Here is the list for the most collectible and perhaps most valuable coins found or being used in the Philippines. Try to look at these coins for you might have these coins hiding in your basement for years, so good luck for your coin hunting:
RARE COINS from Spanish/Pre-Spanish ERA
photo courtesy of Pinoy Kollektor
# 1 BARILLA
The first historically documented copper coin made in the Philippines was the barrilla dated 1766. At that time, Don Domingo de la Sierra, senior regidor of the municipal council, requested authorization to produce these coins because of the scarcity of minor coinage in Manila. Sierra’s request was granted, with the stipulation that only 5000 pesos’ worth should be coined, and that these should be used only for petty payments. The coin is a small round copper, approximately 18 mm. in diameter. The design on the obverse is that of a castle within a circle in the center and’ a crown on top, and the legend around reads: “CIUDAD D MAN. 1766″. The reverse bears a crowned shield with a sea lion holding up a sword. The number” 1″ is on the right of the shield, and on the left is the monogram “BA “, which can be interpreted as interlaced letters “B” and “A”, or “B”, “A”, and “R”. This coin had the value of one grana of a tomin, or 1/1 2th of a rea/. (The tomin was 1/8 of a peso, or equivalent to one real, and divisible into 12 granos).
# 2 PILONCITOS(Gold coinage)
Piloncitos is the earliest form of precious metal based currency of the Philippines. It is likely made of pure gold with a weight ranging between .5 grams to more or less than 3 grams. In my opinion, this could be one of the rarest coins in the world.
Piloncitos is not exclusively found in the Philippines as most collectors and local historians have agrees. Similar type of gold can be found in some regions of Indonesia which they call massa.
The earliest written account of Piloncitos was made by our national hero, Jose Rizal himself. According to Rizal, he found the gold nugget while tilling the soil of Dapitan. He himself coined the word piloncitos, which basically describe the coin’s unusual shape. They are round and stamped with what looks like the pre-Spanish baybayin character “ma,” leading historians to guess that it could be short for “Ma-I.
Even before the Thai moved southward from their original home in China, the lucrative sea trade between the South China Sea and the Bay of Bengal established several maritime empires such as Sailendra-Srivijaya and Majapahit, which controlled coastal areas of modern Indonesia, Burma, Malaya, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
In an era before coined money was widely used, Indo-Pacific beads were made first at a site called Aakmidu in South India ca. 200 BC. The manufacture then moved in sequence to Ceylon, South Thailand, Java and finally Malaya. By about 1200-1300 AD the larger Majopahit beads, excavated today in the interior of Java, had supplanted it. Since these factory sites have been dated, archaeologists now use the beads to date sites, though whether beads rose to the level of metals, salt, cloth, and cowries as “standard” trade goods is uncertain.
Below is the highest valued Philippine coins sold at Heritage Auctions:
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