The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 9, February 28, 2021, Article 13


John Phipps writes:

"In the February 21, 2021 issue of The E-Sylum, Scott Barman writes: "... the U.S. Branch Mint in Manila, Philippines?" I included that phrase in my exhibit at the 2015 ANA World's Fair of Money Show in Rosemont. The "gentle correction" I got from ALL the judges felt like hitting my thumb with a hammer!! I was informed that "the 'Manila Mint of the Philippine Islands' was NEVER under the authority of the US Mint and was NEVER a 'Branch of the US Mint." I countered this "gentle correction" by pointing out that six of the publications in my bibliography called the Manila Mint a "branch of the US Mint." One of the judges pointed out to me that it wasn't a defense of my mistake to point out lots of others made the same mistake! Further, I was told that I should do my own research to discover the facts.

"Here is what I discovered after I took my exhibit home and did some research. During the period of US colonialism over the Philippines, all government functions in Manila were under the authority of the Bureau of Insular Affairs. At that time, the Bureau of Insular Affairs was first part of the Department of War and later part of the Department of the Interior. It was not part of the US Mint nor Department of the Treasury. The relationship that the US Mint had would be best typified as a highly trusted supplier-consultant to the f Mint.

"I agree with Mr. Barman that there is not a good source on the story behind the operation of the Manila Mint. There are a lot a fragments here and there. And with the very common myth about it being a "Branch," I wonder how many of these fragments are true or not. By the way, I still do exhibits but have learned to expect and enjoy the "gentle correction" of the judges."

Ken Berger writes:

"In response to Scott Barman's query in the last E-Sylum, Philippine Numismatic Monographs, No. 19, pp. 6-9, contains the following article: "The Mint of the Philippine Islands" by Gilbert S. Perez. This is a reprint from Numismatic Notes and Monographs, No. 8 of the American Numismatic Society."

Dave Lange writes:

ANS NNM 8 cover "Regarding Scott Barman's inquiry about books pertaining to the Manila Mint, most publications simply repeat the same old information that is not very detailed. The best source for facts about establishment of the mint is the ANS's Numismatic Notes and Monographs No. 8. This was written by Filipino numismatist Gilbert S. Perez and published in 1921, shortly after the events described unfolded. It doesn't have all of the information I've sought in my years of collecting the USA/Philippines coinage, but it's the starting point for any research into the subject of the Manila Mint.

"This little booklet was very hard to find 30 years ago when I obtained my copy, but that was before the internet facilitated such searches. A scan of its cover is attached, but I don't know whether the content is still copyrighted after a century. I don't see it reproduced at the Newman Numismatic Portal.

"By the way, Scott is incorrect in describing this facility as a United States branch mint. To be such it would have been authorized by the U. S. Congress and placed under the U. S. Treasury Department, neither of which occurred. It was instead authorized by the Philippine Legislature in 1918 and was under the Bureau of Insular Affairs, a body created by Congress specifically to manage the Philippine Islands as a semi-autonomous entity. The Manila Mint contracted with the U. S. Mint for its machinery and dies, just as did several independent nations.

"I made the same incorrect assumptions about the nature of the Manila Mint in my early years of collecting and studying the USA/Philippine coins, and it's been difficult to retire them from numismatic mythology. At one time I was assembling research materials for what would have been the definitive book on these coins and their history, but this project lost steam after I sold the greater part of my collection 20 years ago."

USPI-Philippine-Coinage-Under-American-Sovereignty Earl Honeycutt writes:

"In the most recent E-Sylum you listed the two most recent examples of Allen's book for U.S. Philippines coins. There is also a more recent book: U.S.P.I Philippine Coinage Under American Sovereignty written by Eldrich Yap and Janssen Bantugan that is in my opinion a nice improvement over Allen's books. It is my understanding the authors are working on a second edition.

"The award-winning exhibit at the ANA Summer Show in Chicago I believe was put together by Floyd Aprill who lives near Milwaukee. He is a member of our Philippine Collectors Group."

Thanks for setting us straight, everyone! Actually, ANS NNM #8 is indeed on the Newman Portal, organized under the Periodicals category. See the link below. -Editor

Scott Barman writes:

"I knew I could count on the E-sylum readers to help my curiosity and research. Thank you."

To read Numismatic Notes and Monographs No. 8, see:
ANS Numismatic Notes and Monographs, Nos. 1-8 (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: FEBRUARY 21, 2021 : Books on the U.S. Branch Mint in Manila, Philippines (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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