NGC Registry Updated NGC Registry


Set Type: 10 Centavos, 1903-1945, Mint State and Proof
Owner: coin928
Last Modified: 11/15/2020
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Rank: 3
Score: 10735
Leading by: 887
Points to Higher Rank: 5798
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Set Description:

The basic U.S. Philippine Ten Centavo series is a set of 30 coins, each with a distinct history and many with one or more varieties. Completing the basic set of 30 is challenging, but completing the set with all coins in MS60 or higher can prove insurmountable for even the most advanced collectors. Present set owner included.

The U.S. Philippine 10 and 20 Centavo coins were very popular with the public from the first day they were issued. Unlike the the Half Centavo and the Five Centavos coins the 10 and 20 Centavos coins circulated well because they were familiar denominations and were similar in size and weight to the Spanish/Philippine coinage that had preceded them. The general public liked these coins and they used them, which is why some dates are almost impossible to find in an uncirculated state.

Recoinage took it's toll on the early coins in this series as well. Silver prices began rising in1905 and by November 1905, had risen past the face value of all of the silver coinage. Only a small number of one peso coins were minted in 1906, and in 1907 the size and weight of all of the silver coins was reduced. The early silver coinage was withdrawn from circulation as quickly as possible and coining of the new 10 centavos began in Philadelphia and San Francisco very early in 1907. By 1941, roughly 80% of all of the 10 Centavos struck for circulation in 1903, and 1904 were melted and recoined by the government alone. The maximum survival rate for these is at most 20% of the original mintage. The coins struck between 1907 and 1935 suffered some recoinage when the reverse design changed in 1937, but the number recoined was less than 1% of all that were minted. A survival estimate is provided for each of the coins struck for general circulation in 1903 and 1904.

This set is comprised of three distinct coin types which correspond to the major Allen identifying numbers 7, 8, and 9.

Allen-7.01 - 7.06 (1903-1906)
The design and physical characteristics of the first 8 coins in the set were specified by the Philippine Organic act passed on July 1, 1902 and an act of the US Congress passed into law on March 2, 1903. Interestingly, only three of these were issued for general circulation. Four were issued in proof for collectors, and the 1904(P) was issued only to be included in a 7 coin set to be sold in the Philippine Exhibit at the St. Louis Worlds Fair. The physical characteristics of the original 10 centavos were as follows:

Composition....0.9000 fine silver (balance in copper)
Total Weight ....2.6924 grams (41.55 grains)
ASW...................0.077906 troy oz.
Diameter..........17.5 mm

All of the 10 centavo coins struck between 1903 and 1906 were struck from purchased silver and silver reclaimed from variety of silver coins that had been circulating in the Philippines prior to 1903. These were primarily Spanish and Mexican pesos and minor coins, but also included other South American and Asian silver coins.

Allen-8.01 - 8.18 (1907-1935)
The majority of the set is composed of the reduced size and weight 10 centavos struck from 1907 through 1935. The basic design was the same as for the earlier coins, but the physical specifications were redefined by Act No. 1564 of the Philippine Commission necessitated by the rising price of silver. The act was passed into law on December 6, 1906 and applied for all coins minted from 1907 on. The reduced size and weight specifications were as follows:

Composition....0.7500 fine silver (balance in copper)
Total Weight ....2.0000 grams (30.8647 grains)
ASW...................0.048226 troy oz.
Diameter..........16.5 mm

An added benefit of the reduced silver content of the reduced size and weight was the seigniorage created. Nearly 162 new 10 centavos were produced for every 100 early 10 centavos recoined . Not counting the shipping and minting costs, the Philippine Government earned a nearly 62% profit on every early 10 centavo recoined!

Beginning in 1907, the primary source of silver was the first generation silver coins that were being withdrawn from circulation. Most of the pre-1903 silver coinage had bee withdrawn from circulation by August of 1905, but small amounts continued to trickle in through 1929! It too was melted and recoined into U.S. Philippine silver coins. The majority of the first generation coins had been recoined by 1913, although as they continued to trickle in to the banks, they were withdrawn and sent to the treasury for recoinage. The number of coins struck each year was based on demand. As the treasurey reserves became depleted of any given denomination, an order was sent for the striking of additional coinage. The number that could be struck however was limited by the availability of silver on account for the Philippines. With the expanded number of coins available due to the size and weight reduction, and relatively low demand from 1913 through most of 1916, the demand for new coins did not exceed the supply of silver on hand. This all changed in 1917 however.

Until 1917, the San Francisco mint had been able to keep up with the demand for new Philippine coinage. With the United States entry into World War I on April 16, 1917, domestic demand for U.S. silver coinage rose and U.S. Mint resources became strained. The Philadelphia mint was producing more foreign coins than usual for Central and South American countries in order to fill the void left by the incapacitated European mints, and the San Francisco Mint was 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, tobacco, and sugar all caused an unprecedented economic boom which increased the demand for circulating coinage in 1917. Silver prices began rising in 1916 and it seemed very likely that they would cause the bullion value of the reduced size and weight silver coinage to exceed it's face value. This happened briefly in September 1917 when the bullion value of the 10 centavos coin rose to 11 centavos. This caused hoarding by the public and possibly exportation and melting of all denominations of silver coinage. The coin shortage became so severe that the Philippine National Bank even printed fractional currency notes in denominations of 10, 20, and 50 centavos in the fall of 1917. Silver prices receded slightly for the next seven months, but again rose past the par value of the silver coinage in April 1918 and remained above par value until June 1920. Silver prices peaked in January 1920 at which time the 10 centavos coin had a bullion value of 13 centavos. Laws were enacted by the Philippine legislature to keep the coinage in the county. Enforcement was actually very effective and relatively few of the silver coins of the period were exported or melted locally. Hoarding was however a significant contributing factor to the disappearance of circulating silver coinage.

The supply of silver from the first generation coinage was exhausted by 1917, and demand was high for additional coinage. The restrictions on how much silver bullion had to remain in the treasury to back the paper currency had been reduced, so the solution to the silver shortage was to begin using the second generation pesos as the feed stock for producing additional minor coinage. Roughly 1.7 million of the 1907-1912 silver pesos where melted and recoined by the San Francisco mint in 1917 alone. Some additional seigniorage was also attained due to the lower fineness of the minor coinage relative to the pesos. From 1917 on, virtually ALL silver coinage struck at the mints in San Francisco and Manila was recoined from reduced size and weight silver pesos that had been struck between 1907 and 1912.

Allen-9.01 - 9.05 (1937-1945)
The design of the reverse was changed when the the Insular territory of the Philippines became The Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935. The design of the commonwealth reverse was designed by Abrosio Morales,for the 1936 commemorative Pesos and Fifty Centavos. Beginning in 1937 the shield and eagle symbolizing the United States was replaced with the coat of arms for the Commonwealth of the Philippines on all circulating coins. The physical specifications remained the same as the previous type.

State of this set
This set became 100% complete in March 2016 with the addition of a very low grade 1915S, a coin which has been upgraded twice since then. There were a few upgrades in 2017 and 2018, but 2019 turned out to be a very significant upgrade year. Five coins were upgraded to MS/PF65 and one was upgraded to MS66. As part of these upgrades, two PCGS coins were replaced by NGC graded coins.

The current state was reached in October 2019. Only three of the 30 coins in this set remain in a circulated state, all in AU55. The ultimate goal is still to have a complete set of uncirculated coins, but considering that NGC has graded only three 1915-S 10 centavos at or above MS60, it may be quite a while before that goal is attained.

• "U.S./Philippine Coins" by Lyman L. Allen 7th Edition 2012 updated and edited by Tom Culhane, Union NJ, 2012
• "U.S./Philippine Coins" by Lyman L. Allen 6th Edition 2008-2009 published by Lyman Allen Rare Coins Virginia City, NV 2007
• "United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands" by Neil Shafer, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1961
• "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974" by Aldo P. Basso, second edition Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, 1975
• "The Rarity Book, United States Administration Coinage for the Philippines 1903-1946" ’94-’95 edition by Jeffrey A. Springsteen 1994
• "Foreign Coins Struck at United States Mints" by Charles G. Altz and E. H. Barton, Whitman Publishing Company Racine, Wisconsin, 1965
• "Domestic and Foreign Coins Manufactured by Mints of the United States 1793-1980", Department of the treasury, Bureau of the Mint, 1981
• "Stability of International Exchange" - Document No. 144 of the 58th Congress, 2nd Session of the House of Representatives published on December 17, 1903
-- (page 414, "The Execution of the Philippine Coinage Act." prepared by Col. Clarence R. Edwards, Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs.)

Rev. 11/24/2020
 Slot DescriptionGradeServiceScore
View Coin 1903 MS 63 PCGS 0
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View Coin 1903-S AU 55 PCGS 0
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View Coin 1903 Proof PF 64 NGC 560
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View Coin 1904 MS 66 NGC 650
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View Coin 1904-S MS 64 NGC 381
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View Coin 1904 Proof PF 63 PCGS 0
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View Coin 1905 Proof PF 65 NGC 1166
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View Coin 1906 Proof PF 63 NGC 954
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View Coin 1907 MS 65 PCGS 0
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View Coin 1907-S MS 65 NGC 304
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View Coin 1908-S MS 64 NGC 272
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View Coin 1908 Proof PF 64 PCGS 0
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View Coin 1909-S MS 61 NGC 1163
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View Coin 1911-S AU 55 NGC 463
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View Coin 1912-S MS 61 NGC 684
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View Coin 1913-S MS 64 PCGS 0
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View Coin 1914-S MS 63 NGC 597
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View Coin 1915-S AU 55 NGC 676
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View Coin 1917-S MS 65 NGC 369
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View Coin 1918-S MS 65 PCGS 0
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View Coin 1919-S MS 63 NGC 212
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View Coin 1920 MS 64 NGC 563
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View Coin 1921 MS 65 NGC 201
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View Coin 1929-M MS 64 NGC 179
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View Coin 1935-M MS 64 NGC 143
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View Coin 1937-M MS 65 NGC 123
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View Coin 1938-M MS 65 NGC 106
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View Coin 1941-M MS 65 NGC 63
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View Coin 1944-D MS 66 NGC 45
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View Coin 1945-D MS 66 NGC 861
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