Trivia - Phillipines

Discussion in 'Clinker - In Memoriam' started by Clinker, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    Their was panic in the Phillipines in 1942. The Japanese were coming! General Douglas MacArthur and the Americans were leaving!
    A discussion was in order to determine what to do about the bullion the Phillipines' government had stored away. Some of it was in their treasury and some was stored at the Manila Mint. Word had reached them about the Japanese forces' practice of gathering up the existing coins of an occupied country and melting them to mold into ingots (or just filling barrels and crates with coins) and shipping them back to Japan for their war machine.
    An agreement was reached for the Americans to take the bullion and some coins to the United States for safekeeping. The Phillipines government decided to gather up the remaining coins (from banks and businesses) and dump them in the bay to keep the Japanese' hands off them.

    Later, when MacArthur returned, he couldn't believe how much devastation the Japanese had wreaked in the Phillipines for the short time they were there. The mint in Manila was in such disrepair it would not be operable until 1946. In fact, the mint did not strike coins until 1948. The last time the mint struck coins was in 1941. In reclaiming the coinage dumped into the bay, they discovered much of it was worthless because of salt water corrosion. What to do? How could the government survive and get it's economy back into good working order?

    The United States of America stepped up to plate:

    The Philladelphia Mint struck 21,198,000 1944 copper-nickel-zinc alloy five-centavos coins.

    The Denver Mint struck 31,592,000 1944 silver ten-centavos coins and 28,596,000 1944 silver twenty-centavos coins. It also struck 137,000,000 1945 silver ten-centavos coins and 82,804,000 1945 silver twenty-centavos coins.

    The San Francisco Mint struck 58,000,000 1944 bronze one-centavo coins, 14,040,000 1944 copper-nickel-zinc alloy five-centavos coins and 19,187,000 1944 silver fifty-centavos coins. In 1945 it struck 72,796,000 copper-nickel-zinc alloy five-centavos coins and 18,120,000 fifty-centavos coins.

    In 1947, the San Francisco Mint struck two commemorative coins for the Phillipines: a silver 50-centavos and a one pisa coin featuring General Douglas MacArthur.

    You remember that James Earle Fraser's (designer of Bison/Buffalo Nickel) wife (Laura Gardin Fraser) designed and created the models of several United States commemorative coins struck in the middle and late thirties. Well, she designed the two Phillipines General Douglas MacArthur coins too.

    Ain't it great to be an American?

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  3. Mikjo0

    Mikjo0 Numismatist

    Very interesting Cinker,
    Was there ever a period between the Spanish-American War and WWII that the Phillipines actually minted their own coinage? I'm asking because I recently bought this 10 centavo that was also minted by the U.S.

    Attached Files:

  4. Dabalzak

    Dabalzak Senior Member

    Very very nice read. It was very good thinking of them to atleast send some to the US for safekeeping. No matter what the government does that might upset me, Its still better to be here than anywhere else in the world.
  5. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector


    I'll get back to you on that. I don't believe there were coins minted by the Phillipines back then.. I know Spain ceded the Phillipines to the U.S.A. and since it became a possession of the U.S. our mints provided the coinage with the legend "United States of America" on the reverse.

  6. Mikjo0

    Mikjo0 Numismatist

    While I'm's some spelling trivia,something that we all,myself included,have got wrong on this thread.There is only ONE "L" ,but three "P's" in Philippines (thank you Google Spellcheck).Guess I'll have to change the label on my 10 centavos,huh?
  7. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    Now if that's the only word I mispelled today and/or yesterday I will feel good about

  8. Krasnaya Vityaz

    Krasnaya Vityaz Always Right

    Coins minted in Manila from 1910? -1941.
  9. Bonedigger

    Bonedigger New Member

    Well, that sheds some light on the history of this piece. Thanks ;)

    Take Care
  10. Check_M_All

    Check_M_All New Member


    You just made my day. Yesterday I was searching around an antique shop here in town and saw a 1944D 10 Centavos with United States of America on the reverse. It intrigued me. It was in beautiful shape and toning very nicely. The price was right so I picked it up. I was going to search the history of it tonight, but in you step with another great bit of trivia.
  11. Mikjo0

    Mikjo0 Numismatist

  12. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector


    I had some other trivia items to thread, but something made me feel I should send this one. Guess it was for you.

  13. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

  14. horge

    horge Junior Member

    The Manila Mint operated from 1920 to 1941.
    It did not ever reopen after the war, as the building (formerly the Intendencia, being only blocks
    away from the location of the old Spanish colonial mint or Casa de moneda de Manila,) was
    too severely damaged by U.S. ordnance, in liberating the city from entrenched Japanese forces.
    (If there are any WW2 U.S. veterans here, you have my profound gratitude and admiration.)

    In 1998, the Spanish government extended funding for the restoration of the old (U.S.) Manila Mint
    (Intendencia) building, to serve as the new home of the Philippine National Archives (RMAO), but
    work towards this end has been frustratingly slow. I happened to drive by the ruins just this
    Saturday morning.

    In 1975, a new mint was established far north of Manila, in Quezon City. It operates to this day.
  15. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member

    Clinker,the 'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA' & the Filipino Coat-of-Arms is on the obverse,not the reverse.

  16. horge

    horge Junior Member

    Hi, Aidan :)

    IIRC, that is merely a convention adopted by numismatists who wanted easier display/organization
    of mounted/album'ed specimens (assuming organization by date, of course) , as well as for more
    readily-visible evidence of the "United States connection" in each and every mounted coin specimen.

    Officially, however...
    The design was adopted (with very little change) from a proposal by artist Melecio Figueroa.
    The face with the standing lady --supposedly Figueroa's daughter Blanca, as he imagined she
    would be when she grew to womanhood, was plainly designated as being for the obverse.

    This is unambiguously noted by Shafer (1961), and several others.

  17. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member

    Ola,horge,I always take the English approach in displaying coins.I always say that the side of the coin that depicts a royal portrait,a Coat-of-Arms,or another portrait is the obverse.A similar situation occurs with the Euro coins,in which they (officially,at best) have a common obverse,which is really the reverse.

  18. horge

    horge Junior Member


    Yes, but I understand that even in the late 1800's-Philippine context into which these
    U.S. Territorial coins were unleashed, the convention was:

    royal portrait (cara) = obverse,
    royal coat of arms (cruz o escudo) = reverse.
    cara y cruz, heads or tails, and all that... ;)

    From there it seems to have been easier to continue assuming
    the portrait (allegorical this time) = obverse, and the coat of arms is still = reverse.
    Although, the 'coat of arms' on these coins really wasn't one, nor was even an offical seal
    until the 1936 switch to a Commonwealth.

  19. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    To Horge

    Many coins of other countries have the portrait on the reverse including, but not limited to, the Germany Third Reich coins with Hindenberg on the reverse and even one United States of America commemorative coin!

  20. horge

    horge Junior Member

    Hi Clinker, :)

    Yes. I had been pointing to

    1. Documentary (official) evidence of which design face is to be considered the obverse on the Philippine coins in question

    2. Popular perception of consumers in the Philippines (from the late 1800's into use of those same
    20th century Philippine coins in question,) similarly designating which was the obverse and which was
    the reverse.

    I had not meant to involve any other countries' contexts.


  21. Aidan Work

    Aidan Work New Member

    Clinker,those German pieces with Paul von Hindenburg actually depict him on the obverse,not the reverse.The same thing applies to the Nazi German silver coins.

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