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United States Coinage for the Philippine Islands: The Ten Centavos of 1903 - 1906 by JAA USA/Philippines Collection

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Today's Journal entry is the eighth installment in my weekly series on the United States coinage for the Philippine Islands. The seventh of the twenty slots that compose a NGC USA-Philippines Type Set is the Ten Centavos of 1903 - 1906.


The Ten Centavos was designed by Filipino artist Melicio Figueroa and engraved by U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Charles Barber. The obverse design features a young Filipino woman standing to the right in a flowing dress while striking an anvil with a hammer held in her right hand, the left hand is raised and holding an olive branch. In the background is a billowing volcano. The obverse carries the inscriptions "Ten Centavos" and "Filipinas" (Spanish for Philippines). The reverse design depicts an eagle with spread wings perched atop an American shield. The reverse carries the inscription "United States of America" and the date.


The 1903 -- 1906 Ten Centavos has a diameter of 17.5 mm and a weight of 2.69 grams (41.55 grains) of .900 fineness silver (ASW 0.0779oz).


Business strikes of the Ten Centavos were produced at the Philadelphia Mint in 1903 (5,102,658) and 1904 (10,000), and the San Francisco Mint in 1903 (1,200,000), and 1904 (5,040,000).


All of the 1904 (P) business strikes were produced as part of a Special Mint Set of USA-Philippine silver coins (Ten Centavos, Twenty Centavos, Fifty Centavos, and One Peso) struck specifically for sale at the Philippine Exhibit at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (World Fair) in St. Louis. Of the 10,000 sets produced for this purpose 3254 were sold at the 1904 World Fair. Another 500 sets were sold by the Philippine Treasury in Manila. The remaining 6246 sets were placed in circulation as ordinary coins.


A limited number of Proof Ten Centavos were produced at the Philadelphia Mint from 1903 through 1906. The mintage figures for proof Ten Centavos is as follows: 1903 (2,558), 1904 (1,355), 1905 (471), and 1906 (500). The 1905, and 1906 Ten Centavos are PROOF ONLY ISSUES.


The business and proof coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint have no mint mark. Business strikes produced at the San Francisco Mint have an "S" mint mark on the reverse to the left of the date.


The Ten Centavos of 1903 through 1906 has a silver content equal to the U.S. Barber Dime. With an official exchange rate of two Philippine Pesos to one U.S. dollar it was not long before the value of the silver content in the Ten Centavos exceeded its face value and many were melted during the great silver melts of the period. In 1906 the silver coins held in reserve by the Treasury were sent back to the U.S. for re-coinage into the reduced size and weight pieces which followed in 1907. Lyman Allen estimates that less than 20% of all 1903-1906 silver coinages exist today in any grade.


Despite the large number of coins that were lost to melting type coin collectors should find it relatively easy to find well struck choice uncirculated examples of the 1903 (P) or 1904-S business strike for less than one hundred dollars. Gem quality examples of those dates are more difficult to find but moderately priced. The least expensive Gem quality Type coin would be the 1903 (P) business strike which has a book value of $200.00 in MS65.


Strike Issues: These pieces are generally well struck, although some of the business strikes may show slight weakness of features. First strikings of the 1904 (P) Ten Centavos may appear proof-like in quality and appearance.


The attached picture shows my 1906 USA-Philippines Ten Centavos PR66 (Ex: Dr. Greg Pineda Philippine Collection). The 1906 Ten Centavos is a PROOF ONLY ISSUE with a mintage of 500.


To see my Ten Centavos Registry Set click here: http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/registry/coins/SetListing.aspx?PeopleSetID=51346&Ranking=ngc


To see the other coins that comprise an NGC USA-Philippines Type Set visit my award winning (2011 Best Presented Set Award) USA-Philippines Type Set at: http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/registry/coins/SetListing.aspx?PeopleSetID=51257&Ranking=ngc


An expanded version of the USA-Philippines Type Set is found in my Custom USA-Philippines Type Set at: http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/WCM/CoinCustomSetView.aspx?s=9238


Next week's installment will feature the Reduced Size and Weight Ten Centavos of 1907 - 1935.



See more journals by JAA USA/Philippines Collection

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