November 24, 2008

The Extremely Rare 1986 Marcos head 500 - peso note to be auctioned this Month

Lot Description of the Marcos Head 500-peso banknote

The Bayanihan Collectors Club Local Auction Catalgue

After the Marcos regime ended, the Aquino government implemented a draconian reformation including the immediate deletion of all memories that would remind the public of the former president. Statues, monuments, publications, including projects were torn down, demolished, or discontinued as part of the process. During that same period, then Bangko SentralNg Pilipinas was about to introduce the 500-peso denomination, which featured Marcos head. Before the denomination was about to be distributed, Ferdinand Marcos was ousted by way of the first People Power revolution thus, it never reached circulation and were left stored in the Central Bank’s vault until the new government was installed.

Former president Aquino ordered the destruction of all of these banknotes that even the Central Bank Museum does not have any specimen in their collection. The order was very directive that not a single piece be left as a reminder of the history that had taken placed. However, a single image of the note was captured by a researcher who was then compiling a catalogue of Philippine banknotes. I have found that mysterious manuscript inside the Quezon City Hall public Library with the original pictures attached to it. The crude research paper never reached mass production and the original manuscript was placed along with several books in the Filipiniana section. The pages of the manuscript were already torn that even the title page was missing yet surprisingly, the single picture of the 500-Marcos note was there when I first made that discovery.

I was disappointed that the library do not allow their books brought outside despite of my formal request from the administrator to have it colored copied, and thus I left the image at the hands of other library goers.

The second time I came, I brought myself a digital camera to have the image reproduced but it was not there anymore. Sad to say that even just the picture of this amazingly rare note was lost that I had feared that it was lost forever until a great news arrived.

This 30th of November, the Bayanihan Collectors Club will conduct a regular auction, which features the printer’s proof of the 500-peso Marcos banknote. Despite of the numerous rare collections that will be offered, the item is placed under the regular local auction so, no image was attached along with the lot description. This is a once in lifetime opportunity for Philippine note collectors since this is the first time that the numismatic world would first capture the first and probably the only existing copy of the note---which coincidentally, is also the printer’s copy.

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