U.S. Philippine Centavo: 1937-1944


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1937-1944
Composition: Bronze
Diameter: 24.7 mm
Weight: 5.2 grams  
Total Mintage: 99,290,000
Mints: Manila and San Francisco


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 “ONE CENTAVO” and on the lower periphery is the word “FILIPINAS”.

The reverse design features an eagle perched atop a shield with a banner below it which is inscribed “COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES.” 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 or “S” for San Francisco.


Obverse Reverse Mint Mark

General Market Notes

Coins are readily available and no rarities exist. Though not expensive finding a clean uncirculated may be a challenge unto itself. The Manila Mint during this time did not have the all of the proper facilities for storage of coins. It is not uncommon for coins to show carbon spots, toning, or tarnishing.



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