Video of interest to Collectors of Philippine Coins

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

I spotted an interesting video about The Philippines that was produced shortly after World War II. At the 11:15 mark there's a segment showing how American divers recovered huge numbers of silver coins that had been dumped into Caballo Bay in 1942 to prevent their capture by the invading Japanese. Many of these coins survive today, though all suffer from various degrees of damage to their surfaces from saltwater erosion.


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Members who want more extensive information can obtain a copy of the Journal of Numismatic Research, Issue #3, from Wizard Coin Supply, or borrow a copy from the ANA Library. Here's the cover and description of contents.


This issue, Summer 2013, is devoted to the valiant attempts by Filipino and American military and civilian personnel to prevent gold and silver from falling into the hands of the invading Japanese Army at the onset of World War II.

The successful voyage of the “golden ship” USS Trout from Corregidor Island to Honolulu with its ballast crammed with gold, received considerable publicity on the American Homefront. Several popular articles appeared during and after the war that outlined the general events but omitted, or altered many details for war-time consumption. The article beginning on page nine, presents the best modern research on the background, execution and conclusion of this amazing event. Copies of declassified relevant War Patrol Reports are included.

After all the gold and some of the Philippine silver were smuggled out on the Trout, a large quantity of silver coins remained. These were dumped into Manila Bay. The Japanese soon learned the location and conscripted American Navy divers to bring the money to the surface. This fascinating story of bravery and determination was unknown during the war and received little public attention afterward. This is the first comprehensive description and analysis of silver recovery.

A closing feature reveals the U.S. Mint’s role in recovering Nazi looted treasure following VE Day, and provides the first numismatic estimates of American gold coins contained in the treasure.

Edited by RWB
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