World Coins

Ronald Reagan the subject of numerous world coins

Editor's note: this is the fourth part of a story by Jeff Starck about Americans on world coins. The story first appeared in the November monthly issue of Coin World.

Though he is not without critics, President Reagan remains one of the most popular presidents of the 20th century.

His optimism and wit earned him favor with many citizens, and conservative politicians invoke his name when making promises for policy proposals and pleas for a better future. 

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Two examples of Filipino coinage show America’s 40th president. 

Reagan is depicted with a jugate bust facing right of the late Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos on the obverse of a 25-piso piece dated 1982 but released at a later date. Reagan’s bust stands alone on the reverse of 25-piso and 2,500-piso coins issued in 1986 to mark the visit of President Corazon Aquino to Washington.

For much of the last two decades, Reagan has had an almost annual presence on coinage of Liberia (or maybe it only feels that way).

That Liberia would issue a bunch of collector coins depicting Americans is sort of fitting, since Liberia, Africa’s first republic, was founded in 1822 as a result of the efforts of the American Colonization Society to settle freed American slaves in West Africa. 

More famous Americans are on Liberian coins than you’ll find on American coins.

Reagan has been featured on at least half a dozen coins from Liberia since 1998, including a $5 coin from 2000 with a less-than-flattering image. The 2000 coin is in a series honoring all of the American presidents that had served or been elected to that point.

Since that series, multiple other issues have honored Reagan, some posthumously. 

The only category of American honorees on world coins more popular than presidents are entertainers, and perhaps no entertainer has been more honored than the King, Elvis Presley. 

Read more of our series about Americans on world coins:

Tecumseh Canada coinAmericans abroad: Honoring Tecumseh beyond the border: In rare instances, world coins depicting Americans makes total sense. There could be no more suitably “American” subject for a Canadian coin than the Shawnee war chief.

General MacArthur Phillippines coinsAn American general in the Philippines, and on its coinage, too: A pair of popular world coins are the 1947-S coins from the Philippines honoring Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

General MacArthur Phillippines coinsPresident Franklin Roosevelt makes history on coins of the Philippines: The birth of the Philippine Commonwealth was commemorated by three silver coins designed by Professor Ambrosio Morales of the National University.

Elvis Presley Jack Nicklaus Cook Island coin

World coins showing America’s ‘The Greatest’ and ‘The King’ abound:The only American honorees on world coins more popular than presidents are entertainers.

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