I personally am fond of collecting old coins. I have an ample collection, and decent if I may add, of Philippine old coins. Though I collect coins for a hobby, some people kept on asking me how I acquire those coins and if I’m selling one. So in some cases, when I visit the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines), I always try to order an additional from my own to sell or give it as a gift to my friends.
I always wonder, what Philippine coin is the most expensive ever sold, and how much.
Priced at $22, 000 or Php 1,038,136.00 as of this writing ($1 = Php 47.19), the 1903 San Francisco Mint fifty centavos is perhaps the most expensive United States-Philippines coin ever sold. Only 2 specimens have reported and only one formally auctioned for the price mentioned. Do not mistake this one for the common 1903 Philadelphia Mint fifty centavos. This coin is an absolute rarity.
How this coin surfaced? The story behind that incident is still a mystery. But there is however rumors in the Philippine Numismatic and Antiquarian Society and even the former owner spreading how this coin made history. It has changed the life of a coin seller who are new and inexperienced in the business.
According to its former owner; It was again another ordinary day for this shop owner when he acquired a few coins for his shop. Despite of being a coin and antique dealer, he is well known in the organization as trader of gold and silver because of his lack of interest in looking into coin catalog prices.
Then one day, a new comer came to his shop. Browsing the glass shelves to look for coins, just like any other person who shows interest in coins. The dealer as usual, underestimated the newcomer since he considered himself as one of the veteran in the industry. He usually sees this person in the auction but he paid no attention since just like every other newcomer, he saw him not as competition to his business.
The young man pointed his finger and asked for the price of a particular coin on display. The dealer responded with sarcasm and told him that the coin is his for 10 pesos. Without further hesitation, he pulled the amount from his wallet and then off he went when the dealer handed over this coin.
The dealer still remembers that it was a fifty centavos coin dated 1903 which for him were like the numerous 1903 fifty centavo coin in his shop in the past years. Later did he realized that he just sold one of the most expensive Philippine coins in history for just 10 Pesos.
If I’m on his shoes, I could really need a lot of help to convince myself what happened. I could be a millionaire if I was curious and educated and vigilant enough.
Anyways, that’s life. We could learn a thing or two on every mistakes we’ve made ;-)