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History of Philippine Money

Pre-Hispanic Era
Long before the Spaniards came to the Philippines in 1521, the Filipinos had
established trade relations with neighboring lands like China, Java, Borneo, Thailand
and other settlements. Barter was a system of trading commonly practiced
throughout the world and adopted by the Philippines. The inconvenience of the
barter system led to the adoption of a specific medium of exchange – the cowry
shells. Cowries produced in gold, jade, quartz and wood became the most common
and acceptable form of money through many centuries.
The Philippines is naturally rich in gold. It was used in ancient times for barter rings,
personal adornment, jewelry, and the first local form of coinage called Piloncitos.
These had a flat base that bore an embossed inscription of the letters “MA” or “M”
similar to the Javanese script of the 11th century. It is believed that this inscription
was the name by which the Philippines was known to Chinese traders during the
pre-Spanish time.
Barter rings made from pure gold, were hand fashioned by early Filipinos during the
11th and the 14th centuries. These were used in trading with the Chinese and other
neighboring countries together with the metal gongs and other ornaments made of
gold, silver and copper.

issued by the country’s first bank. Thus they removed the inscriptions by counter stamping the coins with the word F7 or YII. These silver coins usually bore a cross on one side and the Spanish royal coat-of-arms on the other. These were the first crude copper or bronze coins locally produced in the Philippines. Treasured for its beauty of design.” It is also known as the Mexican Pillar Dollar or the Columnarias due to the two columns flanking the globes. the El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel II. hence the name “two worlds. were struck in the Philippines by order of the Spanish government.” referring to small change. . The Spanish government officials in the islands were fearful that the seditious markings would incite Filipinos to rebellion. In the early part of the 19th century. Silver coins with the profile of young Alfonso XIII were the last coins minted in Spain. The pesos fuertes. the coin features twin crowned globes representing Spanish rule over the Old and the New World. most of the Spanish colonies in Central and South America revolted and declared independence from Spain. the barrillas. They issued silver coins bearing revolutionary slogans and symbols which reached the Philippines. The Filipino term “barya.Spanish Era 1521-1897 The cobs or macuquinas of colonial mints were the earliest coins brought in by the galleons from Mexico and other Spanish colonies. Due to the shortage of fractional coins. had its origin in barrilla. were the first paper money circulated in the Philippines. The Spanish dos mundos were circulated extensively not only in the Philippines but the world over from 1732-1772.

and a one-peso note was added. on the other hand. Mariano Limjap and Telesforo Chuidian. Two kinds of notes circulated in the country during this period. With the surrender of General Aguinaldo to the Americans. The US Congress approved the Coinage Act for the Philippines in 1903. two types of two-centavo copper coins were struck. the currencies were withdrawn from circulation and declared illegal currency. treasury certificates replaced the silver certificates series. American Period 1900-1941 With the coming of the Americans 1898. issued their own guerrilla notes or resistance . These were handsigned by Pedro Paterno. was vested with the authority to produce currencies under the Malolos Constitution of 1898. At the Malolos arsenal. Beginning May 1918. The Japanese Occupation Forces issued war notes in big denominations. The Japanese Occupation 1942-1945 The outbreak of World War II caused serious disturbances in the Philippine monetary system. The coins issued under the system bore the designs of Filipino engraver and artist.5 and 10 Pesos. Coins in denomination of one-half centavo to one peso were minted. Provinces and municipalities. the first Philippine president. Revolutionary banknotes were printed in denominations of 1. Melecio Figueroa.Revolutionary Period 1898-1899 General Emilio Aguinaldo. The renaming of El Banco Espanol Filipino to Bank of the Philippine Islands in 1912 paved the way for the use of English from Spanish in all notes and coins issued up to 1933. currency and credit systems were instituted making the Philippines one of the most prosperous countries in East Asia. modern banking. The monetary system for the Philippines was based on gold and pegged the Philippine peso to the American dollar at the ratio of 2:1.

currencies. most of which were sanctioned by the Philippine government in-exile. and partially redeemed after the war. .

the first currencies issued were the English series notes printed by the Thomas de la Rue & Co. a new set of coins and notes were issued carrying the logo of the Bangko Sentral ng the country used as currency old treasury certificates overprinted with the word "Victory". It features a visual narration of the development of the Philippine economy parallel to the evolution of its currency. artifacts and monetary items found in the Philippines during the different historical periods. These series featured national heroes and species of flora and fauna. paper notes. studies and preserves coins. Ltd.The Philippine Republic A nation in command of its destiny is the message reflected in the evolution of Philippine money under the Philippine Republic. Reference: http://bsp-gov. A new wave of change swept through the Philippine coinage system with the flora and fauna coins initially issued in 1983. As the repository and custodian of country's numismatic heritage. the Museo ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas collects. In the 70's. With the establishment of the Central Bank of the Philippines in 1949. The Filipinization of the Republic coins and paper money began in the late 60's and is carried through to the present. medals. in England and the coins minted at the US Bureau of Mint. The new design series of banknotes issued in 1985 replaced the ABL series. Ten years later.html . which were printed at the Security Printing Plant starting 1978. Having gained independence from the United States following the end of World War II. the Ang Bagong Lipunan (ABL) series notes were circulated..