Editor's note: this is the second part of a story by Jeff Starck
about Americans on world coins. The story first
appeared in the November monthly issue of Coin World.
Military leaders are a popular subject of world coins, and Tecumseh
is not the only native-born American to find himself honored on world coins.
A pair of popular world coins are the 1947-S coins of the
Philippines honoring Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the American general. A
50-centavo coin is a companion to a silver peso also showing the general.
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Gen. MacArthur famously declared “I shall return” upon leaving the
Philippines during World War II, heading to Australia after the
Japanese invasion of the island chain. MacArthur made a triumphant
return later in the war, during the Oct. 20, 1944, invasion of Leyte.
His post-war return to the islands is in the form of his visage on
two silver coins of the Philippines, a .750 fine 50-centavo piece and
a .900 fine peso issued in 1947, commemorating his importance as
commander of the forces that defended and liberated the islands.
The two coins were struck at the San Francisco Mint and bear a
design by famed sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser.
These were the first coins struck for the new Republic of the
Philippines. Although released after the U.S. obligation had
officially concluded, the two coins are nonetheless of major U.S. interest.
The Philippine Islands were a U.S. commonwealth for part of the 20th
century. During this time, the Manila Mint was a Branch Mint of the
U.S. Treasury Department. It was not uncommon, though, for Philippine
coins to be struck at other U.S. Mint facilities, chiefly the San
Three additional Filipino coins show Gen. MacArthur, a 25-piso coin
from 1980, a 5-piso piece from 1994, and a 5-peso piece from 2014, all
honoring the Leyte landing.
Coins of the Philippines also include a presidential American connection.
Keep reading about Americans on world coins:
Americans 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.
President 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
Popular President Ronald Reagan
oft-honored on non-U.S. coins
: Though he is not without critics, President Reagan remains one of
the most popular presidents of the 20th century.
World coins showing
America’s ‘The Greatest’ and ‘The King’ abound
:The only American honorees on world coins more popular than
presidents are entertainers.