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Philippines Wilson Dollar in Gold

By Chris Chatigny, Cataloger

Author: Chris Chatigny / Tuesday, July 30, 2013 / Categories: World Coin of the Week
With only two weeks left before the commencement of the much anticipated August ANA World’s Fair of Money, Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio is enthusiastic to showcase yet another stunning numismatic rarity. The archipelago of the Philippines provides this stunning commemorative coin, an impressive gold dollar piece known to collectors as the “Wilson Dollar.” The modern nation of the Philippines was named after the Spanish King Philip II, after Spanish explorers discovered it during an expedition in the 1500s. Spain controlled the Philippines, known as the “Spanish Orient” for over 300 years until the Spanish-American War. At the outcome of that conflict in 1898 control of the Philippines passed to the United States. The minting facility that existed in Manila (the current capital of the Philippines) was renovated and reopened under U.S. auspices in 1920. Before that the U.S. Mint in San Francisco had provided the Philippines with a large portion of its coins. The reopening of the Manila Mint created history as the first (and to date only) U.S. branch mint located outside the continental United States. To celebrate this momentous occasion commemorative medals were commissioned.

Clifford Hewitt was tasked with directing the minting operations at the Manila Mint while George Morgan designed the dies for this commemorative piece. The obverse features a bust of then current president Woodrow Wilson facing left. Wilson’s calm demeanor is evident, and he is wearing a suit, tie and his iconic wire rim glasses. The legend around the bust reads: “President of the United States.” The reverse design is an interesting fictional representation of the minting process. The goddess of minting (Juno Moneta) is shown guiding a youth in the minting process, and her depiction in a toga and holding scales has led to some references mistakenly referring to her as Justice. The youth is shown pouring planchets into a coin press from a cornucopia. The inscription reads: “To Commemorate The Opening Of The Mint” with “Manila P.I.” and the date of 1920 below the minting scene. This medal was struck in copper (3,700 pieces), silver (2,200 pieces) and in gold (only five pieces were reported struck). This extremely low mintage has sent the collectible value of this item through the roof. This specimen is the second highest graded at NGC at MS 61, and just one point lower than the finest. This incredibly rare and important item will certainly appeal to many collectors when it crosses the auction block.

Look for this and other World numismatic rarities in our upcoming August ANA Sale. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our auction this August at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine, California. For details please refer to the Auction Schedule/Details link under Current Auctions at www.StacksBowers.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 800.566.2580. While our Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio ANA sale is closed for further consignments, we are currently taking consignments of world and ancient coins for our November Baltimore, January New York International, and April 2014 Hong Kong sales. If you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.
Tags: World Gold ANA