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

Peso seen to decline futher this week

The peso is seen to be sliding further to the dollar as the inauguration of the newly elected president Barack Obama draws near.

Analysts see the peso's downward trend this week despite the declaration of a unilateral ceasefire of the Israeli forces on its offensive on Hamas that should be favorable to our workers working in the region.

"[Our bias is still towards] a weaker peso," a trader said.

Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have not been enough to sustain the peso’s rise, he added.

"Due to the financial crisis, many OFWs are being threaten by massive layoffs, meaning there will be less dollar remittances in the succeeding months," he added.
The peso hit an intraday high of P47.09 and a low of P47.28 before ending at P47.20 last Friday.

Constantino B. Bombais, first vice-president and treasurer of the Philippine Business Bank, expects the peso to trade between P47.20 and P47.50 to the dollar this week.

He added that the inauguration of US president-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 20 would impact Asian currencies.

"I think the inauguration of Barack Obama will have an effect on all Asian currencies, but that will come in later," Mr. Bombais said.

The newly elected president, he said, is expected to work on measures to stimulate the US economy.

"I think the US will keep the dollar’s strength intact and push it stronger. For the Philippines, that would mean a weaker peso," Mr. Bombais explained.

However, Philippine based exporters favor the current trend as they compensate from their setbacks from the low orders they received last season. Mostly affected were craft and furniture makers who have already felt the effect of the current global financial crisis.

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!

Philippine Bullion Report: Local Silver & Gold price stagnant despite moves

The US dollar weakened against other major currencies in European trading Thursday. Gold rose.

The euro traded at $1.3750, up from $1.3614 late Wednesday in New York.

Other dollar rates:

—91.07 Japanese yen, down from 93.02

—1.1091 Swiss francs, up from 1.1026

—1.1848 Canadian dollars, down from 1.1966

The British pound was quoted at $1.5209, up from $1.5132

Gold traded in London at $855.75 per troy ounce, up from $848.50 late Wednesday

Meanwhile, Gold is priced by street buyers between P850 to P950 per gram for 18K at the local black market and P1050 to P1150 per gram for the 22K. Silver on the hand is P150 to P220 per 1 peso (1907 to 1910 United States-Philippines) of 75%silver alloy, most likely a single peso at P150 while the a combination of several denominations to a peso is traded for P220.

Commonly, silver is at a level of P11 per gram at the local bullion market, way down from its previous all time high of P17 per gram last March.

Special Economic Report: 4 Rural Banks in Pampanga went on holiday 2 days before New Year

Sta. Rita Rural Bank went on Holiday

The public has not yet fully recovered from the bank closures earlier this month, another wave of another bank closures happened two days before the News Year begins. Just this December alone, 10 banks have been seized by the Philippine Deposit And Insurance Corporation (PDIC), 8 which are owned by the Legacy Group who is also the owner of the Legacy Plans that ceased operation in the middle of this month.

All of the rural bank branches that recently went on holiday are located in Pampanga. As the Global Financial Crisis unfolds in the coming year, many analyst foresee that the worst is yet to come to the banking and financial industry.

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!"

Gold Mining battle of Vizcaya gets backing

Oceanagold Corp. Dipidio Mine

International and local environmentalists and local residents on Tuesday urged the provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya to take a stronger stance and pass a resolution declaring a moratorium on large-scale mining in the province.

Delegates of the International Solidarity Mission, which conducted a fact-finding mission in Kasibu town where New Zealand firm OceanaGold Corp. has mining interests, said it was already proven that mining does not bring economic benefits to the community and instead brings hardship and disunity among the tribes.

The group also recommended to assess the damage the mining activities have incurred to the communities and to the local environment as the basis for eventual rehabilitation of the area and compensation to the affected communities where OceanaGold is accountable for.

OceanaGold recently announced that it was suspending its mining operations in Dipidio, Kasibu due to financial difficulties.

The Mission has also recommended to the affected communities to develop a more concrete plan to adopt a policy geared toward genuine development through a strong sustainable agricultural base, adding that there should be a change in policy of the national government with the scrapping of Mining Act of 1995 and its mining revitalization program that would include complete stoppage of Didipio Gold-Copper Mining Project of OceanaGold.

On December 7-8, the ISM team visited the targeted expansion areas of Didipio mining project, which are barangay Alimit and Malabing, of the Municipality of Kasibu. The team found out that the destruction of major agricultural and forest lands through the mine expansion would have grave economic and environmental consequences, not only to the said communities but to the whole province as well.

"The IP communities in Brgy. Alimit and Malabing are at risk of experiencing the same fate as those communities where multi-national mining corporations were allowed to enter. They are in danger of losing the resources most precious to us IPs, which is our land and right to self- determination," said Himpad Mangumalas, leader of national IP organization, Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamayan sa Pilipinas.

Himpad added that, "It is very disheartening to find how the resources and the very rights we have been fighting for since time immemorial are easily given to foreign companies. One instance is how OceanaGold was permitted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to cut 17,000 trees and to destroy critical watershed areas. IPs, on the other hand, are deprived of our claim to the land and resources that have so long been with us."

The ISM was joined also by local participants who shared their own struggle in their own communities, particularly those who have experienced mining firsthand in neighboring towns Didipio and Runruno, and in the province of Apayao.

The dialogue coincided with the opening of the Lower Magat Eco-Tourism Park(LMETP), by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and is to be attended by top government officials.

"It is ironic how President Arroyo claims to be a champion of the environment and the people, as illustrated by her eco-tourism park and yet her national and economic policies show otherwise. Even though the local communities are opposed to mining and have exhausted means to stop the mining in the area, Arroyo with her agencies still push for the liberalization of mining in the country," said Clemente Bautista Jr., national coordinator of progressive environmental groups Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment. - GMANews.TV