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The most gorgeous Five Centavos business strike that I have ever seen!



Sometimes Auction Catalogue pictures really to not do a coin justice.

That is certainly the case with my latest acquisition.

A always review the major auctions to see if they offer possible upgrades for my USA/Philippines Type Set.


The recent Ira and Larry Goldberg Pre-Long Beach Auction had a nice offering of high quality USA/Philippine coins. One coin in particular (Lot number 4596) struck my eye. The auction catalog described the coin as Philippines. 5 Centavos. 1937-M. KM-180. PCGS graded MS-65, and listed an Estimated Value of $150 - $250.

The picture of the coin in the auction catalog was definitely underwhelming. The picture was clouded by fuzzy white streaks due to scuffing on the slab. The coin had the weakly struck lettering on the reverse which is typical for pre-war Commonwealth Five Centavos. What interested me most about this coin was the unusually well struck central devices on the reverse and a very prominent Lamination on the obverse.

I phoned the auctioneers to make sure that the white streaks were actually on the slab and not the coin and to get their opinion of the coins eye appeal. The auction house confirmed that the white streaks were on the slab not the coin and told me that they thought the coin had exceptional eye appeal.

With that to go on I placed an online bid of $200. The 2008-2009 Edition of U.S./Philippine Coins by Lyman L. Allen lists a value of $150.00 for a 1937-M Five Centavos in MS 65. Since the Allen catalog is now four years old and GEM quality USA/Philippine coins now sell considerably higher than the Allen price I thought that $200.00 was a realistic bid for this coin. To make sure that I acquired this specimen I followed the auction live on line. Most of the USA/Philippine coins in this auction sold well above Allen prices with some selling far higher than I would consider their fair market value. In addition to internet bidding there was strong bidding from the floor.

When lot number 4596 came up my internet bid of $200.00 was quickly outbid from the floor. I countered with a live internet bid of $220.00 which proved to be the successful bid for this coin. When you add buyers premium and shipping and insurance my final cost was $263.00.

My coin arrived in the mail today and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the drab Ugly Duckling coin pictured in the auction catalog had gone through a magical metamorphous and emerged a Gorgeous Swan.

I have never seen a business strike Five Centavos with this much eye appeal. The fields are Proof Like with iridescent rainbow toning. When you look at this coin face on it appears to be Gold Toned. However when you turn the coin to view it from different angles the colors change like in a hologram reveling beautiful shades of gold, blue, and red.

In addition to the exceptional eye appear not revealed by the auction catalog picture I was pleased to find that the lamination is far more prominent and interesting than in the pictures. There are three long laminations along the rim runing from 12 o clock to 5 o clock. The laminations are highly raised with boldly struck dentils.

The combined PCGS/NGC population for 1937-M Five Centavos in MS65 or above is only twenty coins, so I think I got quite a bargain for this lovely coin.

Attached is the Ugly Duckling Auction Catalog picture of my Gorgeous Swan.




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