There are four cataloged varieties of this issue:
--------------------------------------------------------------
KM-3 Type I - One Button Coat, legible Motto, "7" in date over "T" in CENTAVO

KM-4 Type II - One Button Coat, Illegible Motto, end of ribbon two widths from shield edge, tilted "S" in the shield, "7" in date over "N" in CENTAVO- thin planchet

KM-4 Type II - One Button Coat, Illegible Motto, end of ribbon two widths from shield edge, tilted "S" in the shield, "7" in date over "N" in CENTAVO- thick planchet

KM-A5 Type III - Two Button Coat, Illegible Motto, end of ribbon one width from shield edge, straight "S" in the shield

Early references (Shafer and Basso) indicate only two varieties. Their description Type II (KM-4) agrees with the later sources (Krause and McFadden). Their description of Type I however seems to be a combination of Type I and Type III. Shafer describes Type I as "much better executed, carried the legend 'FOR A HEALTHY NATION' on ribbon under seal on reverse, and two buttons on Mabini's coat on the obverse. This die was broken soon after striking began, and a second die was prepared." The later sources describe the varieties as above, and McFadden provides pictures of actual coins to back it up. Based on all of my sources, I believe that the first die did break, and a second was hastily prepared, but I do not believe that it happened early in the run as stated by Shafer. Based on the pricing presented in Krause, I believe that the mintages of Type I and Type II are roughly equal, and that yet a third die was required, and that a much smaller quantity was produced from that third die, which had also been rather hastily executed. The relative scarcity of examples with a two button coat may have led Shafer to believe that the first die failed early in production.

This particular coin is well worn, but exhibits all of the markers for the KM-A5 variety.

Date acquired: 5/1/2014 (Raw coin)
Date graded: 9/12/2013 (self submitted to NGC)


References:
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961: 41-45 ( Identifies coins by "SL" numbers 1-16 with varieties identified by letters.)
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975: 76-80 (Identifies coins by numbers 225-240 with varieties identified by letters.)
• "The Numismatic Aspects of Leprosy" by R.R. McFadden, J. Grost, and D.F. Marr, D.C. McDonald Associates, Inc., 1993: 58-69 (Identifies coins by numbers 750-774 with varieties cited by type.)
• "Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Krause & Mischler (Identifies coins by their "KM" number 1-18 and A5.)

Rev. 9/12/2014
View Coin 1927PM - Culion 5 Centavos United States 5C 1927PM USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY KM-7 NGC XF 45 KM-7 - Culion Leper Colony, Philippine Commission of Public Health - 1927PM 5 Centavo - Mintage: 16,000
Struck in Copper-Nickel with a diameter of 24.6mm.
McFadden #: 771
Basso #: 238
Shafer #: SL-14

This copper nickel coin is part of the fifth issue of coins for the Culion Leper Colony and was minted by the US branch mint in Manila, Philippines. The design is very similar to the 1925 Peso. The obverse is composed of the bust of Dr. José Rizal, one of the most revered heroes of the Philippines, and the legend "CULION LEPER COLONY - PHILIPPINE ISLANDS." The reverse is composed of the seal of the Philippine Health Service, the value, the date. As on the 1925 Peso, the mint is identified using the letter "PM" which stand for Philippine Mint. The letters appear on the reverse with the "P" beneath the star to the left of the date, and the "M" beneath the star to the right. The dies for this coin are very well executed by comparison to the majority of One Centavo coins issued this year.

There are no varieties reported for this issue/denomination.

Culion coinage was heavily used, and Krause doesn't even report prices for this coin above XF, so this example is probably typical of the upper end of what is still available. It is relatively well preserved with no major distracting marks. According to the literature, the Leper Colony money was disinfected with chemicals, so I am also pleased that it did not return from NGC with a details grade. As of this revision, NGC has graded only two with the other coin weighing in as an AU55.

Date acquired: 1/7/2013 (raw coin)
Date graded: 8/22/2013 (self submitted to NGC)

References:
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961: 41-45
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975: 76-80
• "The Numismatic Aspects of Leprosy" by R.R. McFadden, J. Grost, and D.F. Marr, D.C. McDonald Associates, Inc., 1993: 58-69
• "Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Krause & Mischler (Identifies coins by their "KM" number 1-18 and A5.)

Rev. 9/15/2013
View Coin 1928M - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1928 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.25 NGC MS 66 RD Lyman Allen #2.25 (KM #163) -Mintage: 9,150,000

1928 was a great year for One Centavo coins at the Manila Mint. They are typically very well struck, and many full red specimens exist.

This coin is bright red with full luster and full mint frost. The strike is average for this year.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year

Date acquired: 3/26/2021 (already graded by NGC)

Rev. 3/26/2021
View Coin 1928M - 5 Centavos United States 5C 1928 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-4.15 PCGS MS 65 Lyman Allen #4.15 (KM #164) - Mintage: 1,000,000

This coin is very well struck for a Manila mint issue. The stars and stripes of the shield are crisp & bold, but there are a few light marks to the right of the shield and in the vertical stripe portion of the shield itself. The obverse is equally well struck with excellent hair and facial details. The fingers on the right hand are very well defined as are the toes on the right foot. There There is a mark on Mt. Mayon and a slight deformation in the rim where it meets Mt. Mayon. Given the crisp outlines of the male figure, Mt. Mayon, the shield, and the eagles breast feathers and wing tips, this coin was probably struck from relatively fresh dies.

Varieties: None have been reported by Allen, however I have a raw coin which appears to have a repunched 9 in the date. I know of no other reported examples, but worth keeping in mind when looking at 1928 5 Centavos.

Date acquired: 1/22/2021 Already graded by PCGS)

Rev. 1/22/2021
View Coin 1928M - 20 Centavos United States 20C 1928 M USA-PHIL MULED WITH 5C REVERSE ALLEN 11.18 PCGS AU 58 Lyman Allen #11.18 (KM #174) - Mintage: 100,000

Date acquired:7/7/2013 (Already graded by PCGS)

Rev. 12/3/2015
View Coin 1929M - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1929 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.26 PCGS MS 65 RD Lyman Allen #2.26 (KM #163) - Mintage: 5,657,161

The mintage of one centavo coins was drastically cut in 1929 from the those of the previous four years which were all 9 million or higher. Any pent up demand for centavos must have been met and with the advent of the great depression in the U.S., centavo mintages remained around 5 million through 1932. These coins exhibit a typical Manila mint strike with high point weakness along the vertical center line of the male figure on the obverse and the left side of the central devices on the reverse. The left side of the shield and the eagle's wing tip often lack detail.

This coin exhibits a vibrant red color and an above average strike for this date. The obverse details in the hair, hammer, right foot, and the face of the volcano are all quite good. The only real weakness is in the high point detail of the right hand which shows only a hint of the mans fingers. The only strike weakness on the reverse is in the eagle's right wing and the left side of the shield (from the viewer's perspective). Even all of the stars are discernible and the date and M mint mark are exceptionally sharp and well defined. There are minor scratches in the devices on both sides, but the fields are very clean and mark free. The die pair used to strike this coins must have been relatively fresh. There does appear to have been a small piece of debris struck through or a lamination on the lower right side of the N in CENTAVOS on the obverse. This is a little distracting at first, but adds some character which distinguishes it from other coins. This has no impact on the grade because it was incurred at the time of production during the striking process. All in all, this is quite a nice coin.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year

Date acquired: 12/19/2020 (already graded by PCGS)

Rev. 12/21/2020
View Coin 1929M - 10 Centavos United States 10C 1929 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-8.17 NGC MS 64 Lyman Allen #8.17 (KM #169) - Mintage: 1,000,000

General
The reserve of ten centavos in the Philippine treasury, last struck in 1921 was sufficient to meet demand until late in 1928. The order for new 10 centavos likely came at the end of 1928 or early 1929. Dies were received from the Philadelphia mint and 1,000,000 coins were struck.

The Philippine economy was tied to the U.S. economy and suffered through the great depression of the 1930's right along with the United States. The treasury reserves of ten centavos coins again built up and no new coins were required until 1935. According to mint and treasury records, only half of the ten centavo coins struck in 1929 were actually transferred to the treasury in 1929. The remaining 500,000 coins were not transferred to the treasury until calendar year 1930. Although no reason was given for this delay, the U.S. stock market crash on October 29, 1929 and the subsequent economic depression may have played a part.

It is also interesting to note that this is the first ten centavo coin to bear the new block style "M" mint mark which was first applied to Manila mint coinage in 1925.

This coin
This coin is a lightly toned, well preserved specimen with plenty of eye appeal.

Varieties
8.17 - Normal date.
8.17a - Re-punched date.

Date acquired: 9/1/2013 (Already graded by NGC)

Rev. 11/3/2019
View Coin 1929M - 20 Centavos United States 20C 1929 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-11.19 PCGS MS 64 Lyman Allen #11.19 (KM #170) - Mintage: 1,970,000 (1,885,000 released to the Treasury)
Released by the Mint to the Treasury in 1929: 825,000
Released by the Mint to the Treasury in 1930: 720,000
Released by the Mint to the Treasury in 1931: 340,000
Unaccounted for by the Mint:..................................85,000

The 1929M 20 Centavos is not particularly rare, but it has an interesting history and several easily identifiable varieties.

According to the 1929 Philippine Treasury report, the mint operated for the full year to meet an increased demand that began late in 1928. Many 20 centavo coins were probably struck early in the year, transferred to the Treasury and released into circulation fairly quickly. Demand must not have been as strong as anticipated though, because by the end of 1929, only 825,000 of the 1,970,000 reported struck had been transferred to the Treasury for release into circulation.

The section of the 1930 Treasury report about the Philippine Mint activities provides an explanation of why when it states that The weighing of the balance of the 20-centavo coins minted in 1929, which for lack of time could not be weighed in the automatic weighing machine, was completed this year. The mint superintendent goes on to state that Php68,000.00 (representing 340,000 coins) of the 1929 20 centavos remain in the custody of the mint at the end of 1930. Although it is not explicitly stated, the implication is that during the course of 1930, 805,000 more of the 1929 20 centavos had been transferred to the Treasury for release into circulation. The treasury accounting section reports however that only 720,000 20 centavo coins were transferred to the Treasury in 1930, Doing the math, this leaves 85,000 1929M 20 Centavo coins unaccounted for. The 1931 Treasury report does not address this issue, and only shows the final 340,000 20 centavo coins being transferred to the Treasury. Subsequent Treasure reports never address the missing 85,000 coins. The number struck by the mint remains 1,970,000, but the Treasury only officially received 1,885,000 for release into circulation. We may never discover a definitive explanation for the discrepancy, but there are several possibilities.

  • The initial mintage may have been incorrectly reported.
  • The number of 20 centavos held in the treasury began growing substantially in 1931, so the 85,000 20 centavo coins may have languished in the mint vaults only to be melted as feed stock for later silver coinage beginning in 1935.
  • 85,000 coins may have simply disappeared from the mint in 1930.
Many varieties of this coin exist, and it is actually difficult to find a high grade example of a normal coin! Grades above MS64 were very rare at the time I acquired this coin, so I feel pretty good about having obtained this MS64 piece. Since then, many more have been graded and higher grades are a bit more plentiful.

Allen Varieties
ALLEN-11.19 - Normal date and mint mark.
ALLEN-11.19a - RPM M/M. (This variety is illusive at best. Neither NGC nor PCGS have certified an example of this variety.)
ALLEN-11.19b - Triple punched "2" aka 2/2/2 Both NGC and PCGS have certified examples of this variety.
ALLEN-11.19c - RPD 9 aka 1929/9 - Both NGC and PCGS have certified examples of this variety.

Date acquired: 9/1/2013 (Already graded by PCGS)

Rev. 10/6/2021
View Coin 1930M - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1930 M USA-PHIL Recut "0" ALLEN-2.27b NGC MS 65 RB Lyman Allen #2.27b (KM #163) - Mintage 5,577,000 (Variety mintage unknown)

This coin represents the RPD or Recut "0" Variety. A remnant of the underlying zero can be seen inside the top loop. High grade examples of the date are fairly common, but full red specimens are rare.

It is reasonably well stuck for a Manila mint issue. There is excellent definition of the hair and facial features on the obverse, but the fingers of the right hand are poorly defined. On the reverse, the left side of the shied is well defined, but the eagle is lacking breast feather definition.

Varieties
------------
ALLEN-2.27 - Normal date and mint mark.
ALLEN-2.27a - M/M over mint mark. This variety is not recognized by either NGC or PCGS.
ALLEN-2.27b - RPD or Recut "0" variety which can be identified by looking at the upper, inner loop of the "0" in the date.

Date acquired: 4/4/2008 (already graded by NGC)

Rev. 5/21/2020
View Coin 1930M - 5 Centavos United States 5C 1930 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-5.01 NGC MS 64 Lyman Allen #5.01 (KM #175) - Mintage: 2,905,182

The 1930 Five Centavos coin was reduced in size and weight from a diameter of 20.5mm to 19mm and from 77.16 Grains (5.25 grams) to 75.16 Grains (4.75 grams) respectively. The alloy of 75% copper and 25% nickel however remained the same as do the design elements.

The earlier 5 Centavo coins were very close in diameter to the 20 Centavos coins whose size had been reduced to 20mm in 1907. The similar size had caused confusion with the public, and at the mint in 1918 and again in 1928. The muleing of a 1918S 5Centavo reverse with a 20 Centavo obverse produced on of the most sought after coins of the entire US/Philippines series. The second case occurred on purpose in 1928 when a 1928 5 Centavo obverse was paired with a 20 Centavos reverse due to an urgent demand for 20 Centavo coins and a lack of 20 Centavo dies

This coin is very well struck with minimal weakness on both sides of the coin. The obverse is weakly struck in the central devices (most notably the left hand and left leg), although it is relatively free of distracting marks.

Varieties:
------------
ALLEN-5.01a - Repunched 1

Date acquired: 12/19/2014 (raw coin)
Date graded: 9/18/2015 (self submitted to NGC)

Rev. 10/31/2015
View Coin 1930 - Culion 10 Centavos United States 10C 1930 USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY KM-10 NGC AU 50 KM-10 - Culion Leper Colonies and Stations - 1930 10 Centavos - Mintage: 17,000
Struck in Copper-Nickel with a diameter of 27mm.
McFadden #: 773
Basso #: 240
Shafer #: SL-16

This coin is part of the sixth and final series of coins minted for use in the Culion Leper Colony. The legend on the coins was changed in this issue to read "LEPER COLONIES AND STATIONS" to reflect the use of these coins not only in the Leper Colony on Culion Island, but also at the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila. The mintage for the One Centavo is listed as 2,000, however it is listed by Krause and others as extremely rare, and was probably never issued, so it is quite likely that the Ten Centavos coin was the only denomination issued in 1930.

The Ten Centavos coin has a bust of Andres Bonifacio facing 1/4 left inside a circle surrounded by the inscription "LEPER COLONIES AND STATIONS, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS." The reverse has the value and date in a circle surrounded by the inscription "PHILIPPINE HEALTH SERVICE, LEPER COIN TEN CENTAVOS." It is interesting to note that the mint of origin was identified on the coins of the three previous issues, but not on the coin(s) of the sixth and final issue.

There are no varieties reported for this issue/denomination in most of the literature. McFadden, Basso, and Krause all report a single trial strike specimen. According to Krause, this specimen was struck in copper has been authenticated by ANACS. Basso lists it with a number of 240a and also reports it as being struck in copper. McFadden identifies it as number 774 and lists it as being struck in bronze with a diameter of 26mm.

This particular coin is relatively well struck and shows no significantly distracting marks. According to the literature, the Leper Colony money was disinfected with chemicals, so I am also pleased that it did not return from NGC with a details grade. As of this revision, this is the finest 1930 Ten Centavos coin graded by NGC.

Date acquired: 10/18/2013 (raw coin)
Date graded: 1/28/2014 (self submitted to NGC)

References:
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961: 41-45
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975: 76-80
• "The Numismatic Aspects of Leprosy" by R.R. McFadden, J. Grost, and D.F. Marr, D.C. McDonald Associates, Inc., 1993: 58-69
• "Standard Catalog of World Coins" by Krause & Mischler (Identifies coins by their "KM" number 1-18 and A5.)

Rev. 12/24/2015
View Coin 1931M - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1931 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.28 NGC MS 66 RD Lyman Allen #2.28 (KM #163) - Mintage: 5,659,355

This coin exhibits a soft strike with little high point definition. The color and state of preservation are however spectacular. One very interesting feature of this coin is that it appears to have been struck by clashed dies. Note the outline of the male figures arm to the left of the shield on the reverse. What appears to be a raised bump in the field to the left of the top row of stars in the shield is actually the indentation created by the anvil and the mans torso from the obverse die which was transferred to the reverse. This die clash also accounts for the weakness that appears as a blurred diagonal line across the shield on the reverse. The die damaged area starts at the second star from the left in the second row of stars and travels diagonally about halfway across the shield towards the"3" in the date. Given the level of obverse die image transferred to the reverse die, I would have expected to see an equal amount of image transfer from the reverse die to the obverse. This does not appear to be the case though, so I suspect that the obverse die was more noticeably damage by the clash, and was replaced with a new obverse die.

As of this revision, the combined NGC and PCGS population at this level is 2 with none finer. This coin is the finest graded by NGC (1/0). This coin was probably part of the "Just Having Fun" collection.

Varieties
------------
ALLEN-2.28a - M/M Over mint mark. This variety is not recognized by either NGC or PCGS.

Date acquired: 6/23/2013 (Already graded by NGC. Based on the old style NGC holder, it was probably graded in the early 1990's.)

Rev. 9/24/2020
View Coin 1931M - 5 Centavos United States 5C 1931 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-5.02 NGC MS 64 Lyman Allen #5.02 (KM #175) - Mintage: 3,476,790

This coin is very well struck for a Manila Mint issue. The reverse is very sharp and fully struck, particularly the stars at the top of the shield, and the eagles breast feathers. The obverse isn't quite as well struck, but is significantly nicer than most. The head is fully struck, but both hands are lacking finger detail.

Varieties: None identified for this date.

Date acquired: 7/30/2017 (already graded by NGC)

Rev. 8/12/2017
View Coin 1932M - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1932 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.29 NGC MS 66 RD Lyman Allen #2.29 (KM #163) - Mintage: 4,000,000

1932 was another great year for One Centavos in Manila. Many well struck, full red examples of this coin are still available.

This coin exhibits some softness of high point detail, but the full coppery color and lack of significant contact marks make this coin very appealing . It is a beautiful RD example of this date.

Varieties: None cataloged for this year.

Date acquired: 7/21/2013 (Already graded by NGC. According to the NGC Cert. verification page, this coin was graded on 1/7/2000.)

Rev. 10/31/2020
View Coin 1932M - 5 Centavos United States 5C 1932 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-5.03 PCGS MS 64 Lyman Allen #5.03 (KM #175) - Mintage: 3,955,861

This coin is a very typical strike for a Manila Mint issue. The shield on the reverse is poorly struck, particularly on the left side of the top of the shield. The obverses exhibits a consistently poor strike over the entire design.

Varieties: None catalogued for this year.

Date acquired: 6/21/2011 (already graded by PCGS)

Rev. 11/22/2015
View Coin 1933M - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1933 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.30 NGC MS 66 RD Lyman Allen #2.30 (KM #163) - Mintage: 8,392,692

The one centavo was the only denomination struck at the Manila mint in 1933, which may account for the large number of well struck full red and red brown examples that are still available today.

This particular coin exhibits an average strike and high point detail on the obverse and a slightly above average strike on the reverse for this date. The color is a dark even red and very few surface marks. I had been looking for a high grade red example of this date for roughly 10 years. MS66RD is as good as it gets.

Varieties
------------
ALLEN-2.30a - Repunched Date (RPD). This variety is recognized by both NGC and PCGS.

Date acquired: 11/26/2018 (already graded by NGC on 10/16/2018)

Rev 10/31/2020
View Coin 1933M 9/9 - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1933 9/9 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.30a NGC MS 63 RB Lyman Allen #2.30a (KM #163) - Mintage: 8,392,692

The one centavo was the only denomination struck at the Manila mint in 1933, which may account for the large number of well struck full red and red brown examples that are still available today.

This particular coin exhibits an average strike and high point detail for this date. The color is a nice red brown. I acquired it in an ANACS slab graded MS62RB already attributed as the Allen variety. Crossed to NGC with an upgrade!

Varieties
------------
ALLEN-2.30a - Repunched Date (RP9). - This coin

Date acquired: 9/7/2008 (Already graded MS62RB by ANACS)
Date crossed: 9/22/2016 (self submitted to NGC )

Rev 9/28/2016
View Coin 1934M - 1 Centavo United States 1C 1934 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-2.31 NGC MS 66 RB Lyman Allen #2.31 (KM #163) - Mintage: 3,179,000

This coin is well struck for this year, and exhibits a very even, dark red coloring with amazing eye appeal. I have seen much darker coins with a full red designation. It is a beautiful example of this date from the Manila Mint. At a grade of MS66RB, there is only one coin graded higher by NGC at MS66RD.

Varieties: None cataloged for this date.

Date acquired: 12/25/2011 (already graded by NGC)

Rev. 12/12/2015
View Coin 1934M DDR&RP1 - 5 Centavos United States 5C 1934 M USA-PHIL DDR & RP 1 ALLEN-5.04aa NGC MS 63 Lyman Allen #5.04aa (KM #175) - Mintage: 2,153,729 (variety mintage unknown)

This coin is a nice example of a surprisingly difficult date. Not only that, it is the DDR variety with the repunched "1" in the date and the doubled letters in "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA"! This was an unexpected benefit of this auction win. This variety is recognized by NGC.

Varieties:
------------
ALLEN-5.04 - Normal date and mint mark.
ALLEN-5.04a - Repunched 1 in the date.
ALLEN-5.04aa - Doubled Die Reverse "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" and Repunched 1 in the date.

Date acquired: 6/26/2014 (Already graded by NGC)
Date re-holdered: 9/28/2016 (submitted to NGC for Variety Plus attribution)

Rev. 10/14/2017
View Coin 1935M - 5 Centavos United States 5C 1935 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-5.05 NGC MS 64 Lyman Allen #5.05 (KM #175) - Mintage: 2,754,000

1935 was the final year for the reduced size and weight 5 Centavos with the eagle and shield reverse.

The obverse of this particular coin is better struck than most for this year, but details on the extremities are weak. The reverse however is very sharply and fully struck including the stars in the shield and the breast feathers .

Varieties:
------------
ALLEN-5.05 - Normal date and mint mark.
ALLEN-5.05a - Repunched date. This variety is recognized by PCGS, but not by NGC.

Date acquired: 9/10/2014 (Already graded by NGC)

Rev. 11/22/2015
View Coin 1935M - 10 Centavos United States 10C 1935 M USA-PHIL ALLEN-8.18 NGC MS 64 Lyman Allen #8.18 (KM #169) - Mintage: 1,280,000

General
When the great depression hit the United States in 1929, it took the Philippine economy with it. Demand for circulating silver coinage fell off dramatically, and the reserves in the treasury vaults grew through 1932 when the year ended with over 5.1 million ten centavos coins in the treasury vaults. Reserves began declining in 1933 and reached a critical level in 1935. The order then came from the treasury for the striking of new ten centavo coins. Although the coins were reported by the mint as having been struck in 1935, they were not transferred to the treasury until 1936, so the order must have come very late in the year. Even though the Insular Territory of the Philippine Islands became The Commonwealth of the Philippines on November 15, 1935, these coins could still have been struck in the second half of November or in December. We know that the change to Commonwealth status did not impact the production of 1936 dated Centavo coins bearing the territorial reverse.

Based on treasury records, the the number reserved in the treasury at the end of 1936 was less than in 1935, so it would appear that most 1935 dated ten centavos would have been immediately released into circulation. High grade uncirculated specimens are still fairly easy to obtain though, so collectors may have saved them since it was the last issue of the territorial design.

This coin
This coin is uncirculated and well preserved, but it is softly struck, so much of the detail is either lacking or poorly defined. The denticles on both side are weak, but are virtually non-existent above "UNITED STATES" on the reverse.

Varieties
None reported for this date.

Date acquired: 2/17/2006 (raw coin)
Date graded: 10/12/2017 (self-submitted to NGC)

References
- Shafer, N. "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands." Racine, Wisconsin: Whitman Publishing Company, 1961.

Rev. 11/16/2020
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