The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 36, September 8, 2019, Article 6


Ken Berger submitted this review of a new book on Philippine Paper Money. Thanks! -Editor

“Tupi 1852 – 1985, Collector’s Guide and Catalog of early Philippine Paper Money from Pesos Fuertes to Piso” by Bayani
Review by Dr. Kenneth J.E. Berger

Tupi book cover I recently learned of this newly published book and, as a collector of Philippine banknotes, I was anxious to obtain it. I found a copy on ebay for U.S. $150.00, including shipping. Based upon further research, this appeared to be the going price. Today the book arrived and I excitedly opened the package. To say that I was disappointed is an understatement!

My first shock was the size of the book. Although it consists of 438 pages, it is only 5.5” x 8”. That is quite small! For comparison, Shafer’s 1974 book (Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency of World War II, 464 pages) & Basso’s 1968 & 1975 book (Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines, 136 and 184 pages) & Legarda’s 1976 book (Piloncitos to Pesos, 84 pages) measure 6.25” x 9.5”; even Beals’ recent 2016 book (El Numiscadero, 354 pages) measures 6.75” x 9.5”. I rechecked the ebay listing and the size of the book was not given. How convenient.

My second shock was that the paper, although glossy, was black rather than white. This, coupled with some poor reproductions, made a number of the pictures in the book difficult to discern (e.g. Seals 5, 8 & 10, Minor Seals 1 & 2, and the seals depicted on pages 45, 52 and 55 are completely undecipherable). Another problem is that many of the left-facing pages are trimmed too short along the outside edge which cuts into the wording. I next observed that a large majority of the pictures are identical to those that appear in the book “Salapi” by Bersales and Apuhin (2014).

I then began to read the book and was disappointed in the large number of grammatical mistakes I found. In too many cases to mention, the subject-verb agreement in a sentence was wrong, words were capitalized for no apparent reason, prepositions were missing, words were misspelled, sentences were incomplete, etc., etc. The book is in desperate need of an editor with a good command of the English language.

The book also uses its own numbering system rather than one of the more commonly known ones.

The only good thing about this book is that it does list all the banknotes and their characteristics (e.g. date, size, printer, color, etc.) and has a hard cover, although it does not have a dust jacket.

My recommendation is that you avoid buying this book and save the $150.00. Instead, I would suggest that you purchase “Salapi” which is well-written, gives much more information (especially historical), has a hard cover and a dust jacket, is 9.25” x 12”, consists of 287 glossy pages, and is even less expensive!

Here is the eBay description. -Editor

Tupi 1852-1985
Collectors Guide and Catalog of Early Philippine Paper Money from Pesos Fuertes to Piso.

Written by Bayani

A new elegant hardbound release with 400+ full color pages. Really a beautifully designed, well written book that covers everything you want to see in a book on this topic. This book covers Spanish, American, Japan Occupation and Philippine Republic issues along with seals, grading standards, rarity scale, cross references to other publications, signature varieties, print varieties, printers, history and so much more.

This is absolutely the best book written on anything related to Philippine Numismatics in the last 40 years and it can be seen that the author did his homework and really executed his project well. This book has combined the information in at least 7 or more books into just this one.

A great reference guide for any collector.

Printed and written in Switzerland by a Filipino who has a great love for this topic

To read the complete item description, see:
NEW BOOK ~ Tupi 1852-1985 ~ Collectors Guide for Philippine Paper Money ~ Bayani (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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