Showing posts with label Philippine Numismatic And Antiquarian Society. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philippine Numismatic And Antiquarian Society. Show all posts

A Typical Day for a Filipino Numismatist

There were times in the life of a typical Filipino numismatist that he is about to give-up with his collection due to several reasons. Much of it because of the pressure from people dearly close to himself, and sometimes from the complicated system that seems to be in an endless entanglement from the ego and politics among hobbyists.

Ridiculed and frustrated he turns to his collections for divine answers and comfort, as he carefully hold each and every coin for inspection. He usually spend his pastimes looking at them and scrutinizing every details using his jewelry loupe in search of that particular characteristic that would usually help him identify each coin from others.

Luster, relief, toning, grade, and others are the aesthetic points he is familiar with and appreciate the dates and mintmarks more if that correspond to scarce varieties, low population, or mintage. He is usually quiet, isolated, and eccentric as he is regularly seen travelling on foot in the busy streets of Manila, in search of his own version of treasures.

He like the scenes of clutter, antiquity, dustiness, and imperfection as it represents opportunity, adventure, and excitement. The sidewalks, flea markets, and pawnshops are his turf and not the usual coin shops which, he considers as only for neophytes.

He usually walk alone and in most times in a hurry as he anticipate the principle of “timing” as his key to rare opportunities. He races against dealers, jewelers, and sometimes, fellow collectors in a hope to snatch some few bargains before somebody attempts to bid for a higher price.

At the end of the day, after the heart pounding dash and crafty haggling, he would usually settle for the leftovers, for reason that he either failed to compete or someone was early at the scene.

Yet despite of that never-ending frustration, he would still consider himself as passionate and committed in his quest of assembling that “Greatest Collection” one-day---the day that everybody will be envious, he told himself.

He sits in a corner at one of his favorite places in the Metro, making some quick glances at the pieces he gathered for the day before heading home. As he lift the coins one by one, his mind is already at work visualizing his next step, carefully planning the preservation and protection of his newly acquired treasures.

The planned itinerary rewarded him of a safe and early arrival. He quickly walked to that particular place in the house where he hides his collection. There he met his wife dusting the cabinets, and seems at the stage of putting the finishing touch as she smiled back, her feet on the newly waxed floor.

Then he asked for that box, “Where is it?” His wife answered “I threw it in the garbage!”

2008 Review: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

The year of 2008 saw some of the best auction results of Philippine numismatic materials, including the famous 1936 Woodrow Wilson Gold medal which commemorated the opening of the Manila Mint, the only mint built outside of the United States. Even though only about 2 to 4 specimen are believed to have been minted, there were two auctions held both in the United States. The later auction was facilitated by Heritage Auction Galleries (HA), one of the leading international auctioneers of numismatic materials, antiquities, arts, memorabilia, collectibles, etc.

The Good..
1920 Manila Mint Opening/Wilson Dollar in Gold, HK-1031, MS62 NGC. Gold, 38 mm. This incredibly rare so-called Wilson dollar in gold represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the many aficionados of this popular series. The long-awaited second edition of the standard Hibler-Kappen reference, released in 2008, contains a helpful note in the Appendix at the back, directing readers to the proper publication page for issues in the first edition "of which, at the time, less than five specimens were known. These issues were numbered from 1000 to 1033." Of course this Wilson dollar in gold, HK-1031, is among them. Dutifully turning to the proper page, one discovers that the second edition lists the Wilson dollar in gold as R-9, which it defines as "2-4 known." Our research leads us to believe that the survivors total perhaps three pieces in all. On July 16, 1920, the only overseas branch mint ever opened by the United States began operations in Manila, the Philippines. The Wilson dollar commemorates that event. As background (from Hibler-Kappen), the Philippines were ruled by Spain for more than 300 years, but were ceded to the United States in 1898, following the conclusion of the Spanish-American War. Some Filipinos began a resistance movement in 1899 that was crushed in 1901 with the capture of its leader.

A price supplement to the 2008 HK edition suggests a price range of $50,000-$75,000 for Mint State examples, noting that the top prices would be reserved for NGC- or PCGS-certified pieces. The surfaces are bright orange-gold with uniform color throughout. Strong magnification will be required to see the faint hairlines that account for the MS62 grade. There are no contact marks on either side of this lovely piece--most likely because the coin was used as a presentation piece and never came into contact with other coins. In rarity, this piece is perhaps on par with the HK-1001, Erie Canal Completion, in gold, although less well known. As the finest known of the Wilson dollar gold pieces, the finest certified, and likely to remain so, this example should see record market enthusiasm. Prospective bidders should plan accordingly. (Courtesy of Heritage Auction Galleries)

Then, making it at par with the 1920 Wilson medal is another legend in the realm of Philippine numismatic, the 1830 MANILA counterstamp, hailed as one of the famous and belongs to the top 5 rarest counterstamp coins. This extremely rare specimen which is also the finest was once owned by a curator of the British Royal Museum.

This counterstamp was used for three years 1828-1830. In 1832, a charge was made to a smaller and simpler die for the MANILA die had proved damaging to the Mint’s coins and machinery (manifested by the poor conditions of Counterstamped MANILA 1828). Spain eventually recognized her former colonies independence, thus counterstamping was halted in the Philippines by edict on March 31, 1837. Of all the Filipino counterstamped coinage, the MANILA series are the rarest, with those dated 1830 being extremely rare, and currently, there is no other reported specimen at the hands of any private collectors in the Philippines.

The Bad...
The crisis within the local clubs in the Philippines was one of the biggest shockers of 2008. The Philippine Numismatic & Antiquarian Society, the oldest numismatic organization in Asia was once again among the headlines in the international scene but on that year, it was a definite “no-no” far away from the legacy left by the founding fathers. The scandal was a result of the fight among the members and officers of the organization which, later ended into a court suit.

It was sad to find that the organization’s directors are fighting among each other not for the benefit of its members and for the organization’s vision but for a contract from the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) regarding the proper grading and cataloguing of its Money Museum which according to one insider amounts to several million pesos.

Other issues were the sudden disappearance of the organization’s secretary, Marlon Roxas who was being blamed by some directors responsible for the loss of some collection, funds, and other important documents of the organization.

Hopefully, the year of 2009 will bring some positive changes in the organization and that the new set of officers will be liable and more responsible to their members and to the organization itself.

The year 2008 otherwise saw the proliferation of several counterfeit coins and banknotes. Several collectors were surprise by the sudden appearance of high-value McKinley gold certificate which were reported recovered in the island of Palawan as part of the fabled lost vault that was lifted by a military aircraft that crashed in a still unknown location in the same island (Palawan) on its way to Manila.

Of course, who will forget the number of collectors who bought the fake liberty halves, which mysteriously surfaced, in the busy streets Quiapo. The coin was so comparable to the genuine article, that the weight of these coins was amazingly equal to that of the genuine (12.5 g), a characteristic not anticipated by the modern collectors since Chinese counterfeiters (the suspected culprits) were known for producing underweight fake coins.

The Ugly...
Other bad news for collectors was the sudden rise of fake counterstamp coins; a fake counterstamp placed on a genuine host coin. These coins were mostly being sold by Ebay sellers and coins dealers who have managed to duplicate the original counterstamps. Now, collectors especially the neophytes and the novices are encourage to do their homework before bidding to avoid purchasing these counterfeit materials.

As the global economic crisis unfolds, 2009 will be a very exciting year for collectors since it has been known that crisis always bring hardships and opportunities. Goodluck and happy hunting!

Project 2009: The Philippine Coin Expo

The Philippine Numismatic & Antiquarian Society once played a vital role in the exposition, exhibition, and conservation of materials particularly those in connection with the nation's history.

The rift between the factions involved in the control of the organization led to the decline of its popularity among collectors specially during the times that major figures of organization had been dragged in the one of the biggest heist in the organization's history since it was created in 1929.

Now, several collectors and others (including this site) who want to reform the organization have expressed support in the creation of the Philippine Coin Exposition that will be prioritized this year of 2009 as part of the 80th year founding of the Philippine Numismatic & Antiquarian Society (PNAS).

The organizers of this exposition are planning to source out the funding from several contribution, donation, and fund raising scheme outside of the administration of the PNAS. This is to signal that such move is gearing toward the propagation of the interest in numismatic and collections and not of political issues and partisanship.

As part of this major move, the proponents of this change have even expressed their willingness to donate a website that would serve as the forum and announcement board for the PNAS, to reach out those who are interested in expanding their knowledge and collection, and otherwise as a tribute to the founding fathers of the organization.

One of the major vision of this movement is to help the organization in the creation of a library and a museum that would house several numismatic collections. This is to aid the local collectors in the maintenance and protection of their collection and otherwise discourage exportation of historical and numismatic treasures. Another, is to educate the local collectors and hobbyists regarding the proper handling, preservation, and identification especially right now that counterfeit materials have become a major hindrance for newbies in building their respective inventories.

Further announcements will be made through this site later.

1945 Commonwealth 50 Centavos Struck in Lead

1945 Fifty Centavos Struck in Lead

Among the controversial dates of the United States and Philippine coinage, 1944 and 1945 are two of the years that became one of the exciting periods of Philippine numismatic history. First, these are the years the second world war. The United States had concentrated its resources to the production of war machines, which became known as the U.S. War Effort. One of the policies implemented by the U.S. government was the discontinuation of the used of nickel and copper vital for the production of ammunition in the United States which had resulted to the one year 1943 One Penny zinc coated steel and the series of Jefferson Wartime nickels that are actually made out of silver.

During that same year, the Philippines was under the rule of the Japanese Empire. The Philippines had plunged into a monetary crisis after the Japanese paper money did not make an impact to sustain the local economy, which had resulted into a massive inflation. Though the U.S. government had produced coins for the Philippines during that two consecutive years. These coins were never released into circulation and remained in the hoard of the Commonwealth government due to the ongoing conflict.

Early numismatists were thrilled to start their numismatic adventures when the war ended due to the diversity in the Philippine monetary system during the time of war. The relaxation of the flow of military information brought several discoveries into the numismatic world. The public became suddenly aware that there existed Guerilla scripts or war scripts, tradesmen token, the Commonwealth government coins, among others. Yet, the sudden break out of hoards overpowered the enthusiasm of the numismatic adventurers. The once known scarce materials were overflowing and surprisingly, most are in excellent conditions. Average Commonwealth 1944 and 1945 issued coins were either in mint state or in an almost uncirculated condition, making collectors too confident in judging that there was not a need for further exploration.

The Law of “Supply and Demand” kicked in later in the 90’s when the Internet made a tremendous impact in the flow of information and communication. Collectors had realized that the supply of coins was dwindling and soon they were rushing to dig the once neglected hoards and hunt for varieties. The numismatic world was surprise to find that 1944 and 45 brought several varieties and some of them are rare, that they can be lined-up with the Philippine’s rarest coins.

Among those famous varieties were the “Bar over 9” or the 1945 Fifty Centavos variety were a piece of metal bar can be seen on the top of the number 9 on the date of the coin, the 1945 Ten Centavos double date, the D over S or Denver over San Francisco on mint mark, and others. Recently, through this site, several trial strikes were introduced to the numismatic world. That included the 1944 One Centavo struck in white metal alloy instead of the normal copper planchet.

Now, as an additional piece to our collection, this site is proud to introduce the 1945 Fifty Centavos Trial Strike struck in lead. Similar pieces of this type of coin already surfaced in the past and most of them dated 1944. Collectors tagged them as contemporary counterfeits since the coin conditions were poor and appeared to be crudely struck. Nobody contested the finding until superbly struck coins of same material surfaced just recently. These coins have sharp details though some of the details like the caption embedded on the scroll below the shield was not as clear but still identifiable probably because the metal’s reaction with its environment. The coin’s surface is not bubbly but smooth, and the legends are sharp and are not deformed which only implies that the coins were struck and not cast as most contemporary counterfeiters did during that time.

Surprisingly this is not the only trial strike that has been reported in the past. Other numismatists have also brought the information that there exist die trials in copper and brass. And as the old time saying goes "Happy hunting!"

Proposal for Scrapping Lowly Coins Denied

Philippine current low denomination coins

Scrapping coins whose values fall below one peso would be impractical for the Philippine government and unfair to consumers, a government official said on Thursday.

The government will also be unable to switch to a purely paper currency system because paper “has a shorter lifespan," the official who refused to be identified told GMANews.TV.

The official was prompted to issue this statement after Representative Roilo Golez filed a resolution urging the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries to conduct an inquiry regarding the “practicability of retiring and demonetizing the centavo as a Philippine currency."

House Resolution No. 898 also proposes to “round off cash transaction values to the nearest peso."

“Despite the number of coins issued in circulation, demand remains unfilled in many parts of the country because these coins are not being recirculated, or used regularly by the public but instead are kept inside bank vaults, piggy banks, inside drawers, used as washers, or even thrown away as inconvenience," the resolution said.

However, the official pointed out that while it is more expensive to produce coins, keeping them in the system is in accordance to the law.

Lower denominated coins also serve many consumers who buy inexpensive items, the official added.

The source said a 25-centavo coin costs as much as 80 centavos, depending on the price of metal in world markets.

Meanwhile, SM Hypermarket, which operates the SM Group’s hybrid department and supermarket store, said it sees no unfavorable effect should the said House Bill become a law.

The group has been thinking of ways to solve the problem of giving their customers the exact change for their purchases, Robert Kwee, SM Hypermarket executive vice president, said in a telephone interview.

“On our own, we're trying to find ways to eliminate the change because we've been getting complaints," he said.

Kwee noted that there were instances when the store is forced “with its back on the wall" because even banks had run out of coins.

He said that there were times when they were forced to exchange sweets and sweeteners with coins or even reward points to appease irate customers.

Itong dela Eva, IT Head for SM Food group, agreed.

“We don't see any problem with the proposal," she said.

However, Kwee cautioned lawmakers from rushing the proposal, saying that customers must first be consulted about it.

“My only suggestion is that we also get the side of the customers because some of them will still want to be given exact change," he said.

SM Hypermarket is seeking to build its 12th and 13th stores in the country. - GMANews.TV

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.

The Extremely Rare 1986 Marcos head 500 - peso note to be auctioned this Month

Lot Description of the Marcos Head 500-peso banknote

The Bayanihan Collectors Club Local Auction Catalgue

After the Marcos regime ended, the Aquino government implemented a draconian reformation including the immediate deletion of all memories that would remind the public of the former president. Statues, monuments, publications, including projects were torn down, demolished, or discontinued as part of the process. During that same period, then Bangko SentralNg Pilipinas was about to introduce the 500-peso denomination, which featured Marcos head. Before the denomination was about to be distributed, Ferdinand Marcos was ousted by way of the first People Power revolution thus, it never reached circulation and were left stored in the Central Bank’s vault until the new government was installed.

Former president Aquino ordered the destruction of all of these banknotes that even the Central Bank Museum does not have any specimen in their collection. The order was very directive that not a single piece be left as a reminder of the history that had taken placed. However, a single image of the note was captured by a researcher who was then compiling a catalogue of Philippine banknotes. I have found that mysterious manuscript inside the Quezon City Hall public Library with the original pictures attached to it. The crude research paper never reached mass production and the original manuscript was placed along with several books in the Filipiniana section. The pages of the manuscript were already torn that even the title page was missing yet surprisingly, the single picture of the 500-Marcos note was there when I first made that discovery.

I was disappointed that the library do not allow their books brought outside despite of my formal request from the administrator to have it colored copied, and thus I left the image at the hands of other library goers.

The second time I came, I brought myself a digital camera to have the image reproduced but it was not there anymore. Sad to say that even just the picture of this amazingly rare note was lost that I had feared that it was lost forever until a great news arrived.

This 30th of November, the Bayanihan Collectors Club will conduct a regular auction, which features the printer’s proof of the 500-peso Marcos banknote. Despite of the numerous rare collections that will be offered, the item is placed under the regular local auction so, no image was attached along with the lot description. This is a once in lifetime opportunity for Philippine note collectors since this is the first time that the numismatic world would first capture the first and probably the only existing copy of the note---which coincidentally, is also the printer’s copy.

Oil & Gas In A Special Coin

The Malampaya Commemorative Coin

The Malampaya Gas production rig located near Palawan is the of the country’s pride in energy independence. Brought by the surging cost in oil importation, refining, and distribution, several exploration attempts in the early 80’s and late 70’s confirmed that the nation has a potential source of natural gas and oil.

A study undertaken by University of the Philippines Professor Dante B. Canlas, the former chief of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Using natural gas royalties would cut power costs which may stimulate economic growth since it will make local industries more competitive.

The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) which indicates that royalties that could be collected from “the exploitation of all indigenous sources of energy including natural gas and geothermal steam" would be used to cut power costs. This will provide government additional tax and non-tax revenues, which would be more than sufficient to offset the foregone royalties collection. Thus, the project started and had been one of the top priorities of several administrations.

In October 16, 2001 Malampaya platform was formally inaugurated by the current president Gloria Arroyo and other local & foreign business figures. A special commemorative coin produced by the Central Bank Mint was issued to celebrate this special event. This coin weighs 16 grams and 32mm in size and is made out of .999 silver and plated with a 24 Karat gold. However, the mintage is deceptive since there was no official record on the mint, which indicated the number of coin produced. But what is certain that this were only given to officials who have attended Malampaya’s exclusive inauguration.

The special coin or more specifically, the special token comes with a wooden box with the emblem of Malampaya, which is otherwise featured, on the coin’s obverse. The existence of this special token has not been known until recently which concludes how few were produced for this exclusive event only.

Gold, Platinum Drop on Concern Recession May Lessen Demand on Metal

Gold futures fell on speculation a global recession will damp demand for precious metals and other raw materials. Platinum and silver also declined.

Equities in Asia, Europe and the U.S. fell today. More than $28 trillion in value has been erased from global equity markets this year as banks have posted more than $920 billion in credit losses and writedowns. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials is down by almost a third this year.

``We're back to focusing on the recession,'' said Leonard Kaplan, the president of Prospector Asset Management in Evanston, Illinois. ``You're seeing a bear market in everything. Gold traditionally does better than anything else in this recessionary environment, but it still goes down.''

Gold futures for December delivery fell $13.70, or 1.8 percent, to $732.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The metal has dropped 29 percent from a record $1,033.90 in March.

Platinum futures for January delivery fell $33.30, or 3.9 percent, to $826.60 an ounce on the Nymex. The metal, used in jewelry and pollution-control devices in cars, has tumbled 64 percent from a record $2,308.80 on March 4.

Last week, General Motors Corp., the biggest U.S. automaker, reported a $4.2 billion third-quarter operating loss and warned it may run short of cash by the end of June. Ford Motor Co. reported a $2.98 billion loss in the quarter.


``Nobody's going to buy cars,'' Kaplan said. ``You'll see platinum trade $100 to $250 lower than gold. It happens in every recession. Platinum is industrial, and catalytic converters and jewelry are going to get slammed.''

Platinum, palladium and silver have wider industrial uses than gold. Gold has dropped 13 percent this year. Silver is down 34 percent, and platinum and palladium has slumped more than 40 percent.

Gold may rebound to $800 in the next three months on investor demand for a haven from market turmoil, UBS AG analyst John Reade said.

``Interest in gold coins remains strong, with coin shortages apparent in many markets, while kilobars, one of the most popular investment categories, are trading at a high premium to the spot gold price due to long waiting lists at refineries,'' Reade said in a report.

A one-ounce Krugerrand coin from South Africa cost almost $37 more than the per-ounce spot price of gold today.

The U.S. Mint said this month it has resumed taking orders for American Buffalo 1-ounce gold-bullion coins after a surge in demand depleted supplies in its vaults.

Silver futures for December delivery fell 41.5 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $9.805 an ounce today on the Comex. Palladium for December delivery fell $2.75, or 1.2 percent, to $219.25 an ounce on the Nymex. - Bloomberg


High-grade gold, silver found in S. Cotabato

A Canadian mining exploration company has found high-grade gold and silver deposits at a mining site in T’boli, South Cotabato.

Cadan Resources Corp., which operates the Tboli gold-silver project through Philippine affiliate Tribal Mining Corp., said the mine site might contain 584,000 tons of mineral deposits with 10.2 grams of gold and 50 grams of silver per ton.

In September, the company estimated mineral resources at the site at 420,000 ounces of gold and 1.6 million ounces of silver. It pegged the grade at 5.5 grams of gold and 21 grams of silver per ton.

"The latest higher grade results continue to indicate that the Tboli gold-silver resource not only appears to be larger in area. The grade also appears to be higher than [the earlier mineral resource classification]," Tribal Mining President Edgar D. Martinez said.

In a statement, he noted that there had been minimal surface exploration activity within a 400-meter area. Previous tests in the eastern side of the resource ranged from 13.37-81.14 grams of gold per ton, he added.

Tribal Mining obtained a permit to continue its exploration activities on Sept. 9 for potential development of the Tboli gold-silver project.

Canadian miner Cadan, which used to be known as Sur American Gold Corp., started underground development of the T’boli gold-silver deposits sometime later to determine the quality and quantity at the site.

The company’s mine development site straddles an area earlier contested by a native clan and a local cooperative.

The Maguan clan has sought clearance to mine the area of the T’boli Minahang Bayan Multipurpose Cooperative, which supposedly forms part of its ancestral domain claim. Consisting of small-scale mining operators, the cooperative has asked a local court that 21 hectares of a gold-rich portion of the village of Kematu in T’boli town be set aside for its exclusive use.

The land, however, forms part of the 85-hectare mining area granted by the government to Tribal Mining under a mineral production sharing deal.

Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Constancio A. Paye, Jr. said the dispute between the cooperative and Tribal Mining is separate from the claims of the Maguan clan.

Former South Cotabato Governor Hilario de Pedro III has issued an executive order apportioning the 21 hectares as the "people’s mining site" to address the row.

Mr. Paye said about 20 to 30 tunnels have been dug by cooperative members at the site over the years. — Romer S. Sarmiento, BsuinessWorld

"Pondo Ng Pinoy" May Cause Coin Shortage

Philippine Low Denomination coins

Fearing a coin shortage caused by his pet project, Manila archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales asked priests in his archdiocese to remit quickly the 25-centavo coins they collected.

In a memorandum, Rosales said he received word from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas his "Pondo ng Pinoy" project may cause a shortage of 25-centavo coins.

"I was told by somebody from Bangko Sentral that the Pondo ng Pinoy project was doing a disservice to the communities because parish priests were keeping the coins longer than necessary," he said in his memorandum, excerpts of which were posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website.

Rosales drew up the "Pondo ng Pinoy" project to collect 25-centavo coins from the faithful to give to charity, on the premise that small amounts can pile up to become big contributions.

But he said parish priests keeping the coins longer may lead to a shortage of the 25-centavo coins.

"We wish to remind parish priests not to hoard the coins in their parish offices or rectories but to remit them as soon as possible to the Pondo ng Pinoy office," he said.

In his circular, Rosales also authorized his priests to collect the "Pondo ng Pinoy" bottles in establishments that are under their jurisdiction.

"Our attention has been called to the fact that there are so many bottles of 'Pondo ng Pinoy' in various establishments, such as offices, schools, malls, and other institutions," he said.

The CBCP said that from July 2004 to December 2007, the fund has reached over P161 million. - GMANews.TV

BSP Issued Advisory Against Illegal Used Of Coins

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) requests the support of the public in reporting persons who are involved in defacing/mutilating or smuggling Philippine coins. Both are criminal acts punishable by law under Presidential Decree 247 and BSP Circular 98, Series of 1995 in relation to Section 2530 (f) of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, as amended.

The BSP also warns the public against persons claiming that the central bank “buys” certain coin denominations higher than their face value. There is no truth to this information.

The BSP is the sole issuer of currency in the Philippines. It mints and circulates coins in accordance with its mandate to supply the currency requirements of the banking system and sustain economic growth. It determines the different denominations of our money, both banknotes and coins, and the public should accept them at face value, no more, no less.

Bullion Report: Gold Parties Instead Of Tupperware Parties

On a quiet, tree-lined street in this upscale Chicago suburb, a gaggle of women noshed and drank wine as they waited their turn to have their once-fashionable gold rope chains and unmatched earrings scrutinized under a magnification loupe, poked at by a gold tester and even put through an acid test.

Say good-bye to Tupperware and hello to gold.

This was a gold party, and some of the women walked away with wads of cash in exchange for what they considered junk, unlike other neighborhood parties where they write out checks for plastic salad spinners or skincare and cosmetics.
Debbie Johnson was handed $1,600 after she turned in broken gold chains, earrings without pairs and the wedding bands from a marriage gone sour more than two decades ago.
"I had a baggie in my drawer that I've been throwing broken and old things into for 20 years," she said. "I had a good idea of what it was all worth."

Kathy Goro gave up a lovely gold necklace her husband gave her when they were dating more than 25 years ago, plus a bracelet and another chain from the 1980s. Her take: $230. Though she still liked the necklace and valued it sentimentally, she never wore it because it pinched the tiny hairs on the back of her neck.

"It's old stuff. I don't want to wear it," she said. "It's over, so let's get rid of it. They gave me a pretty penny for it. I'm happy."

Lots of pretty pennies and big bucks have made women - and men - across the U.S. happy in recent months as they gave up their gold pieces amid record-breaking prices for the commodity.
Though gold prices have slumped from their peak at the $1,000 level last spring to the still-healthy $700s in recent weeks, the parties continue to gain in popularity.

"People love the idea of coming to a party and making money," said Janine Cosek, a local representative for The Gold Refinery.

Cosek works in sales for a semiconductor maker during the day and spends nights and weekends picking through gold relics at homes in Chicago's northwest suburbs. In the two months since she has worked for The Gold Refinery, she has been to more than 30 parties.

She gets a commission on each party's total take, which she said averages about $5,000. So, too, does the party's host. For opening her Park Ridge home to her friends and serving them wine and appetizers, Karen Anderson was paid $640. That broke down to 10% of the total amount paid out that night plus a $50 bonus because more than 10 women sold their jewelry. And if women at her party book their own parties, Anderson gets 5% of what's paid out at those parties.
"It went very well," Anderson said, as the party ended. "I'm most pleased with the profit for myself."

Gold parties first caught fire earlier last year in Michigan, whose residents were among the first to feel the pangs of a sinking economy and were trading in gold to pay the bills. Many consider these the modern-day Tupperware party, a kind of twisted irony on the heels of a recession.

"This has become a new craze because there's limited disposable income out there," said Matt Mauro, general manager for Michigan-based The Gold Refinery. His company relies on word-of-mouth as well as its Web site,, for marketing, though there are few tools more powerful than the parties themselves.

"There are a lot of folks who say they never realized that the gold they've been ignoring for the last 15 years was worth this much," he said.

Don't rush in

But consumers should be wary before their first party. Gold is measured in pennyweights in the U.S. There are about 20 pennyweights to an ounce of gold. Mauro, like most brokers, bases his payouts on where gold prices are and where he thinks they're headed. Though the numbers change daily, he uses a proprietary method that averages out the current prices with his best guesses of the future. For her part, Cosek merely punches in Mauro's calculation.

But not all gold is equal. It is measured on a 24-karat system in which 24k is pure gold while 18k is 18 parts gold and six parts other metals, making it 85% pure gold. That's confusing to some people who believe that if they had an ounce of 14k gold it would be worth the going market price of gold.

That's the risky part -- both for brokers and those selling their gold. At Anderson's party, for example, no one ever asked how much they were getting per ounce or to have the math explained. If Mauro had been a shyster broker, they could have been cheated out of money.

On the other hand, Mauro is relying on Cosek, who is doing this in her spare time, to determine the weight and verity of the gold. What's more, he's giving out stacks of cold, hard cash in a highly volatile market. Gold peaked at over $1,000 an ounce in March and hovered at such lofty levels for much of the summer. On Thursday, gold prices for December contracts closed at $738.50.

Mauro's cushion is the volume of gold his company sends to refineries coupled with the low overhead. As a result, he's likely to pay more per ounce than a local jeweler might. "We've got it down to a good business science," he said. "But we need to be careful if we're paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a piece of gold that it is real gold and that the price of gold won't drop dramatically."

Like many brokers, Mauro has all the gold he's purchased melted at a refinery and then sells it in a process that puts the gold back in circulation.

Consumers interested in having parties should check with their state attorney's office to be sure licenses aren't required. The Better Business Bureau, which has been accumulating stacks of complaints about gold brokers the past year, offers these tips to those wanting to sell their gold for cash:
  • Because the price of gold fluctuates, take a piece to several well-established jewelry stores for quotes and/or appraisals.
  • Understand the karat and weight of your gold. It is illegal for jewelry in the U.S. to be labeled "gold" if it is less than 10k.
  • Understand the scales and be sure that the dealer is weighing and paying the gold by the same standard. Be alert that a dealer does not measure the gold by pennyweight and then pay by the gram, which is commonly used in Europe. That would mean the dealer is paying the consumer less for more weight of gold.
  • Remember that everyone's making money on this. As a result, a piece appraised at a certain value is worth just a portion of that because the purchaser has to make a profit margin on the transaction.
  • Keep all transactions in the open and never agree to a buyer who wants to take the jewelry or coins somewhere else or to a back room.
  • Check out any companies, including online companies, with the BBB, and use a search engine to find out what other consumers are saying about their experiences with the companies. - Marketwatch

Harvard's Ferguson Praises `Ascent of Money' as Markets Plunge

Niall Ferguson, a canny chronicler of financial history, knows a thing or two about market timing.

Sellers have sliced more than $10 trillion off global stock- market value this month, the U.S. is mired in its worst housing crisis since the Great Depression, and hedgehog Andrew Lahde has shut his fund, telling investors, ``Goodbye and good luck.''

So what does Ferguson do? He publishes ``The Ascent of Money,'' an upbeat account of finance from Mesopotamia to McMansion. His thesis: ``Money is the root of most progress.''

After that windup, you might expect me to trash his book. Alas, I can't.

Ferguson, a Scotsman who teaches at Harvard, is the bestselling author of books including ``The House of Rothschild'' and ``The War of the World.'' His new work, like the last three, was conceived as a TV series as well as book. His reputation is riding so high that someone would short him if he were a stock, as Adam Smith biographer James Buchan recently wrote.

``The ascent of money has been essential to the ascent of man,'' Ferguson writes. ``Far from being the work of mere leeches intent on sucking the life's blood out of indebted families,'' he says, ``financial innovation has been an indispensable factor in man's advance from wretched subsistence to the giddy heights of material prosperity that so many people know today.''

Ferguson mercifully lifts the reader above today's doom and gloom with this smart reminder of how mankind has benefited from the rise of bankers, credit and markets. The book works as either a primer or a refresher course, though a serious student of financial history may learn little from these pages.

Clay Tablets

Cantering off in swift, declarative prose, Ferguson traces the rise of money from ancient clay tablets and Roman coins up through the Medici's foreign-exchange dealings; the development of banks; the Dutch formation of a joint-stock, limited liability corporation, the United East India Company; and the resulting creation of the Amsterdam stock market, where bulls were already battling bears in the early 17th century.

As befits a storyteller with a TV deal, Ferguson whips up a good old-fashioned narrative history, complete with heroes and villains, visionaries and scoundrels. Nathan Rothschild is seen shipping gold coins to the Duke of Wellington's army during the Napoleonic Wars. Two hard-drinking Scottish Presbyterian ministers Robert Wallace and Alexander Webster set up what Ferguson calls the first true insurance fund in 1744.

Flawed financial alchemist John Law of Edinburgh introduced 18th-century Paris to the stock-market bubble. We even glimpse a grinning Alan Greenspan accepting the Enron Prize for Distinguished Public Service from Ken Lay just weeks before Enron Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2001.

British `Narco-State'

The tales, though familiar, are told with brevity and irreverence: The opium-trading British Empire was ``history's most successful narco-state.'' Long-Term Capital Management LP became ``Short-Term Capital Mismanagement.''

Ferguson delights, too, in challenging conventional interpretations of events. The Rothschilds, he argues, made their fortune in spite of the Battle of Waterloo, not because of it. The real turning point in the American Civil War, he argues, came when Union forces captured New Orleans in April 1862, preventing investors in Confederacy cotton bonds from taking possession of the cotton underpinning the securities.

Each chapter teases out a topical thread -- be it real estate or risk -- and toggles ahead in time to show how past trends created present realities. A chapter on banking lands in Bankruptcy Court in Memphis, Tennessee. A discussion of bonds closes with a Congressional Budget Office forecast that the U.S. federal debt will balloon to more than $12 trillion by 2017.

Fittest Survive

Like many economists these days, Ferguson sees finance through the filter of evolution: Each shock to the system results in casualties, as the weakest institutions expire.

``Financial history is essentially the result of institutional mutation and natural selection,'' he writes.

Ferguson closes on a somewhat defensive note. While writing the book, he was often asked if he had selected the wrong title, he says. He stands by the name.

``There have been great reverses, contractions and dyings, to be sure,'' he writes. ``But not even the worst has set us permanently back. Though the line of financial history has a saw- tooth quality, its trajectory is unquestionably upwards.''

``The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World'' is from Penguin Press in the U.S., Allen Lane in the U.K. (442 pages, $29.95, 25 pounds).


Banknote Errors Part 2: Mismatched, Miscut, and Asterisk in One!

An Error 5 Pesos Ang Bagong Lipunan Series (Marcos - Laya signed)

This site has featured some of the best Philippine banknote errors in the past few months. Due to the ongoing economic crisis in the United States, some local dealers have decided to unload their collections to raise cash. In the past few months, we have otherwise seen some of the best error notes and rarities that have came out and might be the first time that the public has been made aware of existed.

Collecting error notes is much tougher than coins, since error notes are rarer and harder to find in best condition. One of the best error notes that have been acquired recently through this site is from the Marcos Ang Bagong Lipunan (New Society Series). Such error note is truly phenomenal because of the sequence of errors and the extremely rare combination of probabilities that occurred.

Foremost, the note that is a combinations of letter and asterisks prefixes, is extremely rare and has been unique only with the Marcos Ang Bagong Lipunan series. Second, the note was miscut, which resulted to a mismatched serial number. Thus, making it as one of the best error note that have ever appeared recently.

Econonomic Report: OFW Remittance up by 17.2 %

Remittances of overseas Filipinos coursed through banks continued to be above the billion-dollar mark, at US$1.3 billion in August 2008. As a result, year-to-date remittances totaled nearly US$11 billion (at US$10.9 billion). The remittance level for the first eight months was 17.2 percent higher compared to the level recorded in the same period a year ago. Remittances in August 2008, however, grew at a slower pace of 10.4 percent compared to previous months.

While the ongoing global economic slowdown could put some dent on the growth of remittances, particularly from those advanced countries that would be most affected by the strains in the global financial markets, Officer-in-Charge Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. observed that remittances will continue to provide strong support to the economy for a number of reasons. First, demand for Filipino workers overseas has been on an uptrend. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that, for the first eight months of 2008, the number of Filipinos deployed abroad reached 884,907, 26.4 percent higher than the level a year ago (699,937). Newly-hired Filipinos were mostly deployed to the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait) and Asia (Taiwan and Hong Kong). The ongoing conduct of talks with potential foreign employers combined with the increasing deployment of highly-skilled, therefore higher-paid Filipino workers (such as engineers, medical practitioners, production-related workers, hotel staff) continued to buoy the demand for Filipino manpower and the level of remittances.

Second, Filipino workers overseas and their families have gained greater access to enhanced banking services provided by local banks and their foreign counterparts. The increased access to formal channels by overseas Filipinos has been made possible by the establishment of more remittance centers and tie-ups abroad by local banks, OIC Espenilla added.

For the period January-August, remittances came largely from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, U.K., Italy, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. - BSP Media Release

Philippine Bullion Report: Demand in Gold and Silver Coins up

The "doom and gloom" predictions of many respected economic analysts caused a surge in demand for bullion coins. Even though the precious metal futures show that the figure is fluctuating. Some mints have already suspended selling their inventories, including the bullion coins from the United States.

Basically, bullion coins have been proven effective as a street smart safe haven investment against inflation. The collapse of some of the bright economies around the globe triggered a panic buying that some people have already diverted their cash to solid investments such as bullion coins.

Meanwhile in Europe, retirees instead of waiting for their 401K to vanish into thin air due to massive institutional bankruptcies have decided to pull away their savings from the bank and bought themselves either gold or silver bullion.

Local dealers have reported the sudden jump of coin buyers particularly, people who are first time buyers of coins. Old United States-Philippine or USPI coins, pre-1944 coins and commemorative bullion coins are the best sellers of the month.

In the United States, stories of the coming economic collapse and the new currency called the Amero have flooded the internet. Amero is the new currency secretly setup to replace the American dollar, according to some conspiracy theorist.

Here is one spoof, narrating the changes taking place in the United States Financial system.

Gold Glitters for Small-scale Miners

The glitter of gold is driving Benguet’s small-scale miners into the bowels of the earth. And as long as the rocks glow with ore, the miners will be there, working on the dark, dank and dangerous tunnels, with their chisels and hammers.

Not even the recent death of six miners, who were trapped along with 10 others inside an abandoned tunnel in Itogon town, will slow down the miners.

It is their lifeblood, according to officials of the Benguet Federation of Small-Scale Miners (BFSSM), who say that the province now has more than 20,000 small-scale miners spread in tunnels in eight of 13 towns – Itogon, Tuba, Mankayan, Tublay, Kabayan, Bokod, Atok and Bakun.

But most of them are not registered with the Provincial Mining Regulatory Board, which is required under the People’s Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7076).

That’s why, says Itogon Mayor Mario Godio, the town could not formally push gold production as its “One Town One Product” with the Department of Trade and Industry since the program needed the registration of product participants.

“The miners feel that the law is a burden to them,” Godio says.

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Unexplainable Error, Explained Part 2: Triple Date & Triple Denomination

1, 5, and 10 centavos (Triple Denomination & Triple Dated)

I already featured a unique 10 centavos ERROR in a previous article on this site. It’s a combination of impossible sequence of error that a simple explanation cannot be satisfied by the coin itself. On this issue, the same kind of sequence of errors again appeared in the 5-centavos denomination. It appears that the coin was first struck in 1966 and then the following year of 1967. Surprisingly, the coin was struck using only both reverses, the first one came from the regular issue from the last REPUBLIC coin dating 1966, and the second one from the 1967 of the first PILIPINO series.

Yet the oddities doesn’t stop there, it appears that the 1966 reverse came from a 10 centavo denomination considering the diameter of the legend, while the second reverse from the 1967 came from the regular 5-centavo issue considering otherwise the diameter of the legend which is almost the same in proportion with the 10 centavo denomination from the REPUBLIC issue. Then, there is the planchet to add further confusion which is by measurement seem small for the two dies simply because it was from a 1 centavo denomination host coin therefore, making the coin a triple denomination (10 centavos, 5 centavos, and 1 centavo), a mule where both reverses came from two different values (10 centavos and 5 centavos), two tailed since both are made-up of two reverses, multiple struck, off-planchet since the normal planchet for the 10 centavos is copper-nickel while brass for the 5-centavos, off-center, and the dies rotated.

But by far, only half of the scrutiny was reached since the coin again was struck for the third time in 1983 as the first issue for the FLORA AND FAUNA series was inaugurated. So, it only means that the coin is otherwise triple dated (1966, 1967, and 1983). Amazingly, those dates are historical since it was either the beginning of change or the end of an era for a coin design, perspective, and regime thereby making this coin by far the only documented triple denomination coin and triple dated coin in the history of Philippine numismatic and possibly in the world of numismatic itself.

Philippine Numismatics and Antiquarian Society Part 1: The Birth of PNAS

The Philippine Numismatic and Antiquarian Society Seal

The PNAS was founded 80 years ago by Dr. Jose P. Bantug and Dr. Gilbert S. Perez. Their primary aim was to help preserve the vestiges of our rich cultural heritage and thereby show the world that the Filipinos had an indigenous culture of their own long before the coming of the Spaniards.

At the inception of PNAS, it had 18 charter members, mostly Filipinos, one Chinese, and three Americans. One member was a woman. The society met religiously every month until December 1941, when the 2nd world War broke out. Dr. Bantug had been at the helm of the organizations for the first eleven years, after which he was made an honorary member.

During the war years, Judge Simeon Garcia Roxas was elected president. Despite the turmoil during the Japanese occupation, the society continued meeting, although sporadically. When liberation came, the PNAS resumed its activities, and held meetings with renewed vigor. But continued to be a small exclusive club until 1967.

Former Senator Manuel Manahan, who was then PNAS vice-president automatically, became the president upon the death of the incumbent president, Jesus M. Cacho in 1967. Cacho’s achievement was the incorporation of the society with the following objectives:

To promote the science of numismatics and antiquary through the study and collection of coins and antiques;

To encourage the preservation of existing historical monuments and tablets in different parts of the country;

To urge government and private corporations to commemorate transcendent and memorable events in their history by issuing suitable medals, plaques or tablets;

To hold exhibitions and contest for dissemination of the knowledge of, and for awakening the interest in, numismatic and history;

To subscribe to papers, journals and publications dealings with the subjects of interest of the Society;

To build a special library on numismatics, antiquaries and Philippine history; and

To cultivate fraternal relationships among the members and other collectors.

Eighty years ago, on March 16, 1929, to be exact, The Philippine Numismatic Society was born. The idea to form it came when Dr. Gilbert S. perez, then Director of Vocational Education, visited Dr. Jose P. Bantug in his office one day. Dr. Bantug asked Dr. Perez what he thought of the idea of forming a group of collectors and antiquaries. Both of them, even then, had quite a collection of coins, artifacts, medals and stamps. Dr. Bantug had a passion for collecting coins, artifacts, medals and stamps. He also had a passion for collecting pieces of colonial art. During their conversation, they mentioned a few other friends whose interests were similar to theirs. (To be continued)