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Philippine Paper Money 101 – Click Here for Chapter 1

Sell Philippine Paper Money – Click Here for Chapter 2

Click Here for Chapter 3

Chapter 2

Selling Philippine Paper Money

Get paid for your old paper money

1920 100 Pesos Circulating Note

1920 100 Pesos Circulating Note

As we mentioned in Chapter 1, Philippine paper money has a vast history and many banknote varieties. Knowing if your Philippine note is valuable is key if you’re wanting to buy or sell your banknote. 

In order to know how much your Philippine paper money is worth, you must understand the basic criteria which determine the value of the bills. Outside of where to sell, knowing the value of your banknote is arguably the most important piece of the puzzle. 


Philippine Banknote Selling Guidelines

Basic principles:

  • Educate yourself on Philippine Paper Money.
  • Don’t sell counterfeit paper money if you know its fake.
  • Avoid unnecessary seller fees on platforms that cost your potentially hundreds of dollars in fees.
  • Find a trustworthy buyer who has been in the industry for decades

Things to avoid:

  • If your banknotes are very valuable, shipping without insurance. (big no-no)
  • Selling your entire collection to a local Pawn or Coin shop who will always give you less money than an online dealer or collector would. (Keep in mind, local shops have monthly overhead costs that we don’t have online, so we can pay a lot more)
  • Using tape or staples near your paper money. (NEVER do this)
  • Improper storage of Philippine paper money, prior to selling it, which can significantly negatively impact its value.


How do I determine value?

Before you sell your Philippine paper money, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of how much your banknote is going to be worth. The last thing you want to happen is not to get paid what you deserve for your old Philippine currency.

Philippine banknotes have 4 determining value factors:

  1. Condition
    1. (Margins)
    2. (Eye appeal)
  2. Serial number
    1. (Star notes)
  3. Market
  4. Outliers



The overall condition of your Philippine paper money will heavily play a factor when determining the value of your banknotes. This goes for most collectibles, to be honest. The majority of collectors prefer a better condition, nicer looking banknote over one that’s been heavily circulated and looks poor.

1918 50 Pesos Treasury Certificate

1918 50 Pesos Treasury Certificate

The note pictured above is a perfect example of a banknote worth a few hundred dollars due to its condition. Don’t get me wrong, a few hundred dollars is a lot of money. But the same note in pristine condition could be worth thousands of dollars. So, which would you prefer?

Before I got into collecting paper money from around the world, I had no idea that a single fold on a banknote could quite literally mean a decrease in the value of thousands of dollars. And the crazy part is, a lot of the time these folds and imperfections are so minor and invisible to the normal collector’s eye, that we can’t even see them. That’s why third-party grading companies, like PMG, are so important to the hobby. They give their opinion on grade and they verify authenticity.

I’ve dealt with many Philippine paper money collectors over the years and, this goes for all types of paper money collectors, there are some who strictly collect perfect banknotes. And by perfect I mean zero folds, no imperfections, etc. As odd as this may sound to the average collector, the size and equality of the margins can also play a huge determining factor in the value of a banknote. Let me show you an example.


Margins and why they’re important

500 Peso Central Bank Overprint

500 Peso Central Bank Overprint

While this 500 Pesos Philippine banknote shown above is relatively valuable, especially in the nice condition, it’s eye appeal is significantly negatively impacted by its poor centering. How well the print is centered on a Philippine banknote is kind of a big deal. Just by looking at the picture I know this 500 Pesos note has some folds. If it had no folds, in uncirculated condition, and it had perfect margins (instead of skewed like this) it would literally bring over $1,000 more than if it had poor centering like this.

In short, poor-looking centering and bad margins like pictured above will significantly impact the value in a negative way. This is more so true with better condition banknotes. But it will even impact the lesser condition banknotes as well. When looking to sell your Philippine bill, it’s important to understand these things. The last thing you want is to be blind-sided by things like this or have a crooked buyer try and take advantage of your knowledge.


Eye appeal is more important than you think

What is eye appeal? Eye appeal is, well, how well it appeals to one’s eye. How nicely does the note look, regardless of condition? I’ll tell you I’ve handled some extremely nice, original, honest, not completely dirty, low-grade notes in my life. And I’ve also handled the same condition notes but in extremely poor and beat and damaged condition.

Even the example above with the poor centering is considered eye appeal. Poor centering makes the bill less appealing, which impacts the value negatively. So does eye appeal.

Damage or pieces missing, on a Philippine banknote will make the note look a lot worse than it actually is. Not many collectors “enjoy” going after bills that have pieces missing, large stains, and rust. Know things like this will influence the value when selling your bill. I know this first hand because I’ve been on all sides, buying, selling, and collecting.

Over time, and depending on how a banknote was stored, a bill can show improper storage damage or fatigue. Many people don’t realize this, but the sun can really damage and fade the ink on an old collectible Philippine note. When a bill loses its bright color or when there’s damage because of the sun, this will hurt the value of the bill. Even something like storing your Philippine banknote in a closet that never gets good air circulation or cooling. These bills are paper and they can easily get damaged.


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Rare, Fancy, and Low Serial Numbers

We wrote a whole guide on serial numbers if you want to check that out here. A serial number can mean the difference of a $5 note and a $500 note, quite literally. As obscure as that sounds, it’s the truth. There are some avid fancy serial number collectors out there willing to pay a lot of money for a serial number that has significance to their collection. This could be something as simple as the serial number on the Philippine bill having the person birthday, or as rare as a serial number 1, meaning the first bill printing for the series.

Serial numbers 1 through 9 typically bring a large premium in the market, regardless of condition. It goes without saying if you have a great condition Philippine note along with a rare serial number it will bring more money. Solid serial number Philippine banknotes are also interesting and bring money to the market. I’ve had the pleasure of buying and owning some solid serial number notes during my long time collecting. A solid serial number is essentially any bill that has a serial number that looks something like this: A111111A. When talking about Philippine paper money, the serial numbers are sometimes shorter than US paper money.

Star notes and why they’re worth money

1941 2 Pesos Treasury Certificate

1941 2 Pesos Treasury Certificate

Sometimes star notes bring a lot of money, sometimes they don’t matter, unfortunately. But it’s a good thing if you see a star in the serial number of your Philippine bill. The star means the note is a replacement for a bill that had a misprint or error somewhere on the bill. That misprinted banknote was shredded and a replacement sheet was produced in its place. Replacement, or star notes, can sometimes quadruple the value of a banknote. Certain series had more mistakes in the print run, so more were produced. The more star notes that were printed for a run, the less valuable it’s going to be. 

The market and your Philippine note

Like most things, prices go up and down dependant upon the market and its conditions. I’ve been a part of some of the largest paper money deals in U.S. history, including the sale of a single banknote for over $1,000,000. Most of the time the reason a banknote will sell for this much is because two avid collectors will want a banknote, and they’ll be willing to pay whatever for this note. These 7 figure banknotes are typically one-of-a-kind and aren’t collectible for most people (for a good reason). 

The years 2006 and 2007 were great years for paper money, right before the housing market crash of 2008. The value of paper money bills, especially from the Philippines, crashed along with it. A note that used to be worth $500 was not worth $75-100. Nobody had money to spend on collectibles. They were too busy trying to survive a market crash. Non-essential items, like collectibles, are typically the first thing to go when people need money to put food on the table. For good reasons at that! 

Please note, during the time I’m writing this, we’re currently dealing with the Corona Virus (COVID-19) and our market is currently tanking. I personally haven’t noticed a downfall of the Philippine paper money market as of now, but I do know Philippine banknote dealers who sell for their profession who’ve been selling less because of what’s currently happening. 

In short, the market plays a significant role when determining the value of your old Philippine banknotes value. If people are happy, and people are making money, they’re willing to spend more money on banknotes, meaning you make more money when you sell your bill.


Outliers, and why they’re important

This is an interesting concept that isn’t always a factor but when it is, its important. Why? Think about this… An extremely famous person, especially one who you adore, owns a collection of Philippine paper money and they’re selling it. Would you pay a premium to own the same collection that “Michael Jordan” was once the owner of? I know most of us collectors would. 

This is an outlier. Some odd things that will significantly impact a bill, or collection, in a positive way. Don’t get me wrong, some collectors could care less about the provenance of a Philippine banknote or any note for that matter. But like I said sometimes all it takes is two people, with a large wallet, to really want a bill. 


Where to sell Philippine paper money

There are many places you can take your Philippine paper money and receive U.S. paper money in return. Hopefully, you take what you’ve learned here and make the right decision when selling your bills. We are strong buyers of all the Philippine, the United States, and World foreign paper money in general. Not only that, but I guarantee we’ll pay more too. We don’t have a brick and mortar shop with tons of overhead to pay for. We’re online, which makes it easier for us to pay more than anyone else. Shipping your Philippine paper money to us is also extremely easy. Make sure you contact us if you have any questions, we always respond within 24 hours with our best offer.

If you don’t want to sell to us, that’s fine! I just want to make sure when you do sell, you’re selling to someone who is going to give you the most money for your bills. The last place you want to sell your Philippine paper money is a local Pawn Shop. DO NOT do this. 99% of pawnshops will have absolutely no idea what they’re looking at. And if they somehow do know, chances of them giving you a fair price is slim-to-none. 

The majority of Philippine paper money we’re contacted about is worth $0.10 to $1.00. Yeah, you read that correctly. The unfortunate reality is most people come to us with notes dated after 1949, or World War II notes, which are worth pretty much nothing. As cool as the stuff is, it’s the reality. I bring this up because the last place I’m going to recommend is eBay.

The majority of the time, I never recommend selling on eBay because of a multitude of reasons. I try to keep this as non-bias as possible but it’s hard due to all the times I’ve gotten scammed on the platform. That in combination with ridiculous seller fees makes the platform almost unusable. There are times its good to use eBay, like if you contact us and I tell you we cannot pay for your Philippine banknotes because it would cost you more money to ship ($3) them to us. On top of that, going through some of the hassles of listing an item on eBay can be relatively tedious and time-consuming. A simple typo on your listing could lose you potentially hundreds of dollars if you have a rare item that wasn’t attributed correctly. 


Now that you know how to sell your old Philippine paper money on your own, maybe you’re interested in buying Philippine paper money for your collection? Head to Chapter 3 (Buying Philippine Paper Money)!

Looking to sell your old Philippine Islands banknotes? We are the top buyers of The Philippine Island notes in the country. You will want to hear our offer before you make your decision on selling your banknotes. I think you may be surprised by how much we offer. Send us clear photos of the front and back of your old Philippine notes and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

We buy Rare U.S. Paper Money from around the Country. Sell your old money collection today!

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