Post by rickthelibrarian on Mar 20, 2008 12:50:30 GMT -5
About 25 years ago, I used to collect Philippine coins, bills and stamps from the pre-WWII and WWII era. One of the most interesting coins to collect is the pre-WWII Philippine 1 peso coin. They started out about the size of a U.S. silver dollar and then were reduced slightly in size a few years later.
Millions of them were kept in the Philippine banks. At the outbreak of WWII, most of them were moved to Corregidor for safekeeping, together with gold bars, securities and other items. When the fall of Corregidor was certain, these coins were taken and dumped in Manila Bay to keep them out of the hands of the Japanese.
The Japanese learned about these and forced U.S. Navy POWs to dive for them and recovered quite a few. More were recovered after the end of the war.
I stopped collecting these coins years ago, but I believe they are still pretty reasonable. Although those non-tarnished coins are in higher demand, I like this one. It obviously was one of those dumped in the bay during a desperate time and then recovered. True "buried treasure"!
Post by rickthelibrarian on Mar 20, 2008 23:42:44 GMT -5
Yes, they are - as I said, about the size of an American silver dollar. I have most of the peso coins (which I recall were only minted until about 1913) and started on the 50-centavo pieces and have a few o those. I was very fortunate, years ago, to find a gentleman in the Philipines who sold me a number of coins for a very reasonable price.
I also have a small collection of guerrilla currency - maybe I can fire up the ol' digital camera and post some pictures.
I have this book in the PI and it's an excellent history of coinage in the Philippines. It has many great shots of various old coins including the pre-Spanish era gold piloncito that was dug up by a farmer.