The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 27, Number 18, May 5, 2024, Article 3


A greatly expanded and updated second edition of Neil Shafer's classic book on WWII Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency has been published. -Editor

Ken Berger writes:

"It gives me great pleasure to announce that after 50 years, Neil Shafer's classic text, "Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency of World War II, has finally been updated and is presently available!"

  New Book on Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency of World War II

Philippine Emergency Currency 2nd edition book cover Finally, after many years of development and research, Neil Shafer's classic 1974 book, Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency of World War II, has been updated on the 50th anniversary of its publication. This massive undertaking was originally started by Matthias Voigt and, in fact, he had already prepared an initial manuscript. In parallel, Shafer on his own also began updating his book through a series of articles in the Bank Note Reporter. Eventually, the two came together and decided to update the book. Still later Kenneth Berger joined the team.

With their combined knowledge of Philippine numismatics, along with Voigt's manuscript, organizational skills and dedication to this project, Berger's attention to detail and knowledge of Philippine history and geography, and Shafer's pioneering work and ability to locate rare and unknown notes, a better team could not have been assembled. Thus, the project was well on its way to fruition. Unfortunately, Shafer passed away before it could be completed.

This new book is over 850 pages long. It lists numerous previously unknown notes and new varieties. The book is especially strong in its coverage of both municipal and local issues. In fact, except for the first edition, it is the only book that covers such issues. The book includes many pictures of the notes and, unlike the first edition, a large majority of them are in color. It also identifies the notes' signers whenever possible, along with the size and description of the notes and, if necessary, their varieties. In addition, it touches upon counterfeit notes, various counterstamps, and JIM notes. All collectors of Philippine banknotes, and especially those collectors of Philippine emergency and guerrilla notes, need to add this book to their library.

The book (ISBN 978-3-384-057556) is presently available from the publisher on their website ( but, unfortunately, the website is mostly in German). The cost is 185 euros plus shipping. Eventually it will be available on Amazon.

ISBN: 978-3-384-05755-6
Pages: 868
Dimensions and trim: 21 x 29.7 cm
Weight: 2733.8g

For more information, or to order, see:
Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency of World War II - 2nd Edition (

Ken adds:

"If you right click on the word "Deutsch" at the bottom of, it will translate into English & the book can be ordered from Germany.

"According to the website, the price is 185 euros (book) + 59.99 euros (shipping) for a total of 244.99 euros (U.S. $263.02.)."

Here's Ray Czahor's Foreword to the Second Edition. -Editor

I am excited to be able to see the new edition of Philippine Guerrilla/Emergency currency come to fruition. Neil Shafer's original 1974 edition, PHILIPPINE EMERGENCY AND GUERRILLA CURRENCY OF WORLD WAR II, was the first major effort to list and catalog these remarkably interesting currency issues. The catalog has been out of print for many years though copies are still in demand at a high premium even today.

Conrad M. Nielsen put together probably the largest private collection of these WWII currencies in the world at the end of WWII. He was in the United States Merchant Marine, and he told me that he would stand on a Manila street corner while his ship was anchored in Manila Bay, and would buy boxes and boxes of these notes. He spent years and years organizing them. Much information came from issuing agencies and authorities as he wrote frequent letters to them during the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's. He provided some assistance to Neil Shafer in his 1974 edition by providing notes. Neil Shafer's First Edition covered major types of both Provincial and Municipality notes in his catalog. It became the bible to collectors for many years

In approximately 1982, Nielsen provided the second major documentation for collectors. He provided an expansive listing to Krause Publications that included it in the Philippine section within the STANDARD CATALOG OF WORLD PAPER MONEY - SPECIALIZED ISSUES (SCWPM) [8, 9]. The detailed listing covered known Philippine Provincial notes from Nielsen's WWII collection but listings of Municipality notes were not included. Mr. Nielsen included in his listings all known signature variations, design differences, error notes, counterfeits plus issues from Provinces that were not known in 1974. He elaborated on SN ranges for each issue resulting in many subtypes. He estimated values normally in three grades and found those issues that were absolutely RARE. Unfortunately, not many updates have since been made to this section of the Krause Catalog.

I purchased the C.M. Nielsen Collection of guerrilla notes in March 2008, transporting it with my friend, Bill Topor, to my home in Maryland in April 2008. The story of getting the many boxes of notes from a subterranean cellar in Nielsen's house at Salt Lake City to Maryland where I live is quite humorous with one serious note and well worth reading.

This story is included in the prologue to Kenneth Berger's 2016 PHILIPPINE EMERGENCY NOTES: COUNTERSTAMPED, SIGNED & INITIALED (CSI) (still available at I included small quantities of scarce duplicate notes from Nielsen's collection in my Mail Bid sales from 2010 to 2019 as they were in high demand.

It was overwhelming to go through everything in Nielsen's collection. I estimated there were over 75,000 notes, many duplicates and many RARE exceptionally low numbers of some issues that had been printed. Neil Shafer visited me in August 2008, at the conclusion of the American Numismatic Association's World Fair of Money. We went through many of the notes finding some surprising issues we needed to discuss with C.M. Nielsen but unfortunately, he died a week earlier on August 10, 2008. I have endeavored to keep the Nielsen collection intact and in fact, adding a few more issues or expanding the serial number ranges that were in the Krause catalog.

Now, we come to the third major effort to update the Philippine collector world, the work of Matthias Voigt, Kenneth Berger and Neil Shafer in their book, PHILIPPINE EMERGENCY AND GUERRILLA CURRENCY OF WORLD WAR II - SECOND EDITION, the successor to Shafer's 1974 edition.

This new book is the collective effort of years of work by Matt, Ken and Neil, thus will be well-read and referenced by all the Philippine collecting community. We all need to thank them for their massive effort.

Indeed! What a massive, world-spanning, generation-spanning endeavor. Impressive work. Access to decades of hard research work is cheap at nearly any price. -Editor

Atlas E-Sylum ad02

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2023 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster