November 29, 2008

The 1972 Marcelo H. Del Pilar 50 Centavos Trial Piece in Copper

The 1972 Marcelo H. De Pilar Trial Strike in Copper

During the introduction of the new coins and the second term of then president Ferdinand Marcos in 1966, several pattern coins were created by then prominent medal designer and a former member of the Philippine Numismatic & Antiquarian Society (PNAS), Jose Tupaz Jr. Among the known varieties by Jose Tupaz, Jr. were coins which featured the first couple heads, the former president, the pope & the former president, and the national hero Juan Luna, which surprisingly, was the only hero included in the project. The patterns were later refined and the official coin set was released in 1967, which replaced the old design, which was still adopted from the original design of Melchor Figueroa.

Some lead splashers of these patterns were also made, one of them is in the hand of a prominent dealer who made it as one of the display attraction in his shop. Though, not a single trial piece was reported to have existed when the mass productions were already started, there were clues however that the mint made trial pieces since during that same design transition, another major changes occurred.

By way of proclamation of Martial law (RA 1081) on the 21st of September 1972, Marcos implemented a vision for the new republic that would particularly unify the Filipinos for the coming changes in the future. He called this project “The New Society”, or Ang Bagong Lipunan, a model society that would uplift the lives of the Filipinos through unification. The campaign was massive that he vetoed that such slogan would be inserted and carried out though the daily lives of the Filipinos, including the monetary system itself.

Marcos already implemented the gearing of the society toward patriotism where Tagalog was adopted as the national language. The former seal of the Republic which bear its slogan in English was replaced by a new Tagalog version including the name of the Central Bank which was altered to Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas.

Recently, a final trial piece in copper of the 50 centavos that bears the portrait of Marcelo H. Del Pilar surfaced. This is the final die trial before the die was finally destroyed and discontinued. Amazingly, the piece survived without much deterioration because it was covered in glue when it was first found. The coin is dated 1972, the last date of the 50 centavos denomination before it was discontinued to be produced in 1975. Only after the end of the regime, that the 50-centavos denomination was again introduced at the time of President Corazon Aquino.

Whatever the reason why the “The New Society or Ang Bagong Lipunan never continued the production of 50-centavos remains trivial and mysterious. Yet, during the time of the New Society that gold coin production was resurrected after more than a hundred years hibernation, which made it as one of the most exciting period of Philippine numismatic.

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.

November 17, 2008

BSP Channel on Youtube




BSP Channel: Buhay Balikbayan

The Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas recently launched its official youtube channel making it as one of the numerous government agency that joined the famous video channel on the Internet. The channel was initially launched just last November 04, 2008 and it already has a dozen of videos available for viewers. Much of the videos discuss and feature tips on coping with the ongoing global financial crisis, savings, entrepreneurship, practical day to day living survival guide, and many more.

Some of the Filipino financial classic video clips such as "Tipid Tips," "Paghahanda sa Kinabukasan", "Pasok sa Budget", "Entrepinoy", "Alkansya, Hindi Aksaya", and many more. These short clips would surely benefit the common Filipino and otherwise would make them practically equipt in dealing with their day-to-day living.

The Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas has launched this campaign to mitigate and prepare the Filipinos against the impact of the global financial crisis, anticipating the massive layoffs in the near future which would directly affect the employment of the Overseas Filipino Workers.

November 13, 2008

Ancient Celtic coin cache found in Netherlands


Celtic Stater Gold coin (late 1st century BC – early 1st century AD)

A hobbyist with a metal detector has found a cache of ancient Celtic and Germanic coins in a cornfield in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht.

The city says the trove of 39 gold and 70 silver coins are dated to the middle of the first century B.C. — around the time Julius Caesar was leading military campaigns in the region.

The hobbyist, Paul Curfs, found several coins this spring and called attention to the find, which eventually led to an archaeological investigation by Amsterdam's Free University.

Archaelogists believe the gold coins were minted by a local tribe called the Eburones that Caesar claimed to have wiped out. The silver coins were imported from Germanic tribes further north. Both have triple spirals on the front, a common Celtic symbol.- AP

November 12, 2008

Oil & Gas In A Special Coin

The Malampaya Commemorative Coin

The Malampaya Gas production rig located near Palawan is the of the country’s pride in energy independence. Brought by the surging cost in oil importation, refining, and distribution, several exploration attempts in the early 80’s and late 70’s confirmed that the nation has a potential source of natural gas and oil.

A study undertaken by University of the Philippines Professor Dante B. Canlas, the former chief of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Using natural gas royalties would cut power costs which may stimulate economic growth since it will make local industries more competitive.


The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) which indicates that royalties that could be collected from “the exploitation of all indigenous sources of energy including natural gas and geothermal steam" would be used to cut power costs. This will provide government additional tax and non-tax revenues, which would be more than sufficient to offset the foregone royalties collection. Thus, the project started and had been one of the top priorities of several administrations.

In October 16, 2001 Malampaya platform was formally inaugurated by the current president Gloria Arroyo and other local & foreign business figures. A special commemorative coin produced by the Central Bank Mint was issued to celebrate this special event. This coin weighs 16 grams and 32mm in size and is made out of .999 silver and plated with a 24 Karat gold. However, the mintage is deceptive since there was no official record on the mint, which indicated the number of coin produced. But what is certain that this were only given to officials who have attended Malampaya’s exclusive inauguration.

The special coin or more specifically, the special token comes with a wooden box with the emblem of Malampaya, which is otherwise featured, on the coin’s obverse. The existence of this special token has not been known until recently which concludes how few were produced for this exclusive event only.

November 11, 2008

Gold, Platinum Drop on Concern Recession May Lessen Demand on Metal



Gold futures fell on speculation a global recession will damp demand for precious metals and other raw materials. Platinum and silver also declined.

Equities in Asia, Europe and the U.S. fell today. More than $28 trillion in value has been erased from global equity markets this year as banks have posted more than $920 billion in credit losses and writedowns. The Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials is down by almost a third this year.

``We're back to focusing on the recession,'' said Leonard Kaplan, the president of Prospector Asset Management in Evanston, Illinois. ``You're seeing a bear market in everything. Gold traditionally does better than anything else in this recessionary environment, but it still goes down.''

Gold futures for December delivery fell $13.70, or 1.8 percent, to $732.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The metal has dropped 29 percent from a record $1,033.90 in March.

Platinum futures for January delivery fell $33.30, or 3.9 percent, to $826.60 an ounce on the Nymex. The metal, used in jewelry and pollution-control devices in cars, has tumbled 64 percent from a record $2,308.80 on March 4.

Last week, General Motors Corp., the biggest U.S. automaker, reported a $4.2 billion third-quarter operating loss and warned it may run short of cash by the end of June. Ford Motor Co. reported a $2.98 billion loss in the quarter.

`Slammed'

``Nobody's going to buy cars,'' Kaplan said. ``You'll see platinum trade $100 to $250 lower than gold. It happens in every recession. Platinum is industrial, and catalytic converters and jewelry are going to get slammed.''

Platinum, palladium and silver have wider industrial uses than gold. Gold has dropped 13 percent this year. Silver is down 34 percent, and platinum and palladium has slumped more than 40 percent.

Gold may rebound to $800 in the next three months on investor demand for a haven from market turmoil, UBS AG analyst John Reade said.

``Interest in gold coins remains strong, with coin shortages apparent in many markets, while kilobars, one of the most popular investment categories, are trading at a high premium to the spot gold price due to long waiting lists at refineries,'' Reade said in a report.

A one-ounce Krugerrand coin from South Africa cost almost $37 more than the per-ounce spot price of gold today.

The U.S. Mint said this month it has resumed taking orders for American Buffalo 1-ounce gold-bullion coins after a surge in demand depleted supplies in its vaults.

Silver futures for December delivery fell 41.5 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $9.805 an ounce today on the Comex. Palladium for December delivery fell $2.75, or 1.2 percent, to $219.25 an ounce on the Nymex. - Bloomberg


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November 7, 2008

High-grade gold, silver found in S. Cotabato



A Canadian mining exploration company has found high-grade gold and silver deposits at a mining site in T’boli, South Cotabato.

Cadan Resources Corp., which operates the Tboli gold-silver project through Philippine affiliate Tribal Mining Corp., said the mine site might contain 584,000 tons of mineral deposits with 10.2 grams of gold and 50 grams of silver per ton.

In September, the company estimated mineral resources at the site at 420,000 ounces of gold and 1.6 million ounces of silver. It pegged the grade at 5.5 grams of gold and 21 grams of silver per ton.

"The latest higher grade results continue to indicate that the Tboli gold-silver resource not only appears to be larger in area. The grade also appears to be higher than [the earlier mineral resource classification]," Tribal Mining President Edgar D. Martinez said.

In a statement, he noted that there had been minimal surface exploration activity within a 400-meter area. Previous tests in the eastern side of the resource ranged from 13.37-81.14 grams of gold per ton, he added.

Tribal Mining obtained a permit to continue its exploration activities on Sept. 9 for potential development of the Tboli gold-silver project.

Canadian miner Cadan, which used to be known as Sur American Gold Corp., started underground development of the T’boli gold-silver deposits sometime later to determine the quality and quantity at the site.

The company’s mine development site straddles an area earlier contested by a native clan and a local cooperative.

The Maguan clan has sought clearance to mine the area of the T’boli Minahang Bayan Multipurpose Cooperative, which supposedly forms part of its ancestral domain claim. Consisting of small-scale mining operators, the cooperative has asked a local court that 21 hectares of a gold-rich portion of the village of Kematu in T’boli town be set aside for its exclusive use.

The land, however, forms part of the 85-hectare mining area granted by the government to Tribal Mining under a mineral production sharing deal.

Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director Constancio A. Paye, Jr. said the dispute between the cooperative and Tribal Mining is separate from the claims of the Maguan clan.

Former South Cotabato Governor Hilario de Pedro III has issued an executive order apportioning the 21 hectares as the "people’s mining site" to address the row.

Mr. Paye said about 20 to 30 tunnels have been dug by cooperative members at the site over the years. — Romer S. Sarmiento, BsuinessWorld

November 4, 2008

"Pondo Ng Pinoy" May Cause Coin Shortage


Philippine Low Denomination coins


Fearing a coin shortage caused by his pet project, Manila archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales asked priests in his archdiocese to remit quickly the 25-centavo coins they collected.

In a memorandum, Rosales said he received word from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas his "Pondo ng Pinoy" project may cause a shortage of 25-centavo coins.

"I was told by somebody from Bangko Sentral that the Pondo ng Pinoy project was doing a disservice to the communities because parish priests were keeping the coins longer than necessary," he said in his memorandum, excerpts of which were posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website.

Rosales drew up the "Pondo ng Pinoy" project to collect 25-centavo coins from the faithful to give to charity, on the premise that small amounts can pile up to become big contributions.

But he said parish priests keeping the coins longer may lead to a shortage of the 25-centavo coins.

"We wish to remind parish priests not to hoard the coins in their parish offices or rectories but to remit them as soon as possible to the Pondo ng Pinoy office," he said.

In his circular, Rosales also authorized his priests to collect the "Pondo ng Pinoy" bottles in establishments that are under their jurisdiction.

"Our attention has been called to the fact that there are so many bottles of 'Pondo ng Pinoy' in various establishments, such as offices, schools, malls, and other institutions," he said.

The CBCP said that from July 2004 to December 2007, the fund has reached over P161 million. - GMANews.TV

November 1, 2008

BSP Issued Advisory Against Illegal Used Of Coins


The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) requests the support of the public in reporting persons who are involved in defacing/mutilating or smuggling Philippine coins. Both are criminal acts punishable by law under Presidential Decree 247 and BSP Circular 98, Series of 1995 in relation to Section 2530 (f) of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, as amended.

The BSP also warns the public against persons claiming that the central bank “buys” certain coin denominations higher than their face value. There is no truth to this information.

The BSP is the sole issuer of currency in the Philippines. It mints and circulates coins in accordance with its mandate to supply the currency requirements of the banking system and sustain economic growth. It determines the different denominations of our money, both banknotes and coins, and the public should accept them at face value, no more, no less.

 
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