U.S. Philippines

Obverse of 1904 Philippines Peso
Reverse of 1904 Philippines Peso

Ron Guth: Following the Spanish-American War, the United States gained control of the Philippine Islands under the 1898 Treaty of Paris. In 1903, the Philadelphia Mint began making coins for the Philippines based on a Centavos/Pesos monetary system. The Peso was a large silver coin made to the same technical specifications as a U.S. Dollar. The Peso was discontinued after 1912 and other denominations were issued intermittently until 1936, after which the Philippines became a Commonwealth but remained under U.S. control. From 1937 to 1945, coins were issued under the Centavos/Pesos monetary system, but the silver coins were of reduced size and purity. Following World War II, the Philippines became an independent nation under the Treaty of Manila. In 1947, the San Francisco Mint struck Fifty Centavos and Pesos bearing the likeness of General Douglas Macarthur. These coins are also popular with American collectors but they are listed under the Philippines proper.

Coins issued under U.S. administration bear the names of both the Philippines (Filipinas) and the United States, making them popular with collectors in both countries. Coins were produced at Philadelphia (no mintmark), San Francisco (S), Denver (D), and Manila (M). From 1903 to 1909, and again in 1908, the Philadelphia Mint produced Proof sets containing all seven of the then-current denominations. Proof Set mintages range from a high of 2,558 sets in 1903 to a low of 471 sets in 1905.

Rarities in the U.S. Philippines series include the 1906-S Peso and the Proof 1907 Peso (of which only two are known).