Obverse:

Enlarge

Reverse:

Enlarge

Coin Details

Origin/Country: United States
Design Description: PHILIPPINES UNDER U.S. SOVEREIGNTY
Item Description: ALUMINUM 5C 1913 USA-PHIL CULION LEPER COLONY KM-6
Full Grade: NGC AU 55
Owner: JAA

Set Details

Custom Sets: JAA Recent Additions
Competitive Sets: JAA USA-Philippines Leper Coins   Score: 1435
Research: NGC Coin Explorer NGC Coin Price Guide

Owner Comments:

SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Frank and Company (Manila)
Mint Mark: None
Composition: Aluminum
Diameter: 26 mm
Mintage: 6,000
Catalog Number: KM-6, and McFadden-753

In 1906 the Bureau of Health for the U.S. Territory of the Philippines established a colony for leper patients on the small island of Culion in the China Sea. For health reasons, the decision was made that the leper colony should have a separate coinage of its own which would not circulate in the rest of the Philippines. One of the fascinating features of the monetary system in the leper colony was the strict regulations which separated the circulation of government coinage and the special "Leper Coins". In the colony proper "Leper Money" was the only legal medium of exchange. Government coinage was not allowed within the colony and non-lepers that did business in the colony had to exchange their "Government Money" for "Leper Money" before they entered the colony. When they exited the colony they exchanged their "Leper Money" for "Government Money". In this way "Leper Money" only circulated within the colony. The police strictly enforced these regulations and violators were subject to a fine of not more than Fifteen Pesos, imprisonment of up to one month or both. The first issue of "Leper Money" consisted of Half Centavo, One Centavo, Five Centavos, Ten Centavos, Twenty Centavos, and One Peso coins which were struck in aluminum by the firm of Frank and Company, Manila in 1913. The common obverse design was a "Caduceus" surrounded by the inscription "Bureau Of Health" at the top and the date below. The reverse used a simple inscription of value as its central design. "Culion Leper Colony" was inscribed at the top, and "Philippine Islands" below. The 1913 issue carried no mint marks.

The 1913 Five Centavos is the Key Coin in the Culion Leper Colony series. The few surviving specimens are typically well worn and show signs of heavy wear and environmental damage. It is quite difficult to find in any condition and problem free certifiable examples are extremely rare. This choice AU specimen offers problem free surfaces and a hint of remaining luster. It is the single finest certified example of this key date.

NGC PHOTO PROOF STATEMENT REGARDING THIS SPECIMEN
"The fear that attended the treatment of leprosy victims was such a century ago that Filipino and American patients were isolated on the small island of Culion. They utilized a unique coinage that was not to leave the colony. The five-centavos piece presented here is one of the rarest entries in the series, with a mintage of just 6,600 pieces. The Philippine climate was highly damaging to aluminum coins, and this AU 55 specimen is the finest by far of just three examples certified by NGC (11-21). It is fully struck, with residual mint luster and only the tiniest of marks."

Purchased in Stack's Bowers October 2019 Collectors Choice Online Auction, Lot #72698.

NGC Population: 1/0 (A NGC Top Pop Coin)

To follow or send a message to this user,
please log in