July 20, 2008


1906-S with several chopmarks, with an unknown and koban counterstamp

The 1906-S 1 peso has been the most prominent status symbol of Philippine numismatics. Though the actual mintage of this coin is just slightly lower to the dated 1912 San Francisco Mint 1 peso. Still, the desire of owning a 1906-S 1 peso is a must for every Philippine coin collector.

During the 2nd World War, when the outnumbered United States & Philippine forces were retreating to the mountains of Bataan. Several boats carrying sacks of silver coins left the port of Manila and headed to the coast of Bataan to dump their cargoes on the waters of Manila Bay.

The Rape of Nanking and the thirst of the Japanese Imperial Force for gold and other precious metals were anticipated by then Philippine Treasury. Thus, coins especially the silver pesos were gathered and were planned for relocation at secured places. But due to lack of time and unanticipated arrival of the Japanese Imperial Forces on the shorelines of the Philippines, the plan never materialized and a desperate action was carried on by the Commonwealth Arm Forces to dump those silver coins on their escape to the mountains of Bataan.

Among the precious cargoes was almost all of the entire mintage of the 1906-S One peso, the 1936 One peso and 50 centavos, and the Wilson Silver and Bronze medals. Thus, the 1906-S became one of the most controversial and sought after Philippine coins.

A 1906-S with chopmark is already rare but a specimen with a counterstamp is truly unique. This mysterious specimen just appeared once on Ebay in the year of 2007. Twice auctioned but due to doubts and hesitations from collectors and scholars it only fetched a poor P22, 500 when the exchange rate between the peso and the dollar was at high of 50 pesos to a dollar.

No other 1906-S of such kind had been recorded nor have appeared on the market ever since. Although the price realized was not that appealing, yet such specimen remains unique and phenomenal up to this date.

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