Showing posts with label Pattern coins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pattern coins. Show all posts

The 1894 One Centavo of Alfonso XIII

This very rare Spanish-Philippine coin was sold for 15, 500 euros as lot 1083 in the December auction of Cayon Numismatica and is considered as one of the most elusive coins of Philippine numismatic. The coins of one and two cents of weight, minted in Madrid at the hands of Bartolom√© Maura, were made by order of 15 December 1893. The Decree refers to "lack of copper currency adjusted to the legal system" which encourages coining full retail. Shall be "the new pieces of copper one and two cents of weight, equivalent, as the silver 10 and 20 cents, which circulate in the Peninsula (...) Most all of these fractional coins will be legal tender only in the territories that are dependent on the General Government of the Philippines". The initiative was just one of the so many in the pipeline, but that Maura, the newly appointed general engraver, left us a few pieces by way of historical testimony. The magnificent bust with riotous hair, appears on these coins, still better than weight. It is perfectly proportioned (especially the two cents) and technically perfect.

It is especially curious that even having the permission of the Crown, coins on the same Islands were not coined under his name and it was even struck in Madrid, marked with a Pentagram. Perhaps because of insecurity or lack of larger machinery (remember the diameters of the cash of the father, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and clear, 4 weights) where carry out works such as these that we present. We assume that he just followed the guidelines given in the Royal Decree of December 15, 1893: "...Article 1. It is authorized the temporary opening of the Casa de Moneda de Manila, for the coinage which are necessary in the territories of the Government General of the Philippines, without prejudice of the Casa de Moneda de Madrid, to use when it's convenient to the best service..."and"...Section 3. This will be limited for now, fractional silver coin in 50, 20 and 10 cents of weight parts and bronze coin adjusted to the decimal system in parts one and 2 cents of weight..."

According to estimates, these coins exist only in two values, with no more than ten or twelve mintages. Preserves the archaeological museum in Madrid two parts of a penny and three two (one of them Sastre collection proceeding).  These coin has never been in the market in the last decade and was only recorded sold in the Philippines once decades ago.

The 1972 Marcelo H. Del Pilar 50 Centavos Trial Piece in Copper

The 1972 Marcelo H. De Pilar Trial Strike in Copper

During the introduction of the new coins and the second term of then president Ferdinand Marcos in 1966, several pattern coins were created by then prominent medal designer and a former member of the Philippine Numismatic & Antiquarian Society (PNAS), Jose Tupaz Jr. Among the known varieties by Jose Tupaz, Jr. were coins which featured the first couple heads, the former president, the pope & the former president, and the national hero Juan Luna, which surprisingly, was the only hero included in the project. The patterns were later refined and the official coin set was released in 1967, which replaced the old design, which was still adopted from the original design of Melchor Figueroa.

Some lead splashers of these patterns were also made, one of them is in the hand of a prominent dealer who made it as one of the display attraction in his shop. Though, not a single trial piece was reported to have existed when the mass productions were already started, there were clues however that the mint made trial pieces since during that same design transition, another major changes occurred.

By way of proclamation of Martial law (RA 1081) on the 21st of September 1972, Marcos implemented a vision for the new republic that would particularly unify the Filipinos for the coming changes in the future. He called this project “The New Society”, or Ang Bagong Lipunan, a model society that would uplift the lives of the Filipinos through unification. The campaign was massive that he vetoed that such slogan would be inserted and carried out though the daily lives of the Filipinos, including the monetary system itself.

Marcos already implemented the gearing of the society toward patriotism where Tagalog was adopted as the national language. The former seal of the Republic which bear its slogan in English was replaced by a new Tagalog version including the name of the Central Bank which was altered to Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas.

Recently, a final trial piece in copper of the 50 centavos that bears the portrait of Marcelo H. Del Pilar surfaced. This is the final die trial before the die was finally destroyed and discontinued. Amazingly, the piece survived without much deterioration because it was covered in glue when it was first found. The coin is dated 1972, the last date of the 50 centavos denomination before it was discontinued to be produced in 1975. Only after the end of the regime, that the 50-centavos denomination was again introduced at the time of President Corazon Aquino.

Whatever the reason why the “The New Society or Ang Bagong Lipunan never continued the production of 50-centavos remains trivial and mysterious. Yet, during the time of the New Society that gold coin production was resurrected after more than a hundred years hibernation, which made it as one of the most exciting period of Philippine numismatic.

1908 One Peso, Pattern or Fake?

I have just discovered a unique specimen struck in a carbon like planchet of a 1908 – S One Peso. I have tried doing some research about this piece and even consulted some fellow numismatist regarding its discovery but I have not heard any consistent opinion regarding its authenticity except for the fact that there are several trial strikes documented by U.S. Numismatist also in the form of lead alloy but not this kind of material.

This is a very unique specimen if its authentic since there were no reports of coins struck using this type of material. I thought it was made out of lead when I first saw it but with careful analysis, I have figured that the metal is similar to that of pencil lead. It is light, non-magnetic, smooth, but surprisingly it is very hard. If this is a forgery then how could the forger made this coin using such minerals or metal if his intention is to use this coin for trade since there are so many metals such as brass that can be easily manufactured in large quantities.

Previously reported lead counterfeits were either from the early 1930's and during the 1940's mostly of lower denominations starting from five centavos up to fifty centavos. However, there is a reported 1919-S lead auctioned by Cookie Jar Collectibles in August 30, 2005. The coin is listed as Lot No. 525. Such counterfeits are very rare. Other dates of the same denomination that were also reported struck in lead includes 1944-S and 1945-S.

This amazing specimen is a very rare type of coin since the material used was very difficult for minting coins, the hardness of the material made it very difficult to shape. The edge of this coins shows there are gaps between the coin's face and its edge while the legends, date, and letters are weak. It seems that the die was soft when struck and only hardened when it cooled down.