Collectible Coins: American Revolutionary Coins Countermarked in Philippines

American Revolutionary Coins Countermarked in Philippines 

A collaboration of Marty Martinez

The circulation of the Philippines at the time of Spanish domination consisted of coin minted in other regions, mainly Potosi, Peru and Mexico, with the same denominations as in the rest of the colonies.

From the independence of the American colonies, there was a retraction in the circulating in this zone. For this reason should have appealed to a very curious policy: the reselling of currencies. Potosí, Peru and Mexico were alternated several times by Independents and Spaniards between 1810 and 1828.


2 Pesos Isabel the Second by the Grace of God

1866 2 Pesos Isabel the Second by the Grace of God Philippine Resealed Coin

As a result, the independentist minted their own currencies (Potosi: Bolivia and Argentina), Lima (Peru) and Mexico. Apparently when the Spaniards occupied these places again, they also appropriated the new mints, some of which were sent to the Philippines by the Pacific route.  Thus, circulated from 1828 Peruvian independence coins, Mexican and Bolivian in Philippine, with the Spanish denominations.

Circulated coins,  were also circulated after 1828, which for different reasons, arrived on the island. It should be noted that the Spanish monetary system at that time was adopted by all American countries (including the United States and Canada). Also some countries of Africa, and it meant what today is the dollar-USA monetary system. Denominations of the currencies of the new countries were also made in Reals.

Peruvian Republic - Lima

Coins Resealed. by Fernando VII for its circulation in Manila (8 reales). resealed of 1828 on 8 reales of the Peruvian Republic, Lima, 1828, assayer JM

Republic of Peru - Coins Countermarked Philippines
Republic of Peru - Coins Countermarked Philippines

Republic of Chile

 Chile Republic : Over 1 Peso  1834. Resealed by Fernando VII in Manila for its circulation in the Philippines (1834-7).

Republic of Chile- Philippine Resealed Coin
Republic of Chile- Philippine Resealed Coin

Republic of Peru - Lima

Philippine Currency 1833. Columns resealed. Republic of Peru. 8 reales. Lima. 1833.  Resealed by Fernando VII in Manila for circulation in the Philippines (1832-4) assayer M

Republic of Peru - Philippine Resealed Coin
Republic of Peru - Philippine Resealed Coin


1834. Republic of Peru - Philippine Resealed Coin Under Crown, eal de a 8 de Perú 1834, Lima MM. MBC
1834. Republic of Peru - Philippine Resealed Coin Under Crown, eal de a 8 de Perú 1834, Lima MM. MBC


Bolivian Republic - Potosi

Bolivian Republic. 8 soles. Potosí. 1833. LM. Resealed by Fernando VII in Manila for circulation in the Philippines (1832-4)

Assayer LM

Republic of Bolivia - Coins Countermarked Philippines


Republic of Mexico - Guanajuato

Coins Countermarked Philippines: Republic of Mexico. 8 reales. Guanajuato. 1830. MJ. Researched by Fernando VII in Manila for circulation in the Philippines (1834-7). Assayer MJ

Mexican republic - Philippine Resealed Coin
Mexican Republic - Philippine Resealed Coin


Republic of Mexico - Durango

 Republic of Mexico. 8 reales. 1828. On an 8 reales of Durango of 1828. Resealed by Fernando VII in Manila for its circulation in the Philippines (1834-7).

Republic of Mexico Durando - Coins Countermarked Philippines
Republic of Mexico - Coins Countermarked Philippines

See another resealed coins: Museu  Nacional D´Art de Catalunya

From 1810….

From 1810 the independentistas minted coins with types clearly differentiated from the Spaniards. As the American currencies of all securities circulated through the territory of the Philippines, the authorities realized the negative effect that these currencies could have there. Therefore, on October 13, 1828, the Captaincy General decreed that all coins should be resold with the following type:

On the obverse, the coat of arms of Spain with the legend; ENABLED BY KING N. S. D. FERN. Vii.

On the reverse, MANILA with the corresponding year that is almost always 1828.

see: Numismatic: Argentine Ancient Coins 1813-1860

Design of Coins - Assayers

Design was completed with a series of grooves engraved.  on the obverse die that in principle would erase any trace of Republican legend. This was not so, this first type is known as type I and the same were coined the year 1828 and the very rare of 1830. From the year 1829 we know a 8 escudos.

The reverse remained the same but from the obverse disappeared any legend or drawing leaving only the coat of arms. Dr. Pablo I. de Jesus de Manila has written a study on this series for which he has found about 400 different copies.

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Clearing the Revolutionary - Coins Countermarked Philippines

Past On October 13, 1828, D. Mariano Ricafort, Captain General of the Philippine Islands, a division of the Viceroyalty of Mexico, issued an edict introducing a system of marking the weights and ounces of gold produced by the “insurrect provinces and revolutionary governments “Of the South American continent. Thus, infamous words, such as “Republic”, “Independent” and “Free”, were eliminated.

The heavy machinery of the mint smoothed the designs of the offending coins and attempted to eliminate any trace of the original coin by minting “Manila -1829” on one side and the Spanish coat of arms on the other, with the legend “Enabled by King N.S.D. Fernando VII “and surrounded both wedges by a wide sawed edge.

Medal Carlos III  1782 

José Gabriel Gil  Assayer

Carlos III of Spain - Philippine Resealed Coin
Carlos III of Spain Medal

Local authorities clung to the hope that with these methods they could prevent the spread of the announcement of “Union and Freedom” carried out nineteen years earlier by the rebel provinces of Río de la Plata.

  • “Union y Fuerza”, proclaimed ten years before By “Independence of Chile,” issued thirteen years earlier by Nueva Granada.
  • “Por la Virtud y la Justicia,” proclaimed a decade earlier by Peru,.
  • “Libre, Cresca, Fecundo” spread by the Central American Republic ( Guatemala ) only eight years ago , And the even more recent declaration of sovereignty of Bolivia “Libres por la Constitucion”.

Coins Countermarked Philippines: Circulation only in Phlipines

These coins did not circulate in Spain,  and they did until its replacement by a currency of the Kingdom that is shown below. The mint of Manila only coined throughout its history copper (between 1728 and 1835 and the year 1861). Because this weight, in quantity of six million pieces and with types equal to the hard ones of Puerto Rico of 1895, was carved in Madrid, and transported to the Philippines where it circulated until in 1904 it was withdrawn from circulation by the American authorities.

1861 - Inauguration of Manila's Mint House - Philipines

 1861 Isabel 2a Queen of Spain. Medal

With Alfonso XIII the last pieces destined to Ultramar are minted with the values ​​of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents of weight. In addition, the so-called “alfonsino weight” is emitted in two issues, one of 1897 destined to circulate in the Philippines and another one of 1895 to circulate in Puerto Rico.

The latter had a divider of 40 cents. The “alfonsino weight” is equivalent to the 5 pesetas  of the Metropolis. Alfonso XIII was king of Spain between 1886 and 1931, dying in the Roman exile in 1941.

Spain – Coined Manila. 50 cents in weight. 1868 Isabel 2a instead of II, Queen of Spain. Coins Countermarked Philippines

Coins Countermarked Philippines

Philipine Coin Manila 50 Cents 1880 - Alfonso XII 

Spain – Coined Manila. 50 cents in weight. 1880. Alfonso XII King of Spain. Coins Countermarked PhilippinesCoins Countermarked Philippines

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Alfonso XII  – Coined Manila 20 Cents 1885

Spain – Coined Manila 20 Cents in weight. 1885. SGV (Arturo Sandoval and Antonio García González, assayers, Remigio Vega Vega, judge of Balance). Coins Countermarked Philippines

Philippine Resealed Coin

GUAM - 1899 Philippine Resealed Coin

In the year 1899, to leave testimony of the occupation of the island, the admiral of the fleet American F. V. Green used a countermark on Philippine island weights that contained the word "GUAM" and the year of occupation

GUAM - Coins Countermarked Philippines
GUAM - Coins Countermarked Philippines

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Spanish Pillar Dollar: Influence on American Currencies

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Spanish Origin of Sign $

The beliefs of the fifteenth century included, among other things, the absolute danger of sailing past the Pillars of Hercules. Thus they were called at that time two promontories located in the Strait of Gibraltar: Mount Calpe to the north (Gibraltar) and the Rock of Abila to the south (Ceuta).

This was the obligatory passage of the mare nostrum (the Mediterranean) to the greater and unknown part of the enormous Atlantic Ocean. And according to the mythology of Antiquity, the colossal Hercules would have written in both columns the lapidary warning. Nec plus ultra “not beyond” (ie: do not trespass).

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Ancient Mint Assayers in Spanish America

Mint Assayers in Colonial Times  

Places of Coinage, Assayers, Masters of the Mint  and Judges of Balance

Assayers in Spanish America

Each coin identifies the place of coinage and also the person responsible for the law of the coin (purity and weight) called the assayer. Usually the initials of the names were used and could be one or two assayers by minting. In the case of Philippines well into the nineteenth century also included the person responsible for balance. This is an example of how to identify these signs in coins.

Master mint Assayers - Argentine Ancient Coin 1815
Master Mint Assayers

Potosi: PS             Assayer  L Leandro Ozio  Value: ( Reales):

Assayers and Masters of Mints

The assayers were the artisans and those in charge and responsible for the law (purity) and weight of the metal, so they left their mark on the mint. These are some data on places of minting and initial assayers

Assayer =A  /  Reales= R

A 8 R 4 R 2 R 1 R 1/2 R

Mexico  M

FM 1772-1778
1772 -1777
1784 -1801
FF 1777-1784 1778-1784 1778-1784
FT 1801-1803 1801-1803 1801-1803 1801-1803 1801-1803
TH 1803-1810 1804-1808
1804-1813 1804-1810 1803-1810
HJ 1809-1813 1809-1812 1810-1813 1810-1815 1810-1813
JJ 1812-1821 1816-1821 1812-1821 1812-1821 1813-1821

Peru LM or LIMAE

JM 1762-1774 1762-1773 1762-1773 1762-1773
MJ 1773-1780 1773-1780 1774-1780 1773-1780 1773-1780
MI 1780-1787 1780-1787 1780-1788 1780-1787 1780-1787
IJ 1787-1803 1787-1803 1787-1804 1787-1804 1787-1803
JP 1803-1824 1804-1821 1803-1823 1803-1823 1803-1821

Potosi (Bolivia)   PS or PTS

JR 1770-1776 1770-1776 1770-1776 1770-1776 1770-1776
PR 1776-1795 1776-1795 1776-1795 1776-1795 1776-1795
PP 1795-1802 1795-1802 1795-1802 1795-1803 1795-1802
PJ 1803-1824 1803-1825 1803-1825 1803-1824 1803-1824
JL 1825 1825 1825 1825 1823- 1825
 J   1824-1825 1825 1825    
1813 1813 1813 1813 1813
 L  1815 1815 1815 1815 1815
FL 1815 1815 1815 1815 1815

Santiago (Chile)  S

DA 1790        
FJ 1809        

Chiloe (Chile)  Chi-loe  Over Potosi

PJ 1823        


G 1824        

Guatemala  G or NG

1768-1784 1768-1783 1768-1783 1768-1783 1768-1783
1785-1821 1785-1821 1785-1821 1785-1821 1785-1821

Nuevo Reino (Colombia)    

NR  Nuevo Reino Santa Fe de Bogotá 

JF 1809-1810 1809-1810 1809-1810 1809-1810 1809-1810

Popayan (Colombia)  P

JF 1803-1810        


Colonial Times Mint Assayers

Santiago (Chile) 1809  8 Reales FJ Francisco Rodriguez Brochero & Juan Maria de Bobadilla

As we have already had opportunity to comment, the death of a monarch had to wait a while for the arrival of its corresponding model of bust from the Peninsula. The case of Fernando VII is particular, its arrival to the throne in March of 1808 is accompanied with the Napoleonic invasion that forced the mints to make their own busts that we know as imaginary. In this case the dress is not Roman style but of time.


Santiago (Chile) 1809  8 Reales FJ Francisco Rodriguez Brochero & Juan Maria de Bobadilla
Santiago (Chile) 1809  8 Reales FJ


Santiago (Chile) 1790  8 Reales DA Domingo de Eyzaguirre y Agustin de Infante y Prado

Although Charles III had died on December 14, 1788, his bust continued to appear on the coins until 1791 at which time the official bust of the new monarch, Charles IV, was prepared. There are transitional pieces like the one in which only the ordinal of the king has been changed. The essay corresponded to Eyzaguirre and Infante responsible for the law in the first coinage of the new monarch.

Santiago (Chile) 1790  8 Reales DA

LIMA  (Peru).  8 reales.  IJ Ignacio Zenón de Gálvez y Juan Martínez de Roxas.

Very light lines of weight adjustment on the obverse. After the death of Carlos III in 1788 transicional types were minted with the ordinal IV waiting for the punzones of Madrid

  Master mint Assayers



LIMA ( Peru )  1762  8 escudos (oro) JM  .José Rodríguez Carasa y Manuel Iglesias Abarca

Real de a ocho - Assayers in spanish america Master mint Assayers

LIMA. 8 Escudos.   1771 JM  .José Rodríguez Carasa y Manuel Iglesias Abarca

 Master mint Assayers

Peru Lima (1808) 8 Reales  JP Juan Martínez de Roxas y Pablo Cano Melgarejo

First year of the imaginary bust of the mint of Lima. The portrait did not last more than four years and was coined in different sizes being the corresponding to 1808 the largest by far. The reason for the need to make imaginary portraits based on paintings from the Kingdom of Spain is none other than the Napoleonic invasion. The portraits of the monarchs arrived late to the colonies, which is why the portraits of Fernando VII were called until 1812 "Imaginarios". The portrait on which this bust was based was made in America by a local artist and that is why it is called Fernando VII the Inca or also known as bust of Indian.

Real de a ocho -Master mint Assayers

Other, Idem Assayer, Lima 1823 Over mint of PERU LIBRE

Master mint Assayers

Idem 1819

Master mint Assayers
Master of Mint Assayers

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