Although the Philippines was under Spain for over 300 years, minting of coins bearing the Coat of Arms of Manila or the symbol of Spain’s rule over the archipelago was not a priority of the Spanish government due to absence of local mineral resources such as silver and copper which were the major components for minting coins during that period. Early coins were mostly likely minted in copper and dies used were either sub-standard or crude which caused the lost of interest of the natives for their economic activities because copper easily corrode especially in the wet and humid weather of the Philippines.
The first official coin minted in Manila was the 1766 Barilla which were later re-classified to Type 1 and Type 2 and first coin that not only clearly shows the Coat of Arms of the City of Manila but name the city as its origin. Although still in copper, these coins were struck using standard dies and uniform dimension was already applied. These coins are very small and thin compared to the modern coins which should made it very rare because it could be easily neglected and damaged by normal handling. Copper coins were continuously struck until the reign of Queen Isabel II when the first Minting facility in Manila was inaugurated.
The mint initially struck a crude silver medal commemorating its opening and the proclamation of Queen Isabela II as the ruler of Spain and its colony. The medal bears the coat of Arms of Manila and the crown of Queen Isabela II of Spain.