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Philippine Paper Money 101 – Click Here for Chapter 1

Selling Philippine Paper Money – Click Here for Chapter 2

Buying Philippine Paper Money – Click Here for Chapter 3

Chapter 1

Philippine Paper Money 101

What is it, and why is it important?

500 Pesos Series No. 66 Victory

500 Pesos Series No. 66 Victory

Welcome! If you already have a solid understanding of Philippine banknotes and why they’re important, you can skip to Chapter 2 (though we’d recommend skimming through some Philippine banknote information as they’re useful refreshers).

For everyone else, this chapter will help build your foundational Philippine Paper Money knowledge and understanding as you move forward.

What are Philippine Banknotes?

The Philippine peso (currency code: PHP) is the official currency of the Philippines. This guide is focused primarily on Philippine Paper Money printed prior to 1949, as these banknotes will be more valuable. From 1902 to 1942, the First Philippine Republic, more commonly known as the Malolos Republic, was a nascent revolutionary government in the Philippines. This was an interesting era for the Philippines which also lead to some of the most beautiful and historically lush paper money ever produced.

There were 10 types and eras of Philippine Paper Money printed during this time. We will go in-depth with each category later in this guide, so make sure to stick around.


Philippine Paper Money Basics

Philippine Paper Money was the livelihood of The Philippine Islands in the early 1900s. In 1898 The United States defeated Spain in the war. A treaty between the  United States and Spain grants the US authority over the Philippines. This is why much of the paper money during this era looks similar to US paper money from the early 1900s, because the US was printing paper money for the Philippines. This was known as the “American Era” (1901 – 1946).

1916 100 Pesos Silver Certificate

1916 100 Pesos Silver Certificate

These notes were printed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. As you can tell, a lot of similar design features were produced on these old banknotes. Funnily enough, George Washington was pictured on some Philippine series paper money from this era. A true testament of high-quality intaglio printing designs coming from the United States shows in these banknotes.


Why Philippine Paper Money is important

There is a lot, and I mean A LOT, of old Philippine Paper Money stored away in people’s homes and collections. That doesn’t necessarily mean its all rare, though. We’re constantly being offered old Philippine banknotes that are very common (Wikipedia) and not worth much money whatsoever.

It’s important to understand Philippine Paper Money, why some are valuable and why some are not rare at all. If you see your bill in this guide and we are telling you it’s rare and worth a lot of money, consider contacting us so we can further help you. Whether that means you selling the note to us, or keeping it yourself and safely storing it so it values is not somehow negatively impacted. Improper storage of collectible paper money can lead to significant value decreases.


Should I contact a Paper Money Expert?

Depending on your capabilities, willingness to learn, and the complexity of Philippine Paper Money varieties and conditions, as well as market variables, you could buy, sell, and collect Philippine Currency yourself. Or, you might discover that you would prefer the help of an expert. Either way is okay!

If you end up looking for expert help, it’s important to know many consultants “provide Free Evaluations,” but can vary widely in quality and honesty. Knowing how to choose a trustworthy Paper Money Expert can save you a lot of time and money, as the wrong person can do more harm to your pocketbook than they will help.


The true value of Philippine Banknotes

This can be a difficult area to navigate if you’re a beginner, but in our guide, we hope to help ease the waters just a bit. We will touch lightly on this now, but if you want to learn more about buying or selling Philippine Paper Money, you should read the chapters that dive specifically into those areas. Essentially it comes down to this. Knowing the era your paper money came from and how many banknotes were printed is a primary factor when determining the value of old Philippine Paper Money.

A lot of these banknotes were simply mass-produced and heavily circulated during the 1900s. On the other hand, some of the money was printed for extremely small print-runs, and not many are known to exist today. Knowing something like this is pivotal when trying to understand the true value of a Philippine Banknote.


Banknote collectors share similar goals with the sellers

I’ve been collecting coins and paper money almost my entire life. It’s a true passion, and I especially love old Philippine paper money. The goal is similar between collectors and sellers, as contradicting as that may sound. As a collector, I want to hold a piece of history in my hand and know it’s safe and being taken care of.

As a seller, the person typically and most obviously want money, but also most sellers want to make sure it gets to the right home. Especially when this piece of paper money is sentimental or has been in the family for a long time. As a collector, I want to make sure the person I’m buying from is getting fair market value for their Philippine banknote. As a seller, you want to make sure you’re getting a fair price for your banknote.


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.


Philippine Banknote Buying Guidelines

Basic principles:

  • Educate yourself on Philippine Paper Money.
  • Find a Paper Money Expert who can help track down rare notes for your collection.
  • Know which series are most commonly counterfeited.
  • Buy graded banknotes to assure authenticity. (Try a company like PMG)
  • Avoid paying too much on platforms like eBay, where sellers NEED to ask for ridiculous amounts of money in order to combat the high seller fees.
  • Find a trustworthy seller who has been in the industry for decades.

Things to avoid:

  • Just like buying jewelry, you do not want to buy at full retail cost; find a reputable dealer who will give you their best deal.
  • Rushing into buying an entire collection at once can demand a significant premium, take your time.
  • Using tape or staples near your paper money. (NEVER do this)
  • Improper storage of Philippine paper money can negatively impact the value later down the line. Consider


Learning more about Philippine Paper Money

Let’s dive right into specific types and dates of old Philippine banknotes. A lot of these notes are extremely old, but sometimes that doesn’t always equate to a valuable note. Click on the individual pictures to find out more about your old Philippine paper money.

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