Philippine Peso Coins and Banknotes

Philippine Coins and Banknotes

50 Centavo Coin Error (1983 )

Photo courtesy of Maiylah (

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

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.