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Wilson Dollars circulated and were used as currency!

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited April 5, 2023 7:53AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I'm a fan of the Wilson Dollar as they commemorate the opening of a US mint.

While looking up some info on it this morning, I read that they circulated from ATS which I found very interesting. Does anyone know about this and is there any more information on these being used as currency?

ATS said:
As Spain had ceded the Philippine Islands to the United States after the Spanish-American War in December 1898, the new mint was to strike coinage that would replace the Spanish colonial money that was circulating. The Philippine Mint records show that 2,000 medals were struck on the first day of operation but does not clarify what metal type these were. While they were never legal tender, the pieces circulated in the Philippines prior to World War II. The mintage records show the following:

  • 2,200 pieces in silver (HK-449)
  • 3,700 pieces in copper (HK-450)
  • 5 pieces in gold (HK-1031)

Ref: https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/7240/

Here's mine:

Comments

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins.... Does 'circulated' in your comment indicate use as currency? I guess the value would have been arbitrarily assigned since it has no denomination and the metal is not defined. Sounds more like barter than currency. Cheers, RickO

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 5, 2023 7:55AM

    @ricko said:
    @Zoins.... Does 'circulated' in your comment indicate use as currency? I guess the value would have been arbitrarily assigned since it has no denomination and the metal is not defined. Sounds more like barter than currency. Cheers, RickO

    I assume use as currency is what ATS meant by circulated given the context of the word:

    While they were never legal tender, the pieces circulated in the Philippines

    I assume the silver would either have been valued at silver content or have the value of silver Peso. I'm sure about the bronze pieces.

    Either way, it's very interesting that ATS wrote this and I'm curious to learn more.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins.... Yes, very likely, and one 'could assume' the value being assigned as a dollar. Cheers, RickO

  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,884 ✭✭✭✭✭

    :)

  • TrampTramp Posts: 652 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 5, 2023 8:17AM

    Could circulated mean given out to the public as souvenirs rather than sold to the public or sold to collectors?

    USAF (Ret.) 1985 - 2005. E-4B Aircraft Maintenance Crew Chief and Contracting Officer.
    My current Registry sets:
    ✓ Everyman Mint State Carson City Morgan Dollars (1878 – 1893)
    ✓ Everyman Mint State Lincoln Cents (1909 – 1958)
    ✓ Morgan Dollar GSA Hoard (1878 – 1891)

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,717 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm not saying it isn't true that they circulated, but it would be nice to see some footnotes on the source of the story. Sometimes when stories get repeated over the years some nuance or context is lost.

    A large dollar/peso sized silver medal might certainly have been accepted in a transaction.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Tramp said:
    Could circulated mean given out to the public as souvenirs rather than sold to the public or sold to collectors?

    Given that this was published by NGC and it was immediately preceded by "While they were never legal tender", it seems to indicate they were used for the purposes of being legal tender.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    I'm not saying it isn't true that they circulated, but it would be nice to see some footnotes on the source of the story. Sometimes when stories get repeated over the years some nuance or context is lost.

    A large dollar/peso sized silver medal might certainly have been accepted in a transaction.

    Agree it would be nice for there to be some reference for this.

    The article was published 4 years ago on March 12, 2019 and doesn't list an author, so it may be hard to track down someone to ask.

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm skeptical.

    The mintage is too low for it to have been a meaningful circulating coin.

    Lacking a denomination or fineness and being scarce, I'm surprised it would have entered commerce without its composition being verified. Are chopmarked examples known?

  • BuffaloIronTailBuffaloIronTail Posts: 7,405 ✭✭✭✭✭

    First time I ever saw that coin. I learn something new every day.

    Pete

    "I tell them there's no problems.....only solutions" - John Lennon

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