Philippines 1861 2 pesos

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Heritage sale 3037, lot 30435
Philippines H3037-30435r.jpg

This specimen was lot 30435 in Heritage sale 3037 (New York, January 2015), where it sold for $1,175. The catalog description[1] noted, "Isabella II gold 2 Pesos 1861 MS62 NGC, A choice mint-state specimen featuring the bust of Isabella II with crowned arms flanked by pillars. While the surfaces exhibit light handling, the devices are especially crisp throughout. Seldom encountered in this state of preservation and a perfect example for the advanced collector." This coin is the same weight and fineness as a Mexican one escudo.

The Philippines were conquered by Spain in the late 1500's. Other than introducing Christianity, the colonizers made little effort to develop the islands which gradually fell into the hands of the friars. Manila was important only as a way station on the route from China to Mexico and whatever coins were used there were derived therefrom. Crude, locally produced copper coins were issued c.1798-1835 and in the 1830's large quantities of Latin American pesos were counterstamped "F.7" or "Y.II" for local circulation. Finally, about 1860, a reforming government in Madrid sent the resources to reorganize the Manila mint and modern coinage began. These included gold one, two and four pesos (struck 1861-68). An 1861/0 overdate is noted for the year.

Recorded mintage: 265,000.

Specification: 3.38 g, .875 fine gold, .119 troy oz AGW (same weight as a Mexican one escudo).

Catalog reference: KM 143, Fr-2.


  • Basso, Aldo P., Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines, Menlo Park, CA: 1968.
  • Ganzon de Legarda, Angelita, Piloncitos to Pesos, A Brief History of Coinage in the Philippines, Manila: Bancom Development Corporation, 1976.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and Scott Cordry, Heritage Signature Auction 3037, featuring the Empire, the Santa Catarina, the Law and the Santa Maria Collections, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2014.

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