U.S. Philippine 5 Centavos: 1930-1935


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1903-1935
Composition: 75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Diameter: 19 mm
Weight: 4.75 grams
Total Mintage: 13,246,000
Mints: Manila
Edge: Smooth


When it comes to collecting U.S. coinage, issues from the Philippines are the most overlooked of all coins. To add further insult to injury, try to find a commercial U.S. type set album that includes issues from the Philippines. (hint: there are none)

This was a true shame as coinage from this era was truly beautiful and reaped the benefit of a 1902 bill signed by the President Theodore Roosevelt authorizing a new and distinct coinage to be struck that created some of the most beloved coins collected in the hobby today. Many credit the 1907 $10 or $20 Gold Eagle coins as the first new designs of Roosevelt's commission but that honor actually belongs to Philippine coinage beginning in 1903.

To further complicate things, some people today are even unaware that the Philippines were once part of the United States from 1898 to 1945.

The Philippines were transferred from Spain to the United States in the Treaty of Paris (1898), which closed the Spanish-American War.

The Tydings-McDuffie Independence Act of 1934 granted the Philippines Commonwealth status. The Act provided for complete independence of the islands in 1945 after 10 years of self-government under U.S. supervision.


The obverse was designed by Melecio Figueroa and features an adolescent male native seated at an anvil and holding a hammer in his right hand. In the background is the Mayon volcano, with billowing smoke coming from the crater, located on the main island of Luzon. On the upper periphery of the coin is the denomination “FIVE CENTAVOS” and on the lower periphery is the word “FILIPINAS”.

The reverse design features an eagle perched atop a shield. On the outer periphery are the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and the year of issue. To the left of the year is the mint mark “M” for Manila.

Obverse Reverse
phil5centOBV.JPG phil5centREV2.JPG

General Market Notes

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