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 “HALF CENTAVO” and on the lower periphery is the word “FILIPINAS”.
The reverse design features an eagle perched atop a shield of stars and stripes. On the outer periphery are the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and the year of issue.
General Market Notes
Minted from 1903 to 1908 only the years 1903 & 1904 had coins minted for circulation and all other years were proof only issues. After 1908, the ½ centavo denomination was eliminated. Because there are only two years of general coinage production for the denomination it remains a popular coin and is always in demand.
Though not expensive finding a clean uncirculated example may be a challenge unto itself. The Philippines during this time lacked the proper facilities for storage of coins. It is not uncommon for coins to show carbon spots, toning, or tarnishing.