Beyond the "Red Book": Basic Reference Books for US/Philippine Coins



A personal numismatic library is an indispensible resource for the serious collector. This is particularly true for collectors of USA/Philippines coins.

The 2012 "Red Book" devotes five pages to US/Philippine coins. Obviously with this space constraint the amount of information that can be provided is very limited. If a collector wants to learn about the unique characteristics of a particular coin or obtain a better understanding of this historically important series they need to consult one of the specialty reference books devoted exclusively to this series.

There are three essential reference works which I highly recommend.

The bible for US/Philippine collectors is "United States Territorial Coinage For The Philippine Islands: An illustrated history and price list of coins, tokens and medals issued for the Philippine Islands as a United States Territory" by Neil Shafer. This essential reference work was published by Whitman Publishing Company, Racine, Wisconsin in 1961. Although long out of print used copies are frequently offered in US/Philippine coin auctions or by dealers who specialize in US/Philippine coins. The historical information in this reference book is very complete and contains much more detail than other U.S.-Philippine guide books. Two features that are particularly valuable, and not found in any other reference book, are the chapter on the "Characteristics of U.S.-Philippine Coinage By Type" and an illustrated Appendix which identifies the High Points of Wear for each Type.

The second reference book which is a must for serious collectors is "Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974, Second Edition" by Aldo P. Basso. The Basso book was published in 1975 by Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, Philippines. The information on "Coinage Under Spanish Rule" is very informative and the chapters on Medals and Tokens is the most comprehensive of any guide book. Although long out of print and difficult to find in used condition, Basso is still the basic reference used by NGC, PCGS, and ANACS in certifying Medals and Tokens of the Philippines.

The final reference book which is a must for the serious U.S. Philippine collector is "U.S./Philippine Coins, 6th Edition 2008-2009" by Lyman L. Allen. Although five years old the Allen catelog provides the most recently published U.S./Philippine price guide. Prices for business strikes are given in VF, EF, AU, MS60, MS63 and MS65. Prices for proof issues are given for PR60, PR61, PR62, PR63, PR64, and PR65. In addition to mintage figures on every U.S./Philippine coin a "Combined Population Report" gives the combined NGC, PCGS, and ANACS population for every U.S./Philippine coin, including die varities in grades EF through MS/PF 68. The listing and descriptions of U.S./Philippine Die Varities is the most comprehensive of any reference book. Allen is the standard reference used by NGC, PCGS, and ANACS in certifying U.S./Philippine Die Varities. Each Die Variety has an unique Allen Catelog Number which differentiates it from the standard issue and other die varities of that coin. For example the 1944-D Twenty Centavos has an Allen Number of 12.04 while the 1944 D/S Die Variety has an Allen Number of 12.04a. The Allen catelog is readily available from any dealer who specializes in U.S./Philippine coins.

The coin pictured is an 1944 D/S Twenty Centavos, Allen Number 12.04a, NGC MS66. Note the Allen number printed on the NGC label.

For detailed information on the 1944 D/S Twenty Centavo visit my US/Philippine Type Set at http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/registry/coins/SetListing.aspx?PeopleSetID=51257 and click on the coin in the Twenty Centavos 1937-1945 slot.


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