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

The 1894 One Centavo of Alfonso XIII

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

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

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

1762 One Real with F70 counterstamp: A Unique Specimen Of Counterstamped Minor Coins

Counterstamped minor coin is one of the hardest to acquire in the hobby of collecting counterstamp coins.  Dr. Pablo De Jesus and Dr. Fortirch have listed counterstamped minor coins among the top variety of counterstamp coins that are hard to come by in the market.  Among the four (4) denominations other than 8 reales, only three (3) namely: four (4) reales, two (2) reales, and one (1) real counterstamped coins have appeared in the market since the collecting began in the early days of the 20th century in the Philippines.  Among them, only the four (4) and two (2) reales have been documented to bear both King Ferdinand VII and Queen Isabela II mark while only specimen bearing the counterstamp of Queen isabela II appeared in the one (1) real coin.  No half (1/2) real coin was known to exist bearing either of the two reigns.

Among the counterstamped one real coins, none were struck on coins dating the 1700 period and those that were reported to surface only bear the reign mark of Queen Isabela II.  Very rare are the "dos mondos" or the legendary two pillar coins having marks of either of the two reign in any denominations.  Seeing a one real "dos mondos" bearing the mark of King Ferdinand VII is really magnificent and breathtaking because this is truly another great discovery in the realm of Philippine numismatic.  The specimen bears the 5-4-1 pearl and  minted in Mexico.    

Holy Week Special: The Sacred Money Part II

Holy week or “Mahal na Araw” as we call it, is a very special occasion among Filipino Christians as we recall and dramatize the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Among the traditions that we inherited from the Spaniards is the “pabasa” as a unique practice among the local Christians where the “Passion of Christ” is sang rather than read for the whole day within a week. Famous it is that even our colonizer admires such practice.

This is also a special occasion among the practitioners of witchcraft, faith healing, and holders of talisman as they re-energized their powers and learn more from their peers thru gatherings or conventions that are especially held every Good Friday of the Lenten season. As a numismatist and historian, talisman or anting-anting amulet never fails to amaze me because of its uniqueness and the mystery behind.

The Sacred Money or Agimat is a very unique aspect of numismatic that can only be found in the Philippines. Mostly either made or casted in bronze and brass, and rarely in silver or other precious metals, these amulets mostly appeared during the period of revolution from Spain and Philippine-American War.

Among the amulets, the silver amulets and those made with other precious metals baffle historians and numismatic researchers alike because it appeared from nowhere and neither without recognizable purpose except that it depicts face value in peso. Studying historical records, the denomination was first introduced in the Philippines during the later reign of Queen Isabela II of Spain and it was first introduced in the form of Gold. The “Un Peso” denomination became acceptable in silver as Spain slid in political and economic turmoil during the reign of Alfonso XIII when the one year type “Un Peso” dated 1897 reached the Philippines during the last years of Spain in the colony. Therefore, we know for a fact that these amulets as most historians agree were first struck during that same period.

Some numismatists and local coin dealers suspect that most of these amulets were manufactured in the Southern Tagalog region particularly in Batangas were there were many silver smiths during that period and some even argue that it was minted by several Masonic organizations to commemorate or celebrate an important event. But why most of these bear the dates of 1001, 1770, and 1771?

The date 1001 is particularly significant with the Moslems and not with the Christians particularly made famous by the story “The Arabian Nights”. Meanwhile, the date 1771 was not technically the last minting of the famous coinage “dos mondos” and in relation to the country’s history does not connect to any memorable event of the same year.

In mathematical analysis, 1001 is the first and equal symmetrical number with equal number “1” and “0”. We can even see a distinctive "personality" in these various kinds of number behavior complementing three personality groupings.

The vertical type (based on unconscious specialisation of personality) complements the difference (i.e. of given number and reverse) which is always divisible by 9 (i.e. in base 10).

The horizontal type (based on conscious specialization of personality) complements the sum (i.e. of given number and reverse with even total of digits) which is always divisible by 11.

The diagonal type (based on both conscious and unconscious specialization of personality) complements the difference (i.e. of given number and odd total of digits) which is always divisible by 99.

That will point us to the Holy Family or Sagrada Familia which is always placed either on the reverse of the 1001 or above it. The 1001 therefore is not a date but a representation of psychological and personality perfection.

There are also numerous symbols included in the medal that are foreign in origin like the crossed keys which is the symbol of the Vatican, the Sun’s face which can be found on the coinage of South and Central America like the Rio Plata of Colombia, the crossed-wing Eagle with a snake which is from Mexico, and the Cap and Rays which is also from the same region.

New findings also suggest that these medals / coins were not defaced 8 reales or USPI peso but made and struck out of several distinct dies as suggested by their weights and dimensions. Most of them weighs between 30 to almost 40 grams with measurement ranging from 35 to 42 millimeter making me suspicious otherwise that these amulets were struck using not only of silver but a combination of gold and silver that could have made it heavier than coins of the same size. (to be continued)

Stack’s Bowers Galleries 2011 Baltimore Auction Features 5,100+ US Coin, Currency and Exonumia Lots

Stack’s Bowers Galleries will conduct the official auction of the March 2011 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo. The premiere event conducted under the Stack’s Bowers Galleries banner by the newly merged Stack’s and Bowers and Merena Auctions, the March 2011 Baltimore Auction continues the tradition and success of America’s most prestigious numismatic auctioneers.

1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50 Octagonal and Round

The 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50 Octagonal, MS-64 (PCGS) and 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50 Round, MS-63 (PCGS) are two of many highlights in Stack's Bowers Galleries 2011 Baltimore Auction which features more than 5,100 US coin, currency and exonumia lots

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries March 2011 Baltimore Auction will feature 7,690 total lots, including nearly 4,250 lots of U.S. coins and exonumia and an additional 850+ lots of U.S. currency.

Lot viewing will be conducted by appointment at the firm’s Irvine, California, headquarters March 8-15, at the firm’s New York office March 21-23, and onsite at the Baltimore Convention Center March 28-April 1. The auction will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center beginning Tuesday, March 29, concluding Friday, April 1, and will present four U.S. coin sessions, one U.S. currency session, and three foreign coin and paper money sessions.

According to Stack’s Bowers Galleries president Chris Napolitano:

"Our official auction of the March 2011 Baltimore Expo will present a diverse and exciting array of U.S. coins, currency and exonumia. From historic Betts Medals, to premium-quality ‘collector coins’ in old PCGS and NGC holders, to world-renowned rarities such as early United States Mint proof coinage and matte proof gold, our March Baltimore Auction offers something for everyone."

Anchoring the March 2011 Baltimore Auction are several fresh consignments featuring coins that have been off the market for many years, in some cases decades. The Dr. Albert R. Frederick, Jr. Collection was formed over a period of many years by a New England collector working closely with Q. David Bowers and Ray Merena, and it features a wide variety of classic United States coins.

The Glenwick Family Collection is also fresh to market and features newly certified classic gold coins, silver and gold Commemoratives and other issues. Certified by PCGS and NGC in "old holders," The Denny Kemp Collection represents a cherrypicker’s dream with many examples conservatively graded by current market standards. The quality and appeal of the Denny Kemp Collection is such that nearly 90 percent of the coins in this collection have been stickered by CAC.

Other important offerings in the March 2011 Baltimore Auction include a selection of New Orleans Mint Eagles from The David Solomon Collection, an impressive array of California Fractional gold coins from The Eleanor C. Paradee Collection – many examples also pedigreed to the famous Jay Roe Collection – and an incredible offering of Panama-Pacific Exposition Commemorative $50 gold coins in octagonal and round formats. Both Pan-Pac $50 gold pieces were acquired at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915 and passed down through the same family until their presentation in this auction.

U.S. coin and exonumia highlights of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official March 2011 Baltimore Auction include:

  • "1781" (1782) Libertas Americana Medal, Betts-615, Silver, AU-55 (PCGS)
  • 1831 Classic Half Cent, B-2, First Restrike, Proof-66 BN (PCGS), CAC
  • 1793 Chain Cent, S-3, AMERICA, No Periods, EF-40 (PCGS), Secure Holder
  • 1793 Wreath Cent, S-8, Vine and Bars Edge, MS-64 BN (PCGS)
  • 1799 Draped Bust Cent, S-189, VF-30 (PCGS), CAC
  • 1831 Capped Bust Half Dollar, O-102, MS-67 (PCGS)
  • 1836/1336 Capped Bust Half Dollar, Lettered Edge, O-108, Proof-64 Cameo (PCGS)
  • 1836 Capped Bust Half Dollar, Lettered Edge, O-116, 50/00, Proof-64 (PCGS), CAC
  • 1799 Draped Bust Silver Dollar, B-5, MS-62 (PCGS), CAC
  • 1839 Gobrecht Silver Dollar, Name Omitted, Judd-104 Restrike, Proof-65 (NGC)
  • 1852 Seated Liberty Silver Dollar, Restrike, Proof-65 (NGC)
  • 1894 Morgan Silver Dollar, MS-65 (PCGS), CAC, OGH, From the Denny Kemp Collection
  • 1848 Liberty Quarter Eagle, CAL., EF-45 (PCGS)
  • 1885 Three-Dollar Gold Piece, Proof-67 Cameo (NGC), CAC
  • 1837 Classic Half Eagle, MS-66 (NGC)
  • 1909-S Indian Half Eagle, MS-65 (PCGS), CAC, OGH
  • 1803 Capped Bust Right Eagle, Small-Stars Reverse, MS-63 (PCGS), OGH, From the Dr. Albert R. Frederick, Jr. Collection
  • 1883-O Liberty Eagle, AU-53 (NGC), From the David Solomon Collection
  • 1908 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, Motto, Proof-66 (NGC)
  • 1912 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, Proof-67 (NGC)
  • 1927-S Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, MS-63 (PCGS)
  • 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50 Octagonal, MS-64 (PCGS)
  • 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition $50 Round, MS-63 (PCGS)
  • 1880 Pattern Four-Dollar Stella, Coiled Hair, Judd-1661, Proof-64 RB (PCGS)
  • 1854-FD Round $1, BG-602, Rarity-6+, AU-50 (PCGS), From the Eleanor C. Paradee Collection

U.S. currency highlights of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official March 2011 Baltimore Auction include:

  • Lockport, New York, Niagara County Bank, 1.7.1856, $2, Proof, Choice Uncirculated, NY-1255G4a
  • Lockport, New York, Niagara County Bank, 1.7.1856, $3, Proof, Choice Uncirculated, NY-1255G6a
  • Fr. 126b, 1863 $20 Legal Tender, Gem New 65 PPQ (PCGS)
  • Fr. 757, 1918 $2 Federal Reserve Bank Note, Choice Uncirculated 64 (PMG), Serial Number D1A
  • Fr. 372, 1890 $20 Treasury Note, Extremely Fine 40 (PMG), Serial Number A4
  • Fr. 1850-I, 1929 $5 Federal Reserve Bank Note, Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ (PMG)
  • Fr. 1190, 1882 $50 Gold Certificate, Fine 15 (PCGS)
  • Frankford, Delaware, $20 1902 PB, Fr. 652, The First NB, Charter #8918, Very Fine 25 (PMG)
  • Fr. 2231-B, 1934 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note, Uncirculated 62 (PMG)
  • Fr. 311, 1880 $20 Silver Certificate, Very Fine 30 (PCGS)
  • Fr. 2407, 1928 $500 Gold Certificate, Very Fine 35 (PCGS)
  • Fr. T-2, 1861, $500, About New 50 PPQ (PCGS)

All lot descriptions and images in the March 2011 Baltimore Auction can be viewed online at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries website, Printed catalogs are available upon request by calling 800.458.4646. Online bidding will commence in early March and pre-auction bids will be accepted at; by e-mail at; by phone at 800.458.4646; by fax at 949.253.4091; and by postal mail addressed to Stack’s Bowers Galleries, Baltimore March 2011, 18061 Fitch, Irvine, CA, 92614.

Interested bidders are also encouraged to view lots onsite in Baltimore in March and bid in-person at the live auction, or live online through the Stack’s Bowers Galleries. A complete auction and lot viewing schedule is available at or by calling 800.458.4646.

About Stack’s Bowers Galleries

Stack’s Bowers Galleries, a division of Fortune 500 Company Spectrum Group International Inc., was launched in January 2011, combining the extraordinary histories of Stack’s, the oldest rare coin auction and retail company in America, with Bowers and Merena Auctions, one of the world’s pre-eminent auctioneers of rare coins and paper money.

The two companies unite to share a combined legacy that spans more than 100 years, and includes the cataloging and sale of many of the most valuable collections to ever cross an auction block – the John. J. Ford, Jr. and Louis E. Eliasberg collections, the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, and the Norweb Collection, to name just a few.

Topping off this amazing numismatic history is the inclusion of the world record for the highest price ever realized at auction for a rare coin, the legendary 1933 St. Gaudens Double Eagle which realized an astounding $7.59 million (sold in partnership with Sotheby’s). The company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in New York and New Hampshire.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is the Official Auctioneer for several important numismatic conventions, including the ANA World’s Fair of Money pre-show and convention auctions, and the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expos in Baltimore, three times yearly, and Philadelphia.

PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club Now Includes 235 Coins Valued at $500+ Million

The second annual PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club reference guide has been unveiled by Professional Coin Grading Service (

1849 Double Eagle

At an estimated $20 million, the historic 1849 Double Eagle is the highest valued coin in the 2011 list of the PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club. (Photo credit: Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.)

Originally launched in January 2010 with 210 "charter member" United States rare coins valued by experts at $1 million or more each, the "club" now has grown to include 235 coins with a combined value of over a half billion dollars. Some individual coins have jumped in estimated value as much as 50 percent the past year.

The complete Million Dollar Coin Club listing is available online at

"PCGS created the Million Dollar Coin Club a year ago for the benefit and enjoyment of collectors and dealers. It was just 15 years ago that a coin first broke the million dollar mark at auction, the Eliasberg specimen 1913 Liberty Head nickel that sold for $1,485,000 in 1996," said David Hall, President of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT) and Co-Founder of Professional Coin Grading Service (

"We now estimate that there are 235 U.S. coins that already have sold for $1 million or more or would sell for $1 million or more if offered at auction. Our estimate for the total current value of all these coin rarities is $528,600,000! While not quite as thrilling as actual ownership, reading about and discussing these great numismatic treasures is a pleasure for all serious coin aficionados, and we certainly had a lot of fun putting this list together," said Hall.

Hall and Ron Guth, President of PCGS CoinFacts, compiled the list in consultation with four other well-known professional numismatists: Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman of Heritage Auctions, Dallas, Texas; Kevin Lipton, President of Kevin Lipton Rare Coins, Beverly Hills, California; Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions; and Laura Sperber, President of Legend Numismatics, Lincroft, New Jersey.

1794 Silver Dollar

The unique specimen strike 1794 dollar, graded PCGS SP66, is among the top ten in the 2011 list of the PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club. (Photo courtesy of Rare Coin Wholesalers.)

According to the PCGS expert team, here are the top ten most valuable coins struck by the United States Mint and their year-ago values if they changed:

1849 $20 Liberty (estimated PCGS grade PR64) — $20,000,000 (last year listed at $15,000,000). The first $20 gold piece struck at the United States Mint is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

1907 Indian Head $20 Saint-Gaudens gold pattern (estimated PR69) — $15,000,000. Now in a private collection, this unique gold pattern was designed by famed sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and combines his $10 Indian Head obverse design with his $20 reverse design.

1877 $50 gold pattern J-1546 (estimated PR67) — $15,000,000 ($10,000,000 last year). The famous "Half Union" gold piece is unique and in the Smithsonian.

1877 $50 gold pattern J-1548 (estimated PR67) — $15,000,000 ($10,000,000 last year). A variation on the design of the other "Half Union," this coin is also unique and in the Smithsonian.

1907 Double Thick Extremely High Relief Saint-Gaudens $20 (two coins, both estimated PR69) — $8,500,000 each. Arguably the most beautiful coin ever made, the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle design was struck in several variations including two examples that are smaller in diameter and with double thickness. Both are in the Smithsonian.

1794 Silver Dollar (PCGS SP66) — $7,850,000 ($5,000,000 last year). This is believed by some to be the very first U.S. silver dollar struck.

1804 Class I ("Original") Silver Dollar (PCGS PR68) — $7,500,000. The finest of the famous 1804 silver dollars is the Sultan of Muscat-Virgil Brand-Walter Childs specimen now in a private collection.

1804 Class I ("Original") Silver Dollar (PCGS PR67) — $6,500,000. This is the coin that is part of the privately-owned King of Siam proof set.

1822 $5 gold piece (estimated EF45) — $6,000,000. The Eliasberg specimen now in another private collection is one of only three surviving 1922 Half Eagle gold coins out of 17,796 struck. The other two specimens are in the Smithsonian.

Although a 1933 Double Eagle (estimated MS65) sold at auction for $7,590,000 in 2002, the approximately 16 to 18 known examples are estimated at $2,500,000 to $3,500,000 because of uncertainty about the legality of private ownership of ten of them that are the subject of an ongoing lawsuit with the government. If the government wins and the ten coins it is now holding are not legal to own, then the value of the 1933 Double Eagles outside of government control would increase to well beyond $3,500,000, according to the PGCS experts.

High-quality images, experts’ narratives, pedigrees of the coins, rarity analysis, condition census and auction price histories for PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club "members" as well as thousands of other U.S. coins can be found online at PCGS CoinFacts (

About PCGS

Professional Coin Grading ServiceProfessional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) is a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT), the leader in third-party authentication and grading services for high-value collectibles including rare coins, trading cards, tickets, autographs, memorabilia and stamps.

Since 1986, PCGS experts have authenticated, graded and certified more than 20 million coins from around the world with a declared value of over $20 billion.

For additional information, visit or call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.

Heritage February 2011 Long Beach US Coin Auction Realizes $8.596M

Collectors put particular emphasis on acquiring high-grade Saint-Gaudens coinage in Heritage’s $8.596 million Long Beach Signature® U.S. Coin Auction, February 5-6, 2011, at the Long Beach Convention Center.

1921 Saint-Gaudens $20 MS62 NGC

This 1921 Saint-Gaudens $20 MS62 NGC realized $126,500 at the Heritage February 2011 Long Beach US Coin Auction.

The auction saw a 94% sell-through rate by value and 97% sell-through rate by lot. All prices below include 15% Buyer’s Premium.

"I think steady and solid is the best way to categorize the results," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "Not spectacular, but about what we expected, with a little more on top. Certainly gold continued to be the chief consideration for high-end buyers."

A 1921 Saint-Gaudens $20 MS62 NGC, the second rarest series issue in high grades, was the top lot of the auction, with collectors bidding the coin all the way up to $126,500. The coin is one of very few known and, as stated in the 2008 second edition of the David Akers Handbook of 20th Century United States Gold Coins, 1921 Saint-Gaudens $20s "that grade MS-63 or finer are offered only once in a very long while."

1907 $20 High Relief, Flat Rim

This 1907 $20 High Relief shows Augustus Saint-Gaudens' design before Charles Barber made several drastic changes. Unsurprisingly, when Theodore Roosevelt chose Saint-Gaudens to begin the redesign of American coinage, he offended Barber, who was chief engraver at the mint. It realized $97,750.

A Premium Gem 1907 $20 High Relief, Flat Rim MS66 PCGS, one of the most highly sought-after of the High Relief Saint-Gaudens varieties, was the second highest lot in the auction, challenging the six figure mark, but coming up just short, as it finished the auction at $97,750. This coin is remarkable for many reasons, not the least of which is that it purely represents the original designs of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, before his death in 1907, and the subsequent changes to his designs, made by longtime rival Samuel Barber, which appeared on future gold coinage.

1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 Octagonal

This 1915-S Panama-Pacific $50 Octagonal realized $86,250 at the Heritage February 2011 Long Beach US Coin Auction. The fifty dollar octagonal Pan-Pac coins remain today the only octagonal coins ever issued by the U.S. Mint, and both they and their round siblings are hotly contested in any grade at auction.

Always a highly anticipated event when they turn up at auction, a 1915-S $50 Panama-Pacific Octagonal MS63 PCGS, the last and greatest coin in an original four-piece commemorative set, lived up to the billing by bringing $86,250, amid spirited bidding, to round out the top trio of the Heritage Long Beach event.

1885 Liberty Head $20

This 1885 Liberty Head $20 realized $80,500 at the Heritage February 2011 Long Beach US Coin Auction. In 1885, the Philadelphia Mint coined a meager 828 double eagles, a figure that includes 77 proof examples. The business-strike mintage of 751 pieces ranks among the lowest production totals in the entire regular-issue series of U.S. gold coinage.

A classic gold rarity, in the form of an 1885 $20 MS61 PCGS, CAC, one of only 751 pieces struck – ranking among the lowest production totals in the entire regular-issue series of U.S. gold coinage – realized $80,500, while a 1920-S $20 MS62 PCGS, CAC, among the most elusive in the Saint-Gaudens series, realized $80,500.

Further highlights include, but are not limited to:

  • 1879-CC $5 MS62 PCGS. CAC: Realized: $69,000.
  • 1860 $3 PR66 Cameo NGC: Realized: $66,125.
  • 1908 $20 Motto PR66 NGC: Realized: $60,375.
  • 1920-S $20 MS62 NGC: Realized: $54,625.
  • 1895 $1 PR64 Cameo PCGS: Realized: $54,625.

Rare coin could get more than $2M at an auction

CINCINNATI – The coin world is abuzz over the auction of a rare silver dollar, one of the most valuable in the world and one of only 15 known to exist from a never-circulated group made for the likes of the King of Siam and the Sultan of Muscat.

The 1804 Adams-Carter silver dollar fetched more than $2 million in a private sale two years ago and is expected to top that again this week. The coin has been owned by a Boston banker, a Texas publishing mogul and by a collector who sold everything to help build a church school in Ohio.

The auction is a major happening for collectors — even ones who can't afford the expected price tag — partly because it will be a rare opportunity to see the coin. It's the highlight of the Central States Numismatic Society Convention that runs Wednesday through Saturday in Cincinnati. Anyone registered to bid on any item in the auction may view the coin, and that could number in the thousands, said Todd Imhof of Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas.

Joe Barrett, co-owner of three Rare Coin Gallery shops in the Cincinnati area, compared the convention to a movie buff's visit to a film museum, with Kevin Costner as tour guide.

"For coin people, it doesn't get any better than this," Barrett said. "For young collectors, this is an opportunity to see things they wouldn't get a chance to see otherwise."

Beth Deisher, editor of Coin World magazine, suggested the valuable coin may not be seen in public for another 50 years.

"It's a rare coin that has a great story," she said.

Coin Values magazine rates the 1804 Adams-Carter silver dollar as the seventh most valuable coin in the world. The most valuable is a 1933 $20 double eagle that sold for $7.6 million in 2002.

Only 15 of the 1804 silver dollars are known to have been struck, and coin aficionados can account for every one of them. Six are held by museums.

The coins were never circulated and weren't actually struck in 1804 — the date refers to the year after the US Mint stopped making silver dollars. The front of the coin shows a bust of Lady Liberty in profile, the reverse a version of the Great Seal of the United States.

Coin Facts says eight of the coins were ordered struck by the US Department of State in 1834 to be given to foreign heads of state, including the King of Siam and the Sultan of Muscat. One specimen was made in 1857. The other six, including the Adams-Carter dollar, were made sometime after that — possibly illegally by a mint employee.

The one being auctioned Thursday is named for 19th century collector Phineas Adams, an early owner, and Amon Carter Sr., a later owner, Texas oilman, entrepreneur and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

In November 2001, Phillip Flannagan donated the coin to raise money for the building fund at Middletown Christian School, north of Cincinnati. It brought $874,000 at auction. The rest of Flannagan's collection, totaling some $2 million, went to Grace Baptist Church, which operates the school.

The name of the current owner is closely guarded. Heritage Auction Galleries identifies him only as an East Coast collector. The buyer mostly likely will bid through an agent.

Internet bidding will continue until two hours before Thursday night's auction, Imhof said. The high bid on Tuesday had reached $1.7 million. The live auction, expected about 9:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, will be streamed on Heritage's Web site, Imhof said. - AP

The La Bella Filipina Token & The Manila Carnival

The Philippines has been one of the patrons of beauty contests since the United States forces arrived on the archipelago. Fiestas or town festivities were usually celebrated at the beginning of summer and before the rainy season to thank the bountiful harvests. During the "Peace Time" or the era between the birth of American governance and the invasion of Japanese Imperial Army, one particular event embodied the whole period. It was the famous "Manila Carnival".

The carnivals have been held at the old Wallace Field or Bagumabayan(now known as the Luneta). It would last for two weeks and culminates with the coronation of the “Queen” just before Ash Wednesday. The Manila Carnivals are actually intended to showcase the agricultural and industrial potential of the Philippines under American occupation. People gather to the event dressed in different costumes in line with a theme every year. Fluvial parades are also being staged during the two weeks; various floats represent regions showing their top produce. This period of pre-war beauty pageants is fondly recalled as the “Carnival era.”

The election of a carnival queen often begins at the provincial level. The young lady who takes center stage will be that year’s Miss Batanes, Miss Laguna, Miss Cavite, etc. The rest of the provincial beauties would be given runner-up titles, like Miss Luzon, Miss Visayas or Miss Mindanao and then made part of the queen’s entourage.

The method of choosing the queen varies each year: either by a panel of judges from the highest echelons in society, or done through ballots published by sponsoring newspapers. The queen, usually, is a daughter from a family of “impeccable credentials”—someone beautiful beyond comparison—clued-up in fine points of comportment and etiquette, so that her parents, siblings, relatives as well as her countrymen could look on her with pride.

At the coronation night, people look forward to the pomp and pageantry: These ladies are the center of it all. They’re adorned with lavish costumes—from the Filipiniana, Egyptian, Thai, to the Arabian nights. There are even instances that security men are hired to guard the expensive sets of jewelry that prettify the winners.

This era lasted for 31 years, from 1908—nine years after the American armada sailed into Manila Bay—to 1939, two years before the Japanese soldiers hit Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and Nichols Field in Manila. It produced 29 queens. There were no contests in 1910, 1911, 1919 and 1928. In some years, meanwhile, two queens shared the spotlight: the “Queen of the Orient” representing the Philippines, and the “Queen of the Occident” standing for the United States.

Aldo Basso first mentioned "La Bella Filipina" token on his book, to commemorate the yearly celebration of the carnival. The token depicts a head of a Filipina similar to that of Queen Isabella coins but as sharp as the Liberty's head of the U.S five cents, or seems more of a combination of both.

A similar music of the same title was exclusively composed to serenade the Queen of the night, that up to now can be occasionally heard being played by brass bands on local fiestas.

The 1884 Alfonso VII 10 Centavos Mated Pair Capped Dies

Error coins from the Spanish period are hard to come by and most of those that survived times are not in better condition. One collector explained to me that after he discovered a hoard of Spanish-Philippine coins, he noticed that there were varieties of 1880 Fifty Centavos of the Alfonso VII reign. He uncovered a specimen which has a different design on the reverse, particularly the crown’s pearls and the columns on its sides. “At the same time, those were the first time we saw varieties such as double dates like 1885 over 3, 1880 over 1, and errors such as die rotation is some denomination particularly the 50 and 20 centavos.” He added.

In the past, several 1880 Fifty Centavos Pattern have surfaced in the market and were even sold at online auctions such as Ebay. The coin which is struck in brass and has a plain edge bears a slightly different design compared to the regular 1880 Fifty Centavos coin. The coin has a mintage of 127, 050 and belongs to the list of most sought after coin in the field of Philippine numismatic however, only a few number of collectors are aware of the existence of the pattern until recently through the help of the Internet. Pieces were sold at lesser value compared the regular struck coin because most collectors were doubtful of the coin's origin due to the coin's obvious inconsistency with the regular struck coin.

One considerable factor that have affected the suspicion of collectors with the existence of Alfonso VII pattern were the sudden introduction of counterfeits which have mysteriously appeared that same period.

Of all the set of coins from the Alfonso VII reign, the 1884 is unanimously considered as the rarest among the sets, from the smallest 10 centavos to the still unconfirmed 4-peso gold. Unlike the coinage from Isabel II, there were no 1-peso and 2-peso denomination minted for the series and the coins were fewer and tougher to complete due to the events that had affected not only the Philippines as a colony of Spain, but Spain itself under a crisis of its own.

The sophisticated errors yet documented by some collectors were specie of rotated dies, defective planchet, die-cracks and over dates. However complicated errors such as off-centers, double denominations, and others have not surfaced until today which reflect how strict the Mint's employees when it comes to the immediate destruction of error coins.

Still, among the types of errors, the mated pair die cap where the obverse and reverse of a coin are capped and mated is considered as one of the rarest impossibilities in the world of coin errors. However, recently a rare error from the Alfonso VII series was discovered.

The coin, an 1884 Alfonso VII 10 centavos is considered to be among one of the rarest Philippine coins. Seeing an error such as mated pair capped dies happening in a coin as rare as the 1884 Alfonso VII 10 centavos is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors of Philippine numismatic materials.

A die cap is caused when a struck coin sticks to the upper hammer die. Once the coin is stuck to the die face, the reverse of the struck coin becomes the new die face. The coin's weight just under 2 grams and an edge thinner than a human hair is a product of two capped dies from the 10 centavos which is obviously indicated by the overlap in the coin's obverse and reverse and the absence of the planchet's edge.

The coin's obverse and reverse seem to be shaped like of a nimble which is manifested by the slightly bulging and stretched legends. The supposed to be flat edge of the coin was instead comparable to a knife's edge due to nimble shaped obverse and reverse.

While the coin's mintage of 10, 045 is enough to declare it as among the rarest. The fact that no similar error have been reported with any Philippine coins make this coin as one of its kind in the rarest coin of Philippine numismatic.

Amazingly, despite the torture of time and human handling, this very small coin survived to tell its story.

1918-S 5 Centavo Mule, 1908 Proof Set, 1882 4 Peso Alfonso XII offered at Stack's

1918-S 5 Centavo Mule

January 09, 2009 - Stack's, a New York based Numismatic & Antiquities dealer conducted an auction that included United States & Philippine coins belonging to the Golden Horn Collection. The Golden Horn Collection is composed of magnificent coins from the Ancient Civilization such as Greece and Rome, Medieval & Imperial Russia, Danzig & Polish Ducats, German States Talers, English Medieval & Imperial crowns, Irish coins, Italian & Liechtenstein, Spanish Netherlands, Swedish, Turkish & Ottoman Empire, India Mughal, Iran, Imperial Japan, Vietnam, Bermuda, Spanish South American crowns, Canada and its territories, Austria, and of course United States & Philippine coinage.

Among the highlights of the Philippine lots are die trials and splasher from the Marcos period, particularly medals and coins designed and created by JJ Tupaz of "El Oro" for some special occasions for President Ferdinand Marcos himself.

Other medals from the Commonwealth period were also featured such as Carnival medals and other medals for commemorative purposes.

1882 Four Peso ALFONSO XII Gold

Some of the sought after coins such as the proof set of 1908 minted in Philadelphia, the last proof set issued from the United States and Philippine coinage made a rare appearance and was realized for $2750, a thousand dollars more than the previous estimate of $1750. A rare 1882 Four peso Gold coin of Alfonso XII in almost uncirculated condition, the only gold coin in the lot from the Philippines was also offered at an estimate of $1000 - $1200 but later hammered to $2200.

A 1918-S 5 centavo mule, the finest of its kind and one of the rarest error and variety among the United States and Philippine coins also made a rare appearance. Estimated at $16000, it is the highest price among the lots offered belong to the Philippines lot.

5 Centavos-20 Centavos Mule, 1918-S. San Francisco. This historic coin presents the correct Copper-nickel 5 Centavos obverse with Figueroa's seated worker at the anvil with the Mayón Volcano in the background. The reverse is that of the Silver 20 Centavos, identified by its substantially broader U.S. shield and small date. This is the second Mule of this era of island coinage, made possibly by the similarity in size of large-diameter five Centavos and the reduced diameter 20 Centavos. Dies were interchanged and eluded the notice of most of the coin-using public, though collectors picked up on the phenomenon by 1922. This example shows no trace of rub on the leg, and is boldly struck at the centers with just a hint of weakness in the edge beading. Lustrous and reflective surfaces are enriched by a wisp of pale blue and tawny gold coalescing at the rims. Here is one of the finest existing examples of this desirable Philippine mule. MS-61 (PCGS). (16,000-20,000) - Lot description
1915-S United States Philippine One Centavo

The 1915-S One Centavos, graded by PCGS as MS-64 which is also from the same series of coins was sold for $1600, the highest prize realized for a bronze Philippine coin on the auction. - Images courtesy of Stack's

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.

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.

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.

Unexplainable Errors Explained Part 1: 1918-S 50 Centavos Bronze

1918-S FIFTY CENTAVOS struck in bronze planchet

It was a year ago when I encountered a 1918 Twenty Centavos US-Philippine coin struck in brass which I found just lying in a dealers hoard of ordinary dated coins. The coin was in FINE condition but the details on the shield were enough for me to conclude that such was an error. I asked the dealer how much the coin was but to my surprised he told me that I could have it for free since it’s a counterfeit coin based on his opinion. He even compared it to the ordinary coin of the same date by putting both on top of the weighing scale and it did show the difference. The brass coin weighs more than its contemporary about .5 gram on the digital scale.

I never contested the dealer’s opinion since he would have changed his mind if I insinuated that that was really an error coin. The crucial thing about collecting error coins is the coin’s condition because there were so many forgers and counterfeiters that a slight variation in the coin may turned out as a clue for felony.

Though I was glad that I got the coin, proving that it was an error coin was an enigma. I tried convincing everybody that such was an error but I got no positive answers in return since there were neither reference nor material that would support my conclusion. Not until I found the 1918 San Francisco Mint 50 Centavos which is struck in bronze, that I finally solved the puzzle.

This is one of the most amazing error that I acquired recently, a 1918 US-Philippine 50 centavos struck in bronze planchet and in an uncirculated condition. The coin’s weight is more than a gram than normal and with solid details, it is easy to identify that the metal is harder than silver.

Since the minting of Philippine coins was moved to MANILA in 1920, possibilities that there were die trials made prior to that is now conclusive. Other varieties which were suspected before as counterfeits such as a 1919 San Franciso Mint LEAD 50 Centavos sold by Cookie Jar Collectibles a few years ago may now be re-studied and perhaps may be re-classified as authentic.

The Manila Mint is otherwise notorious for doing trial strikes since most of the Mint’s employees were not as expert as their American counterparts. Sometimes they made samples or made dry runs before proceeding full productions. Such topic will be tackled later but for now, I am happy to share with you the latest discovery in Philippine numismatic.

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 1903 – S One Centavo: An Accidental Discovery

It was another Sunday morning and I was preparing to attend the Bayanihan Auction last February 19, 2006. As usual, I got-up that early morning, reviewed the auction catalogue, blocked-out the items I am interested which I usually do using highlighters before I set off to the auction venue. Every auction day for me is a thrilling adventure because this is the only chance you could see some rarities, touch it, review it, and otherwise purchase it defending on how much you are willing to spend or if you really have the money to compete and win the bid. As for me, I usually carry just enough money to satisfy my interest add some missing coins or either replace the poorer grade coins that I have of my USPI (United States and Philippine Island) collection. I usually concentrate with this era because this is far I know in terms of knowledge and expertise in the Philippine coins. I usually skip the Philippine-Spanish coinage because of a limited number of resources that would help me appreciate it more.

It was great to see the guys again bringing their new finds and showing them to the other guys. Bragging their newly discovered oddities, varieties, or errors either to be proud or to appreciate the price of their items---where it is also common to see the trade of buying and selling coins.

It was already 11 o’clock in the morning when I arrived at the venue, which was held at the Quezon City Sports Club. I registered and got my number---the number thirteenth if I remember it correctly, picked-up my blue paddle before I headed-out to the display tables and inspected each and every item on the floor---of course, that I had not done properly which I will prove later. It was normal for the prospecting collectors to usually look at the finer graded coins or coins which are perhaps known to be candidate for rarities and just eying for the true good finds. As usual, poorer graded coins or common dates were left for the new collectors or neophytes in the hobby, which I observe is a common trait in numismatic, to help them (the new collectors) start with their own collection. As for me, I was not vying for coins that day but I was more focused inspecting the paper ephemeras and stamps, which were commonly offered by this particular organization. I was really surprised to see some of the best rare finds in this section particularly documents relating to the Philippine Revolution which are very scarce and truly prized in any conditions. Perhaps some of the most attractive items where documents signed by Dr. Maximo Viola which we know is a very close friend of Dr. Jose Rizal and if not for the man, Noli Me Tangere would not have been printed without the earlier providing some financial assistance. I was also looking at telegraphic letters and postcard particularly the one that has this rare oval handstamp going to Yokohama Japan, which I have read is a rarity in the world of philately.

It was only later I reviewed the coins at the other section that I noticed there were some good coins on the table. There were about two to three scarce coins but none of them appeared very interesting because they were not that rare based on the professional’s judgment. Except for some coins starting at thirty pesos at the open category, most them are just the usual dinner at the table as I may say so.

It was already 1:45 when Mr. Raffy Fermin, the program auctioneer announced that the bidding would be starting in just a couple of seconds. I headed straight to my chair at the second row prepared my pen to take account of the realized price, hold on to my paddle and focused on the announcer’s call. I barely noticed that a friend of ours, Prof. Eros or “Prof” as everyone calls him sat down about three rows far from where I was sitting. I ‘m quite aware of Prof. Eros presence since the man is a known scene steeler during auctions because of his humorous gestures like the way he raises his paddle and his sudden interruptions which could usually cause the lost of bearings for the other guys who were vying for their respective prizes.

As the event progressed, there were numerous hurrahs and awes coming from the back probably collectors had won their longed prizes or items appreciated at spectacular value. But to my surprise there were also lots of expression of annoyance and intimidation among the crowd---and of course, it was not hard for everyone to point out who was the cause of the commotion---it was Prof. Probably for the new attendees it was an unusual scene but for most of us who have known Prof for the past events it was only a normal event. I had noticed that Prof was vying for a set of ugly One Centavo series graded between Very Good to Fine condition when I glanced on him at my back. Some of the veterans were smiling as I saw Prof grabbed to his paddle and raised it as straight as he could which was particularly noticeable with the professor’s gestures. The first call was thirty, seconded by thirty-five, forty, until the sole competitor gave-up and let it go at seventy pesos leaving the happy professor triumphant with his prize. Everyone knew that the professor deserved the winning because of the fact that nobody wants to possess ugly coins especially those coming from common dates. “Nugnog” is the local term for coins of such grades, which could have been probably derived from the word “bugbog” or tortured or physically unrecognizable because of natural factors or human handling. I checked the catalogue and noticed it was a series of One Centavo coins of 1903, 1919, 1921, 1934, and 1936 that the professor now technically owns.

The event proceeded smoothly until we’ve finally concluded it with the last few remaining items from the ANTIQUES ETC. section which where I had also bided for a celadon bowl that finished at thirty pesos if not for the small detached but repaired piece could have commanded a higher value other than the awarded amount. Of course nobody vied for that item for that reason and thus, I won. I hurried up to the announcer’s table and lined-up to claim for the items I won. I was very happy because I had won some items, which are spectacular rarities that other collectors haven’t noticed but went for only thirty pesos, which I will write on to my next article. On my way there, I noticed the Professor and smiled at him. He seemed to be very excited otherwise because he went straight to the table and requested for the voucher immediately as if seems he’s the only person who should be attended to. Well, nobody minded the professor because it was normal to see Prof to act in such a way except for the fact of course, that doesn’t catch much of respective attention because everyone thinks that he’s just a scavenger or a foolish collector digging the spot where everybody had plundered. He was amongst the early batch of winners who emerges victorious with their trophies. Showing their prizes and justifying why they’ve cornered it at such amount, collectors assembled in pockets to finally conclude their personal victories including myself, Edward Chua and his brother, their friend George, and professor who went outside and sat around the table just outside the function room where the auction was held. We checked out on our catch and each one of us told his own knowledge about our new possessions. Of course, I was the sole member of the group who is knowledgeable about stamps so even though I got a rare Scott attached to a postcard for thirty pesos, it wouldn’t catch any attention so I decided to grab the professor’s find and started scrutinizing each coin. It was normal to us to share some advises, comments, or stories to increase our knowledge or to scoop some news about the industry and other topics. Then the most unthinkable happened, I noticed that the One Centavo coin of the professor bears a large S mintmark which has never been reported before and which the whole numismatic industry has never been aware of existence. To my excitement, I suddenly exclaimed “Pare, meron bang 1903-S?” (S-San Francisco Mint) Hey, Is there a 1903-S? (pertaining to the One Centavo coin I was holding) looking Edward straight in the eye. Edward dropped his jaw for a few seconds before coming-up with a hesitant response “Sigurado ka?” Are you Sure? Edward grabbed the coin from my hand and took a glance. He was otherwise in shock to hold a coin that doesn’t exist. It was very sharp in my head that the sudden thought of a fairy tale story, which has a similar ending, entered my mind. A magnificent Swan emerges from the Ugly Duck whom after all these years had survived the journey and remained mysterious until such time that it was proper to shed those ugly gray feathers and reveal its real identity. All of us were in hysteria as we concluded that I have discovered a unique pattern of the 1903 coinage. The rest was history!

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.