The country’s numismatists will have a field day next weekend as rare gold coins from the 18th and 19th centuries are part of the lots up for bidding in the 20th edition of the Leon Exchange Online Auction. Two groupings representing two lots are estimated at P300,000 each.
The colonial coins are representative of a glorious era in Philippine history where gold was a vital element in economic exchanges and activities. From 1732 to 1824, five Spanish kings issued the minting of gold 8-escudo coins: Philip V (1732 – 1746), Ferdinand VI (1746 – 1759), Charles III (1760 – 1788), Charles IV (1789 – 1808), and Ferdinand VII (1808 – 1824). These three coins were all minted at the Casa de Moneda in Popayán and Bogotá in Colombia.
The obverse features the portrait bust of Charles IV, although it is important to note that the 1809 and 1818 coins were minted during the reign of his son and successor, Ferdinand VII. A circular inscription bearing the king’s name and the words “D.G. HIS. ET IND. R.” (BY THE GRACE OF GOD, KING OF SPAIN AND THE INDIES) are also featured on this side. The reverse bears the inscription “IN UTROQ FELIX AUSPICE DEO” (WITH HAPPINESS UNDER THE LOOK OF GOD), the crowned coat of arms of Castille and Leon representing the House of Bourbon, the initials of the assayer, the mintmark, and the denomination.
In 1857, construction of the Casa de Moneda de Manila, the Philippines’ first minting plant, commenced through a royal decree issued by Queen Isabella II. On March 19, 1861, the Casa began to operate and started the production of gold coins of 1, 2, and 4, pesos. These coins, known as Isabelinas, feature on the obverse the portrait bust of Isabella II and the words “ISABEL 2A. POR LA G. DE DIOS Y LA CONST” (ISABEL II. FOR GOD AND CONSTITUTION). The coins bear the words “REINA DE LAS ESPAÑAS” and “Filipinas” on the reverse – the first time the name of our country was inscribed on our former currency.
Until 1873, the Casa continued to mint coinage in all denominations even after Isabella II was overthrown in 1868.
These 29 coins, which will likely make bidders’ eyes gleam with aurum, are made of 0.875 (21 carats) fine gold and are assigned their respective KM numbers in accordance with the Standard Catalog of World Coins.
León Gallery’s León Exchange Online Auction is happening July 16 to 18. All three auction days start at 11 AM. With over 2,000 lots, the 20th online auction of the country’s premier auction house will be the biggest León Exchange yet.
A preview of the offerings will be held from July 12 to 15, Monday to Thursday, 9 AM to 7 PM, at Warehouse 14, La Fuerza Compound, Don Chino Roces Avenue, Brgy. San Lorenzo, Makati City and G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Streets, Legazpi Village Makati City.
For further inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact +632 8856 2781/+639985172010. All bidding will be online at www.leonexchange.com. For updates, follow León Gallery on their social media pages: Facebook - www.facebook.com/leongallerymakati and Instagram - @leongallerymakati.
Photos from Leon Gallery