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 a young Filipina in a flowing dress standing while striking an anvil with a hammer held in her right hand, her left arm is half raised and she holds an olive branch in her hand. In the background is the Mayon volcano with a billowing smoke coming from the crater. On the upper periphery of the coin is the denomination “FIFTY 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 may be a mint mark “S” for San Francisco. Coin with no mint marks were minted at the Philadelphia Mint.
Variety 1: 1903-1906 – Silver Weight 0.390 ounces
Variety 2: 1907-1929 – Silver Weight 0.2411 ounces
General Market Notes
The key to the series is the unobtainable 1903S issue while the semi-key coin is the 1905S issue. For an undervalued coin look for 1904 issues, with a mintage of only 11,000 it represents a bargain.