US Coins

Manila Mint special edition of Red Book sells out

The sold-out special limited-edition of the 2021 Red Book celebrates the centennial of the Manila Mint.

Images courtesy of Whitman Publishing.

In April, Whitman Publishing released a special limited edition version of the 74th annual Guide Book of United States Coins (“Red Book”) that is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Manila Mint. The limited run of 260 copies (less 48 that were damaged and not sold) sold out in a six-week period.

The custom goldfoil-stamped front cover of the 1920-2020 Manila Mint Centennial special edition features the reverse design of the so-called Wilson Dollar (HK-449/450), the commemorative medal that was struck when the Mint of the Philippine Islands opened in 1920.

Sales of the special edition support the education mission of the Philippine Collectors Forum, which was established in 2003 at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Baltimore. The Forum’s mission is to promote education about U.S./Philippine coinage, medals, tokens, paper money, scrip and other numismatic items.

Prior to the opening of the Mint of the Philippine Islands, most of the coins for the nation while under U.S. control were struck at the San Francisco Mint. In 1918, World War I was creating interference with timely shipments, so the legislature authorized machinery for a mint in Manila. A local mint was seen as being more expedient and would support the United States’ goal of moving the Philippines toward its own governance and infrastructure.

The facility opened on July 15, 1920, with production of the official commemorative medal in gold, silver and bronze.

The Manila Mint produced coins for the Philippines from 1920 until Japanese forces invaded the islands in 1941. Then the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints filled the void by striking Philippine coins until 1945, and the country achieved independence the following year. The mint buildings were a casualty of heavy bombing during the liberation of the islands.

Today, Philippine coins of 1903 to 1945, including those struck at the Manila Mint, are important mementoes of a significant chapter is U.S. history and numismatics, a testament to the close ties and special relationship between the U.S. and the republic and people of the Philippines.

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