Home U.S. Coin Forum

New PCGS Magazine 1st Issue

There are some beautiful toners in first issue.

From the new PCGS Magazine

The Maharlika Collection - U.S. Philippines
By Sanjay C. Gandhi

PCGS PR67+ 1904 Philippines Peso. Courtesy of PCGS TrueView.

In the 1990 song “Vogue,” Madonna sings, “Grace Kelly, Harlow Jean, picture of a beauty queen, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, dance on air, they had style they had grace…”

The Maharlika Collection we are featuring will never make it to GQ or Cosmopolitan magazines for its style. However, it displays a few coins that “strike a pose” in our magazine. Currently, this member is participating in 53 sets we offer to build and takes the pole position (number 1) in 44 sets! Numerous examples display grace, many are fully struck up and toned to visual perfection as the coin pictured above. The PCGS Set Registry team is delighted to feature this member's sets and some of their eye-appealing marvels.

The Spanish-American War began on April 21, 1898, and ended on August 13, 1898. It was one of the shortest conflicts in U.S. history, and Spain lost that war. As a result, Spain had to relinquish control of Cuba, Guam, and Puerto Rico. In addition, the United States purchased the Philippines islands from Spain for $20 million when a peace treaty was signed in Paris, France, on December 12, 1898.

Coinage for the Philippines was first struck in the United States in 1903 at both the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints, respectively. U.S. Philippines mint sets spanning from 1903 through 1912 under the category Territorial & Private Issues have become a favorite among our members. The PCGS Set Registry offers the largest collection of U.S. Philippines mint sets, variety sets, and proof sets for collectors to build.

PCGS PR68 1906 Philippines 50 Centavos. Courtesy of PCGS TrueView.

PCGS MS68 1904 Philippines 50 Centavos. Courtesy of PCGS TrueView.
One set within this collection that we wanted to denote is the Philippines Complete Proof Set (1903-1908). The lowest grade assigned to any coin within this set is PR66 and the highest is PR68+. Complete Philippines sets have been marketed to coin collectors for many years in the hobby. If one were to look for a complete set nowadays that is graded at the PCGS PR65 level or higher, that search may continue for a while or one will have to pay a hefty premium for Gem proof coins. They are simply not readily available. I recall searching for ungraded sets several years ago, and I would be lucky to find a set that graded between PR63 and PR64. Four out of the five dates in this set display unique and remarkable tones of Carolina blue, sunset orange, sun yellow, and many others colors to admire. All five of the peso denominations grade a minimum of PR68, which is an unbelievable numismatic feat itself; two of the pesos grade an astonishing PR68+. heavyweight Philippines coin champion of the world as the finest example known. This coin is included in the Philippines Complete Set, Proof (1903-1908) set and The Maharalika Collection has had the top spot for the last two years. The most recent record of a PCGS PR68 Peso was Lot 5308 at Heritage Auctions that sold for $20,400 on August 24, 2022. Another coin that stuns the imagination is the 1904 50 Centavos, PCGS MS68, which appears to have snagged virtually every color of the rainbow to show off its eye appeal in pastel extravagance. This masterpiece of toning is another example that has no competitors to challenge its supreme reign at the top and can be found in the set titled The Maharlika Collection Complete Type Set with Mules, Circulation Strikes (1903-1945).
The Maharlika Collection has been participating in the PCGS Set Registry for a number of years now. We can only use our imaginations to wonder how many years in the making this current assemblage of coinage took this member to build. Collectors may be thinking of Madonna’s “Crazy for You” after seeing some of the coins from this member's collection. To view additional selections by this member, please view the set titled The Maharlika Collection United States Philippines, which showcases 30+ showstoppers. A Philippines collection of this caliber may never be assembled again. Then again, anything is possible with time.

PCGS PR68+ 1906 Philippines One Peso. Courtesy of PCGS TrueView.
One of many gorgeous coins that exists within this collection is the one-and-only 1906 Proof Peso weighing in at 26.95 grams, with no contenders, this “Thrilla Struck for Manila” is graded PCGS PR68+ and ranks as the undisputed

Sanjay Gandhi is a senior content manager at PCGS. His knowledge base consists of a wide variety of world coinage, and he has a great appreciation for toned coins that display vibrant colors. In addition to contributing content to PCGS Market Report, he also assists collectors with the PCGS Set Registry.


  • Options
    ashelandasheland Posts: 22,693 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Those are some beauties!

  • Options
    RegistryCoinRegistryCoin Posts: 5,111 ✭✭✭✭

    Here are a couple sister coins to the MS 1904 fifty centavos:
    MS68 1/0
    MS67+ 1/0
    MS68 1/0

    From an old post: There are some really tough coins from 1904 where the total mintage of the silver issues (10c, 20c, 50c, and peso) was only around 10,000 coins each! Initially, no silver coins were scheduled to be struck in 1904, but under "Special Contract", 10,000 "SPECIAL MINT SETS" were struck and delivered to noted numismatist Farran Zerbe who planned to sell them at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition being held at the 1904 World's Fair in Saint Louis. Only about 4,000 sets were eventually sold, and the remaining pieces that didn't sell were shipped to Manila and released into circulation.
    According to Neil Shafer's book "United States Territorial Coinage For the Philippine Islands" data taken from the Archives. There were 1355 proofs struck and 10,000 Business strike sets struck on order by Farran Zerbe
    (later president of the ANA) for sale at the "Louisana Purchase Exposition" in St. Louis in 1904. 6746 sets remained unsold. The rest were sent to the Philippine treasury in Manila., where another 500 sets were sold, leaving finally 6246 sets unsold and placed
    into circulation.

  • Options
    wondercoinwondercoin Posts: 16,688 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The MAHARLIKA collection of USPI coins essentially takes over where the Mahal collection (8 sales already at Heritage) left off. Virtually all the coins in the Mahal collection I believe were once the property of Justhavingfun (“JHF”). I say “virtually” because a very, very tiny % of the coins not in the JHF Estate might have been mis-catalogued accidentally to Mahal over those 8 individual Heritage auctions spanning nearly 4 years. Although I can see Heritage did a fabulous job ensuring that rarely happened.

    The MAHARLIKA collection has its fair share of JHF/Mahal coins in the collection. No World-Class USPI collection is lacking in JHF/Mahal coins!

    The MAHARLIKA 1904 “Zerbe” set (ex: JHF) is a masterpiece. I see that Mr. Gandhi selected the 50C for his article, but as Registrycoin just showed, he could have just as easily selected the matching beautifully toned 20C or Peso (both pop 1/0 as well). What sets the MAHARLIKA collection apart from nearly any other USPI super high grade collection I have ever seen is the fact that it is is Color Coin (Toned) dream set.

    Full disclosure - as I was the selected Numismatist to assist the JHF Trustee sell off the JHF Estate assets over the past 4- 5 years, I have worked closely, directly and indirectly, with many of the greatest USPI collectors in the World including the owner of the MAHARLIKA collection.

    As always, just my 2 cents.


    Please visit my website at www.wondercoins.com and my ebay auctions under my user name www.wondercoin.com.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file