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

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.

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.

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.

Austria witnesses New Gold Rush

Austrian Philharmonic Gold Coins

The financial crisis is prompting people to look for safer forms of investment than stocks and shares.

The interest in gold coins is so great that many of the world's major mints are struggling to keep up with demand, including the Austrian Mint, which produces the Vienna Philharmonic - one of the best-selling bullion coins worldwide.

Sales of Vienna Philharmonic gold coins have gone up by more than 230% since last year.

Kerry Tattersall, the director of marketing at the mint, says production has gone into overdrive.

"We are running at present something like three shifts on all of the machines, on the presses, producing both gold and the silver bullion coins.

"We've actually got delays in delivering orders in silver. With gold, we are just about keeping pace, but it is a bit of a struggle."

In September alone, the mint sold 100,000 ounces in gold coins - in normal times it would take three to four months to sell that much.

Mr Tattersall says people are looking for security.

"We are seeing a lot of panic buying at the moment. People are losing confidence in the economy - whether that is justified or unjustified is a matter of opinion. But we are seeing a lot of people looking for a safe haven."

King's ransom

In the mint, chunks of gold are melted down in a fiery furnace. Then a stream of molten metal is formed into a thin strip of gold, out of which the blank coins are cut. Later the blanks are struck with the design of violins and musical instruments.

The Austrian mint, in the heart of Vienna, was founded more than 800 years ago to make coins out of the silver ransom paid for King Richard the Lionheart, who was taken prisoner in Austria on his way home from the Crusades.

It is a sign of the importance people have attached to precious metals over the centuries.

But there is no such thing as a completely safe investment.

Gold, like all commodities, is vulnerable to fluctuations in price.

Prices tumbled in 1999 when Gordon Brown announced a decision to sell off some of the Bank of England's gold reserves.

Robert Stoeffele, an analyst at Austria's Erste Bank, says until recently there was less interest in gold as an investment.

"We forgot the appeal of gold in the last 28 years because we had a bear market in gold. But within the last few years we have seen a huge fundamental bull market for gold.

"Gold is like a thermometer for the financial markets. I'd say we've got fever," he said.

Life savings

But rising demand for gold is not just a phenomenon of global finance.

Ordinary Austrians, shocked by the precipitous falls in their own stock market - which was suspended this week for the first time ever - are also looking for a more solid store of wealth.

The shop at the Austrian Mint usually specialises in selling collectors' coins. But these days, a number of customers are buying bullion there - in bulk.

I saw one middle-aged couple handing over thousands of euros in cash, in exchange for dozens of 1oz Vienna Philharmonic gold coins.

A little later, a Viennese pensioner took a thick wad of 500-euro notes out of her handbag, and gave it to the sales assistant. He sold her a large gold bar, which looked as though it weighed a kilo.

"I have taken one piece of gold," she told me.

"You see, I am old, and I have earned money all my life and now I have the money in the bank and I am afraid of the financial situation, that it will disappear. Gold is safe, I think."

-Courtesy of BBC UK

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.

Read Full Story...

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.

The 1910 S Ten Centavos: Truth or Dare!

The 1910 San Francisco Mint Ten Centavos

It had been more than two decades since the 1910 San Francisco Mint Ten Centavos was published that if somebody would have found it, the collector would have paid a great sum to have the fabled coin. The 1910 S is one of the famous numismatic pieces that had a very colorful background. Almost a century and there is still no confirmed and graded specimen had ever surfaced except for those 1918 S that were with altered dates to look like the 1910 S. Luckily, I was able to meet the person who claimed that he possesses the most intriguing coin in Philippine numismatic history. He don’t want to tell his name for a valid reason since nowadays that fakery and counterfeiting are so rampant that he wanted to protect his name and integrity, and the same with that of his prize possession.

I otherwise is in no position to claim that this is the genuine article except to show to you the picture of the coin since it had never undergone professional grading and I myself was not able to hold the piece that long for further scrutiny. Anyway, the story seems to be interesting enough for me to take time and have the owner interviewed.

According to historical record, only two pieces of the coin were produced and one of the two specimens was acquired by the National Museum and had it displayed until the World War II erupted. The National Museum as we know was destroyed by Japanese air raids during the war. Together with that, a great lost of Philippine historical records and artifacts went missing as massive looting and fires destroyed much of the collections among them to name a few were the skeletal remains of Andres Bonifaco and the 1910 S Ten Centavos.

There were no reports of its existence nor any could claim that the 1910 S Ten Centavos did ever exist except with this account. Not until a famous newspaper advertisement decades ago that the numismatic world became aware of its existence. However, after the story surfaced other craftsmen and forgers started producing faked or altered date 1918 S Ten Centavos to make money with the treasure hunt. Thus, a number of collectors and dealers began to doubt if there really is a 1910 S Ten Centavos or it is just one of the fairy tale of the numismatic world.

I asked my subject how did he acquire the piece. He explained to me that he was not aware that he has the coin in his collection since it came from a bulk of coins he bought from a sidewalk vendor during his visit in the Northern part of the Philippines. He was not otherwise aware that that particular coin exists since he has no reference, catalogues, nor much knowledge of coin mintage since he is not that serious into coin collecting.

When he joined the Philippine Numismatic and Antiquarian Society (PNAS), a local numismatic club then he learned that the coin that he now owns is that rare. Since he is also afraid to show the coin in public because of the counterfeit phobia he decided to hide the coin and just enjoyed it in privacy. Otherwise, he wants it be professionally graded first before he could brag that he owns the fabled coin in Philippine Numismatic history.

The owner wishes anonymity but he granted us to have the coin’s picture. You’ll be the judge of course, truth or dare!

The Flora and Fauna Patterns, Errors, and Trial Strikes Part 2

1994 Fifty Centavos (Small Flora And Fauna) Struck In Bronze

Here is another fifty centavos of the same denomination which just like its bigger version is also being suspected as a trial piece or a pattern since there were no bronze planchets produced for Philippine coins during that time. The governments intention of reducing the production or minting cost of coins and at the same time reduced the metal content of coins resulted to the smaller version of the Flora and Fauna series. The designs were similar only that the newer twenty-five centavos and fifty centavos have reeded edges and of course the color of the fifty centavos planchets were the same with that of the twenty-five centavos. This specimen is also in an uncirculated condition and even has luster. There were no other reported specimen that came out in the market except this one and this is again another exciting discovery in the world of Philippine numismatic.

Collecting Coin is Fun?

When I started out collecting coins, most people thought that I had a weird hobby. Since, I always spent a portion of my allowance on coins, my parents would even think that I was wasting my time and coin collecting was detrimental. I was aware that I was the only one even in my class who has such passion for coins but i really don't know what made me kept happy whenever I add a piece of penny or a couple of change found from a "balikbayan" neighbors "pasalubong" to my collection. I felt excited whenever I visit a local coin shop or an antique shop to glance at some of the displays and always told myself that I would buy one in the future after i had asked the owner how much the price of that piece would be.

I stopped collecting coins for a while when I reached college. The schedule was hectic and I found it very hard to mingle with teens of my age whenever I entered coin collecting as an interesting subject. I felt that I was depriving myself during those years especially i that cannot barge from friends conversation when the topic of our "jam" was what we do like doing most as a past time.

I was already a career person when I again encountered coin collecting. Despite the traumatic experience I had during that second introduction since I bought fake coins for a hefty sum of money. I realized that still, coin collecting is fun for me. I know it is better to say that I should have stayed away from it but I thought it was part of educating myself and that experience was a preparation for me to become a professional numismatist and a collector.

Now, whenever I recall my past. I had no doubts that I made the right choice. Coin collecting is fun and will always be fun and that I would be more than willing to share that feelings with others as long as I could.