Philippine Old Coins


Throughout history, Philippine coins had undergone a lot of changes. As a result, they have varied designs produced at different period of time or era. Old coins are also much easier to find as compared to the old paper-money because they tend to last much longer especially when properly cared.

Both old coins and paper-money can be pretty expensive which depends on various several factors.

As a treasure hunter or coin-collector, you may encounter the following old type of coins:

1. Colonial Coins
2. Spanish Philippine Coins
3. Philippine American Coins
4. Culion Coins
5. Philippine Republic Coins

History of the Philippine Coins

Utilization of coins in the Philippines weren't first introduced by the Spaniards to the Filipinos when they came to colonize the country. According to some Filipino historians, Filipino ancestors were already trading goods with their own coins made out of pure gold.

8th to 14th Centuries

In between the 8th to 14th centuries, early Filipinos were known to use "gold rings" in trading goods to the Chinese. To support this claim, Archeologists have recovered various gold treasures or artifacts (which include gold rings) and some Oriental Ceramic wares in the country.

16th Century

The Spaniards finally colonized the Philippines on the 16th century where they introduced the same type of coins they used in Spain and Mexico. At first, the "Macuquinas" or "Cobs" were used. The locals call it "Hilis-Kamay". These type of old coins had irregular-shapes which bore the Spanish Royal Coat from one side of the coin and a Cross from the opposite side.

1728 to 1772

The Macuquinas or Cobs was replaced with a better-looking type of coin on 1728 which was the "Dos Mundos". Some people also call it "Pillar Dollar" or "Mexican Pillar Dollar".

1766 to 1810

Barilla coins were introduced which was the first coin struck in the Philippines. The design consists of the "Coat-of-Arms" of the City of Manila with the inscription, "Barilla, Ano de 1728".

1810 to 1830

In 1810, the colonies of Spain in Central and South America had brought more coins into the Philippines via the "Galleon Ships". However, the Spanish authorities in Manila feared that these coins may have negative impact if used on their original form. Thus, they made a few changes to the designs of the coins.

1835 to 1837

Latin American coins had replaced the previous old Spanish coins on 1835. These coins bore a Crown of Pearls at the center with a Cross on the top. There was also an inscription of F.7 and Y.II.

1861 to 1868

In 1861 to 1868, the first gold and silver coins that were minted in the Philippines were the "Isabelinas". They were also the first type of coins in the country that bore the inscription mark, "Filipinas".

1880 to 1885

"Casa de Moneda de Manila", the first mining plant in the Philippines operated by the Spanish Government, issued another set of gold and silver coins known as the "Alfonsos". These coins bore the mark of Alfonso XIII who succeeded the throne of Spain in 1874.

1897 to 1904

Alfonso XIII ceased his authority over the Philippines due to the "Spanish-American War". The large peso coins were introduced to the Filipinos which circulated throughout the country until the year 1904.

1898 to 1903

The Philippine Revolution that took place in 1896 led into the proclamation of the "First Philippine Republic" in 1898. Thus, the elected president "General Emilio Aguinaldo" attempted to adopt Philippine's own national coinage. Shortly afterward, the United States of America conquered the Philippines and declared all those coins as illegal.


In 1903, the "US-Phil Coinage" was issued by the United States government. The person behind the coin's design was "Melecio Figueroa", one of the popular Filipino artists of the past. On one side of the coin was a standing lady with an anvil and on the opposite site was an American eagle with an outspread wings.


Eleven years later (from the time that the US-Phil Coinage was released), the American government introduced another set of coins known as the "Culion Leper Colony".

1936 to 1945

From the start of the year 1936, "Commonwealth Coins" were issued for circulation. Common to these coins was the inscribed word, "Filipinas".

Prices of Philippine Old Coins

The prices of Philippine old coins actually depends on the grade (bronze, copper, silver and gold) and date when they were issued for circulation.

Here are the following estimated prices of Philippine old coins according to my research:

US- Phil Coinage

Bronze Coin

1. 0.50 Centavos

1903 to 1904 : 40 - 800 Php

2. 1 Centavos

1903 to 1936 : 40 to 1000 Php

Copper-Nickel Coin

1. 5 Centavos

1903 to 1935 : 40 to 2000 Php

Silver Coin

1 Peso

1907 : 1,700 to 4,000 Php

Commonwealth Coinage

Bronze Coins

1. 1 Centavo

1937 to 1944 : 20 - 320 Php

Copper-Nickel Coins

1. 5 Centavos

1937 to 1941 : 20 - 600 Php

Copper-Nickel-Zinc Coins

1. 5 Centavos

1944 to 1945 : 4 - 40 Php

Silver Coins

1. 10 Centavos

1937 to 1945 : 4 - 400 Php

2. 20 Centavos

1937 to 1945 : 10 - 400 Php

3. 50 Centavos

1944 to 1945 : 40 - 120 Php

All coins above pertains to the "regular issued coins" and prices are "estimates".

Japanese Treasure Signs of Coins or Money Deposits

The Japanese Imperial Army or General Yamashita's men had also hidden hoards of old coins.

Here is an example of a Yamashita treasure sign indicating a coin deposit:

Check here for more Yamashita treasure signs that tells about old coin deposits.