Philippine Peso Coins and Banknotes

Philippine Coins and Banknotes

Crisp Banknotes for Christmas


Expect plenty of crisp peso bills this Christmas season!

Filipinos love to give away cash as Christmas gifts to their relatives. Of course, these banknotes need to be crisp and fresh. Filipino children will frown at worn out bills, but will be very grateful for even a new, shiny twenty-peso bill.

The banks are prepared for this annual spike in the demand for new banknotes. The Bangko Sentral prints and releases more fresh bills as long queues of bank clients withdraw specifically in denominations of new 20, 50, and 100 peso bills.

100 Peso University of the Philippines Silver Proof

image courtesy of dekada_collectibles and jt40tmh of ebay

100 Piso Silver Proof Coin (1983)
University of the Philippines Diamond Jubilee

Obverse: UP Oblation, "Pamantasan ng Pilipinas", "1908-1983", Quezon Hall (UP Diliman Administration Building), Gonzalez Hall (UP Diliman Main Library)
Reverse: Seal of the Republic of the Philippines, "100 Piso", "Republika ng Pilipinas"

Composition: 50% silver, 50% copper
Diameter: 38.00mm
Weight: 25grams
Mintage: 2000 pieces

Full text:

The Central Bank of the Philippines has commissioned the Royal Mint to strike a limited number of silver 100 piso proof coins, in commemoration of the diamond jubilee of the University of the Philippines.

The reverse depicts the seal of the Republic of the Philippines, adopted in 1946. Contained within the seal are elements from former Coats of Arms; the Lion from the Spanish period and the Eagle form the American era. The centre cartouche reflecting the sun with 8 rays, symbolizes independence and the 8 provinces which rose in revolt against Spain in 1896.


The obverse reflects the Oblation, a statue of a young man in a symbolic gesture of sacrificial offering for country and humanity. Created in 1934 by the famous Filipino sculptor, Guillermo E. Tolentino, it now stands in front of the Administration building of the University of the Philippines.

Each coin contains 50% silver and 50% copper, weighs 25 grams and measures 38.00mm in diameter. A maximum of only 2000 will be issued for worldwide distribution, of which 750 are included in the 1983 Philippines proof coin collection.

It is advisable to avoid handling proof coins as fingerprints or marks will spoil them.

Banknote and Coin Production Statistics (2006)

Banknotes

The Banknotes & Securities Printing Department of the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas is responsible for the printing of banknotes. Shown below is its production for the ten years period.

Year - Production(in millions)
1995 - 735.05
1996 - 594.93
1997 - 619.77
1998 - 735.50
1999 - 1368.04
2000 - 849.00
2001 - 802.55
2002 - 865.62
2003 - 775.58
2004 - 942.03
2005 - 987.00
2006 - 801.50

Total value of banknotes issued in 2006 was worth PhP 448.9 billion in 2.068.55 million pieces of banknotes.

Coins

In 2006, the BSP Mint produced 1.140 billion circulation coins. Total value of coins in circulation for that year was worth PhP 13 billion in 12,131.88 million pieces of coins.

Currency Retirement


A total of P25.47 billion (463.28 million pieces)processed/verified cancelled unfit notes were retired through the Security Engineer Machine (SEM)Disintegrator in 2006. Meanwhile, a total of P66.61 billion (110.05 million pieces) were retired on-line, higher by 84.15 percent than its level during the previous year.

Security Fibers - Security Feature

There are two kinds of security fibers. The first one is the visible security fibers. These are easily seen in current Philippine banknotes as the blue and red fibers that are randomly spread throughout the front and back of the paper. The other kind is the invisible security fiber. These glow a fluorescent yellow under ultraviolet light.

Security fibers are another form of security feature in Philippine money that guard against counterfeiting. Genuine security fibers in Philippine banknotes can be easily plucked out (yes, try it!) with the aid of a needle. Counterfeit money usually only prints the fibers on paper, thus , they cannot be plucked out.

Shredded Philippine Money in a Box

Last time we featured shredded Philippine banknotes in plastic bags. I recently found out that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas also packages these in nice plastic containers. This is the description at the back:

"The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is the central monetary authority of the Philippines. Its objective is to maintain price and banking stability. As a monetary manager, it is responsible for
printing Philippine currency notes as well as their issuance and retirement from the system.

As part of its commitment to the preservation of the environment and the conservation of resources, unfit banknotes and production waste are converted to briquettes for recycling purposes.

The box containing this briquette is made of recycled material. This briquette contains about 400 pieces of 100-Piso banknotes with the total face value of P40,000."

Apparently, the box contains an assortment of all banknotes, and not just 100-Piso banknotes as stated. Nevertheless, it is an interesting and colorful souvenir of Philippine paper currency.


UPDATE: I have some shredded 500 peso bills to spare. I can send you some but you will need to pay for freight and packaging costs. Send me an email at the address below if you're interested.

US-Philippines Wilson Dollar - Silver Medal

US-Philippines Wilson Dollar (1920)
Silver Medal
photo courtesy of peggasuss of ebay


Obverse: U.S. President Woodrow Wilson "President of the United States
Reverse: Justice kneeling and watching over a nude youth who is pouring planchets (coin blanks) into a cooling press "Commemorate the opening of the mint", "Manila P.I. 1920"

Mintage: 2,200 pieces (another 3,700 for a bronze version)

This official silver medal was struck at the Manila Mint in July 1920 to commemorate it's opening. The dies were executed by George Morgan.


The Manila Mint

The Manila Mint was a branch of the United States Mint, located in Manila, now the capital city of the Philippines. Since that country became a United States possession after the Spanish-American War, the United States began to produce coinage for the Philippines in 1903 at its San Francisco and Philadelphia mints.

In 1920, the Manila Mint was opened, and was the first (and to date only) U.S. branch mint located outside the Continental United States. It produced coins until 1922 and then again from 1925 to 1941, when the Japanese Empire invaded the Philippines during World War II. The mint was operated under Japanese auspices during the occupation. No U.S. coins were produced at Manila after 1941 due to the occupation and to Philippine independence in 1946, although Philippine coinage did take place at the other U.S. mints in 1944 and 1945. The building housing the mint was destroyed during the retaking of the city in 1944.

Uncut Sheet of Banknotes

Image courtesy of jt40tmh of ebay

These banknotes are interestingly, uncut. In one large sheet of uncut paper money are 32 pieces of banknotes. That is how they print them in the mint. Sometimes, uncut sheets of eight banknotes (2 columns of four) are also available for collectors.

The banknotes in the photo are specimen notes which mean they are not of legal tender. However, I have seen uncut legal tender banknotes. Those you can use to pay for your groceries. Just imagine the cashier's surprise if you hand out an uncut sheet for payment. Without the "specimen" overprint, uncut notes are still legal tender.

Most likely you won't be doing that though. There aren't too many uncut sheets around so they fetch a high price in the numismatic community. I saw a sheet of eight 10 peso bills (new design series) for sale at SM Megamall for 600 pesos. A similar sheet of 20 peso bills with overprint was 1,200 pesos.

This definitely makes a good collectors' item.

One Peso Coin - Culion Leper Colony

One Peso Coin (1925)
Culion Leper Colony

Coin image courtesy of blackmountaincoins.com

Obverse: Dr. Jose P. Rizal, "Culion Leper Colony", Philippine Islands
Reverse: Seal of the Philippine Health Service, "Philippine Health Service", "One Peso", year mark

Diameter: 35mm
Composition: copper-nickel

Mintage: 20,000

5000 Peso Gold Coin - The New Society Commemorative

Five Thousand Peso Commemorative Gold Coin
Bagong Lipunan's 5th Anniversary
image courtesy of gr8ingr


Obverse: President Ferdianand E. Marcos and First Lady Imelda R. Marcos, The New Society, "V Anniversary", 1972-1977
Reverse: Seal of the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Republika ng Pilipinas, 5000 Piso

Quality: Frosted proof
Material: 2.21 troy ounces 900/1000 fine gold

Shape: Round
Edge: Milled

Text on sealed cachet:
The 1977 Five Thousand Piso Gold Coin of the Philippines.

The proof coin contained within this sealed cachet was struck by The Franklin Mint on March 24, 1977 the first day of minting of this Proof coin.

Minted under the authorization of the Central Bank of the Philippines by the Franklin Mint, Franklin Center, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Signed G.S. Licaros (Governor, Central Bank of the Philippines) and Charles L. Andes (Chairman of the Board, The Franklin Mint)

The BSP Logo

UPDATE: Check out the New BSP logo

The logo of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) adorns the reverse of all (except the 5-sentimo) coins of the New BSP Series. It is also featured in banknotes printed since 1993.


The BSP seal is a composite of the Filipino flag, the risen sun and mountains framed by a wheel and ringed by the inscription, "THE BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS."

The FLAG symbolizes the country and expresses the Filipino people's nationalism and unity.

The RISEN SUN signifies the bright future and renewed spirit of the nation.

The MOUNTAINS represent stability and the WHEEL signifies movement and industry, the key to the nation's economic progress.

About the Bangko Sentral

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is the central bank of the Republic of the Philippines. It was established on 3 July 1993 pursuant to the provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the New Central Bank Act of 1993. The BSP took over from the Central Bank of Philippines, which was established on 3 January 1949, as the country’s central monetary authority. The BSP enjoys fiscal and administrative autonomy from the National Government in the pursuit of its mandated responsibilities.

Feeling the Coin Edges


There are two sides of a coin. Other than that, they also have an edge.

Coin edges were originally reeded (or milled) as a security measure to prevent coin clipping. Some people used to shave off the edges of gold and silver coins and later melt the shavings into bullions. This would usually go unnoticed. However, with the grooves at the sides of the coin, coin clipping would become more noticeable.

Current Philippine coins are not intrinsically valuable and perhaps nobody would bother clipping them. There is still, however, another use for the reeded edges.

The edges of Philippine coins are designed to help differentiate the different denominations. Fumbling for the right coin can be challenging in the dark, and more especially for the blind. Sometimes, the five peso coin can be mistaken for the ten peso coin. The size of the 5 and 10 peso coins may be very similar but their edges are very different.

The edge of the 10 peso coin is reeded while the five peso coin's edge is plain. As you go down the denominations, you will see the pattern. One peso is reeded, 25 sentimo is plain, ten cents reeded, and 5 sentimo is plain (The one sentimo is also plain but the 5 sentimo coin has a glaring hole anyway). Running one's fingertips to feel the edges shoudl do the trick.

The next time you're in a dark jeepney and not sure of the coin you're about to hand out as fare, let the edges reassure you.

Banknote Error - Excessive Ink


I found this error scan in a buy & sell site. The upper photo shows the 50 peso bill with smudged ink. The lower banknote scan shows how it should normally look like.

This is the first time I've seen this kind of error. Whoever encounters such must be very lucky considering that banknotes are manually checked for errors before they leave the Bangko Sentral.

The asking price for this item is PhP5000. If you're interested, contact the seller using the link above. The author of this blog is not associated with the seller.

Worn-out Banknotes


Why are 20 peso bills always so worn out? Compared to other denominations, the 20 peso banknote is most of the time old, crumpled, dirty, and simply rotten.

It just so happens that the 20 peso bill is the smallest banknote denomination being printed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) today. The smaller the denomination, the more frequently the banknote changes hands, and the faster it wears out.

In the New Design Series, we used to have the five peso and ten peso bill. These are still valid today and is legal tender, but the BSP has stopped printing them. Why? They simply wore out too fast that the BSP decided they should be replaced with coins which last a longer.

This makes us think that someday, the BSP might replace the 20 peso bill with a 20 peso coin. As the currency devaluates and loses its value, small bills wear out faster.

So what do we do with worn out bills? The BSP asks us to help replace them with new bills. If you have collected a number of worn out banknotes, bring them to your nearest bank and have them change it to crisp, clean notes. The BSP wants our money to look presentable.

Mutilated notes are another story. Banks are not required to replace or accept mutilated banknotes and coins, although they may do so as extra service to their clients. Mutilated currency notes are those which are torn, brittle, split edgewise, or has lost all signatures inscribed on it.

In case your bank does not grant you the favor of replacing mutilated banknotes, you may present or forward it to the following offices for determination of redemption value:

The Cash Department
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Mabini Street, Manila; or

The nearest Bangko Sentral Regional Office/Branch

Coin Grading by PCGS

Coin grading is a very important process for serious coin collectors. If you are serious about making money out of your coins, coin grading is an indispensable process that tries to objectively describe the quality of the coin. The higher the grade of the coin, the higher the value.

Here is a video demonstrating the meticulous coin grading procedure of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).

How do they make coins?

Ever wondered how they mint coins? Here is a video showing the process of creating silver proof coins in the Royal Canadian Mint.



Proof coins are special because they are double-struck on polished dies made of precious metals. Ordinary coins for circulation are struck only once on cheaper metal alloys.

UP Oblation soon on P100 bills

Banknote collectors have something to look forward to in 2008. In commemoration of the centennial of the University of the Philippines (UP), the "Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has approved the overprinting of the image of the Oblation on new hundred peso bills to be circulated soon" (up.edu.ph).

The image above is only a speculation. Overprints are usually done on the white space on the right side of the banknote. The overprinted bills will most likely be issued in 2008, the year of UP's centennial.

The Oblation is the iconic symbol of the University of the Philippines, represented by a man with arms wide-stretched and face facing up, symbolizing selfless offering of one's self to his country.

Mabuhay ka Iskolar ng Bayan!

UPDATE: Collectible UP Centennial Banknotes Released

50 Peso Commemorative Coin (International Year of the Child)


Fifty Peso Silver Proof Coin Commemorating the International Year of The Child (1979)

Obverse: Portrait of a Child, International Year of the Child emblem, "Pandaigdig na Taon ng mga Bata", year mark
Reverse: Seal of the Republic of the Philippines, "50 Piso", "Republika ng Pilipinas"

Quality: Proof
Material: Silver

Shape: Round
Edge: Milled

This coin was minted at the Franklin Mint of the United States of America.

The year 1979 was proclaimed the International Year of the Child by the United Nations. The proclamation was signed on January 1, 1979 by United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. The proclamation was meant to draw attention to problems that affected children throughout the world, including malnutrition and lack of access to education.

25 Peso Commemorative Coin (UN Conference on Trade and Industry)


Twenty-five Peso Silver Proof Coin Commemorating the UN Conference on Trade and Development

Obverse: United Nations Logo, "United Nations Conference on Trade and Development", year mark (1979)
Reverse: "Philippine International Convention Center Manila", "Republika ng Pilipinas", "25 Piso"

Material: Silver
Quality: Proof

Shape: Round
Edge: Milled

When the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development was held in Manila, the Central Bank issued this 25 peso silver coin to commemorate the event. The conference was held in the Philippines International Convention Center (PICC). This coin was minted at the Franklin Mint of the United States of America.

Security Feature - Fluorescent Printing

Ever wondered what cashiers are up to when they hold your banknotes under a money detector? You know, it's that device that emits some sort of dark purple light. It's the same kind of light that attracts innocent insects towards bug zappers.

Alright, your cashier is just checking if your money is fake or not. If placed under the money detector, some parts of the banknote would normally glow and reveal interesting marks. The marks are called fluorescent prints and they "fluoresce" or glow when exposed to UV light.

The money detector holds a special bulb called the UV lamp or black light. It emits ultraviolet light which causes fluorescent dyes on the banknote to light up. Fluorescent marks usually portray the denomination of the banknote and is located off-center to the left of the portraits. The dye is also incorporated in some of the serial numbers and security fibers. This causes them to glow as well.

Fluorescent printing is not entirely new. In fact, Bagong Lipunan bills already had them. Counterfeiters have been known to replicate fluorescent printing into fake bills. thus, it is not an assurance that your money is authentic.

Security Feature - Optically Variable Ink

Optically variable inks (OVI) are very expensive inks applied on banknotes as a security feature. So far, only the 1000 peso bills have this. There are two versions of OVI printing on the 1000 peso banknotes. The image above shows the newer 'improved' version on top of the older one. The former has more coverage and its color varies better. This is an excellent security feature because counterfeiters will need a lot of effort and money to replicate it.

So why are they called optically variable inks? Tiny flakes of color-shifting film are incorporated in the intaglio ink. Thus, prints of OVI change color when viewed from different angles. The pictures below show how the 1000 figure changes from green...

to blue... Or does it?

50 Centavo Coin Error (1983 )

Photo courtesy of Maiylah (pictureclusters.blogspot.com)

Long before there was the "Arrovo" error on the 100 peso bill, there was the "Pithecobhaga" error on the 1983 fifty centavo coin. The coin which comes from the flora and fauna series depicts the monkey-eating eagle, more popularly known as the Philippine eagle on its reverse side. The scientific name of this eagle, which happens to be the country's national bird, is Pithecophaga jefferyi but the Central Bank wrongly minted it as "Pithecobhaga jefferyi". A biologist reported the error to the Central Bank who immediately corrected the coins.

See the blog entry for the correct coin.

10 Peso People Power Commemorative Revolution Commemorative Coin

Ten Peso Commemorative Coin
People Power Revolution

Obverse: symbolisms of prayer, courage, and love, "People Power Revolution", "Philippines February 22-25, 1986"
Reverse: seal of the Republic of the Philippines, "Republika ng Pilipinas", denomination (10 Piso), year mark (1988)

Shape: round
Edge: milled

Diameter: 36 mm
Weight: 22 grams
Composition: 100% (pure) nickel

Quality: circulation

This coin is issued to commemorate an event of historic significance in the Philippines, the People Power Revolution of February 22-25, 1986. It depicts trhe protest of the Filipinos against an unpopular regime. By prayer, courage and love, this manifestation became the rallying point for the restoration of democracy in the country. It also features the seal of the Republic of the Philippines.

500 Peso Coin

Five Hundred Peso Coin (Philippine Silver Proof)
50th Anniversary of the Central Banking in the Philippines

Obverse:
Logos of the original Central Bank of the Philippines and the existing Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the yeas 1949 and 1999. "Limampung Taon ng Pagbabangko Sentral sa Pilipinas"
Reverse: Old Central bank Building and the existing Bangko Sentral Complex. "Republika ng Pilipinas", "500 PISO".

Shape: Round
Edge: Milled

Diameter: 38.60 mm
Weight: 28.28 grams
Composition: 92.5% Silver

Issue Limit: 5000 Pieces
Year of Issue: 1999

Text on Certificate of Authenticity:

"We hereby certify that this 500 PISO coin has been struck by MONNAIE DE PARIS in Proof Quality and is an official issue of the BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS with an issue limit of only 5,000 pieces worldwide." (Signed by Emmanuel Constans, Director of the French Mint and Gabriel C. Singson, Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas)

Coin Buyer

Strolling along the sidewalks of Rizal St. in Iloilo City, I noticed this coin buyer (doubling as a photocopier) near Gaisano Guanco. He was working for a Chinese coin dealer who has an American client who buys all the coins. He gave me a flyer with the following price list:

1903-1945 Philippine Silver Coins
  1. Peso-------------------P 190.00
  2. Fifty Centavos---------P 63.00
  3. Twenty Centavos--------P 27.00
  4. Ten Centavos-----------P 15.00
There was no mention of quality requirements but I assure you they're buying these coins at a bargain. I went to the next street and the last price I got for a Peso coin was P380.00!

If you're interested, they also buy American silver coins:

1837-1964 American Silver Coins
  1. Morgan Dollar-------------------P 220.00
  2. Peace Dollar---------------------P 200.00
  3. Half Dollar-----------------------P63.00
  4. Quarter Dollar-------------------P30.00
  5. Dime-----------------------------P15.00
Again, these prices are a bargain for them.

Concealed Value in 500 Peso Bill


Have you noticed cashiers sometimes hold up 500 peso bills to eye level and appear to look for something at the lower-left corner of the banknote? Well, they are indeed looking for something. There is a concealed value in the boxed portion of the banknote above. This is another security feature that could help distinguish genuine notes from the fake.

If you would look intently on the 500 peso bill, in the area of the boxed portion above, you should be able to distinguish a "500" figure composed of minute horizontal lines against the intricate pattern behind it. Hold the bill flat at eye level and tilt it just slightly and the figure becomes more vivid. Try it now! Do you see it?

Shredded Philippine Money!

Yes, what you see in the picture is real - shredded 1000 peso bills. Am I just too filthy rich that one day I decided to shred a bundle of one thousand peso banknotes? I wish!

Well, the truth is I got these banknotes for free, already shredded. Sometimes, the Bangko Sentral gives away shredded money when they have exhibits around the country. Of course they don't shred them just for that! The Central Bank regularly shreds worn-out and defective paper bills so they may be replaced with fresh notes. When they misspelled the president's name as "Arrovo" instead of "Arroyo", they were forced to shred millions of 100 peso bills.

In the United States, their federal reserve shreds so much of their banknotes (7000 tons annually!) they are having a problem of where to place them all. They've used the shreds as stuffing for mattresses but the dirty bills were just too smelly and causes rashes. They plan to use the shreds to make materials for roofing and for walls . They even plan to build entire buildings with it. Some prefer to make money stationery. I guess these shreds would make good confetti too.

Bangko Sentral was nice enough to package these banknote shreds into little pouches. Here I got shredded 10, 20, 50, 100 and 1000 peso bills (I can't find the pouch with 500s).

Would you try piecing these together again? They say if you could put together more than 50% of a torn banknote, the banks will redeem it. Good luck!

UPDATE: I have some shredded 500 peso bills to spare. I can send you some but you will need to pay for freight and packaging costs. Send me an email at the address below if you're interested.

Fake 10 Peso Coins

photo from photospill.com

The Central Bank never thought someone would actually bother counterfeiting 10 peso coins. To their big surprise, some syndicates did take up the challenge and minted fake 5 and 10 peso coins. In one raid, they even seized 5 million pesos worth of 10 peso coins.

A few clues on how to spot these fake coins:
  1. The fake coins are dated either 2001 or 2002. Be more careful with coins bearing these dates.
  2. Fake coins stick to magnets. While the genuine coins are made up of an alloy of aluminum, copper, nickel, and zinc, the counterfeit ones are made of steel.
  3. The fake coins tend to rust, real ones don't. This is because of their metal composition. The image above shows rust on the outer ring.
  4. The fake coins are lighter. Again, this is because they are made of a different metal.
  5. Fake coins are not well minted. Upon closer examination, the fake coins miss out some details. Click on the image above and you will see the "B" in "Bonifacio" to be distorted. The other letters are also indistinct. The edge of the inner metal (yellow) is also uneven.
Possession of these fake currency is illegal so surrender them to the nearest bank. Don't expect them to refund you!

Take note that only 10 and 5 peso have been counterfeited so far. Some 1 peso and 25 centavo coins stick to magnets, but this is because the Bangko Sentral changed their composition to prevent their smuggling. That's another topic.

Banknote Error - "Arrovo" on 100 Peso Banknote

The 100-Piso bill became subject of controversy after bills printed in France were printed with the President's name misspelled, the first in Philippine history. The bills, which are still legal tender, spelled the President's name as "Gloria Macapagal-Arrovo" instead of the correct "Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo".


The error was realized only when the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) emloyees started withdrawing their salaries from the bank's ATMs. The Central Bank claims that less than 1,000 pieces of this banknote have been released into circulation. The defective banknotes that were still in the vault of Bangko Sentral were shredded.

Opposition Congressman Rolex Suplico of Iloilo commented:
“My Spanish teacher told me ‘rovo’ sounded like ‘robo,’ which means robbery in Spanish. This is from ‘robar,’ which means to rob someone.”
President Arroyo was accused by the opposition of corruption and cheating in the 2004 elections.

The French printer Francois Charles Oberthur Fiduciare, the third-largest private banknote printer in the world, shouldered the cost of 19.477 million or 25% of the total 77.9 million misspelled banknotes. In addition, 58.43 million or 75% of the total were replaced by the printer.

The last time the BSP commited a misspelling in the currency was in the early 1980's. The scientific name of the Philippine Eagle on the 50 centavo coin, Pitheco
paga jefferyi" was misspelled as "Pithecobaga jefferyi".

Security Feature: Perfect See-Through Register

Some of our Philippine banknotes have a perfect see-through register feature. A good example would be the 2000 bill.

On the banknote's front side, near the upper-left corner, one would find the seemingly abstract shapes:
Similar symbols appear on the reverse of the note near the upper-right corner.

So what do these strange symbols stand for? Actually, nothing! That is until we hold the note up to the light and see them together form the letters "BSP" which is the acronym for Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.


The prints at the back and front of the banknote are printed such that they "register" "perfect"ly with one another. They are printed exactly over one another to create a complete image when held up to the light. This is the perfect see-through register security feature. Ordinary printing methods will find it hard to be able to achieve the same accuracy in printing.

A perfect see-through register may also be found on the 200 peso banknote. The 200 outline in front and the blue 200 at the back meet in one zero to form another perfect see-through register. However, for this particular note I have photographed and many other 200 peso bills, the register is not that "prefect" at all.


Check out the 50 peso bill. It has a more "perfect" see-through register in one of its zeros.