Saturday, November 26, 2016

110. Philippine Silver Anting-Anting (Amulets)

Long before the Spaniards came the natives worshiped their anitos and a number of nature gods. This ancestral spirituality laid the foundation on the beliefs in talisman or anting-anting and its variety of powers.  Centuries of colonial Catholicism further provided many obscure and pagan elements, incorporating religious icons and concepts - the Holy Spirit (Ispiritu Santo), Holy Trinity (Santisima Trinidad), Holy Family (Sagrada Familia), Virgin Mother (Virgen Madre), the Eye, and many more - into the credo of anting-anting.

A popular collectible among numismatist are these silver amulets made from silver peso US- Philippine coins (1903-1905) and from Mexican 8 Reales / Un Peso coins. According to Albino Quiban, a senior coin collector / dealer and past president of Philippine Numismatic and Antiquarian Society (PNAS),  these amulets were made by a certain Mang Maning Dealino from Laguna in the 1950’s.   They were made of low quality silver because the coins were mixed with other metals to make them, that is why they have unusual toning. 

The average size is 40 mm, similar to our large US-Philippine peso.  You will notice that reverse and obverse were interchanged with other designs creating a variety of amulets. Some of these are hollow inside and have faint rattling sound when shaken.  

Commonly the designs are St. Joseph (San Jose) , Holy Family (Jesus, Maria, Jose), Mexican Eagle (Republica Mexicana) , Cup and Ray, Angel with trumpet and Cross Keys. A rarity is the Dr. Jose Rizal amulet with KKK flags and scale balance design at the back, which is highly sought by collectors.  Since these were made to look like coins, most of them were made to bring good luck in business.

Most of these are from the collection of Melvin Lam and the author. 

For questions send message at

Patriarca Senor San Jose Virtude Commercio / 1001

Jesus, Maria, Jose 1010 / Maria Concepcion

San Rafael  / Roma 1770 Libertad

Senor San Jose Patriarca / Roma 1770 Libertad

Jesus, Maria, Joseph  / Un Peso, Sagrado Y Libertad 1770

Un Peso, Sagrado S. Josep / Dos Llaves Roma 1771

Senor San Jose Patriarca / Un Peso, Sagrado Y Verdaderos, Roma 1833

Republica Mexicana 1872 / Un Pesos San Jose Y Sagrado Roma

1881 / Un Pesos, Sagrado Verdadero San Jose

  Senor San JosePatriaca / Republica Mexicana 1872

 Dr. Jose Rizal / Un Peso Sagrado Y Verdadero 1890

Un Peso Sagrado San Jose, Roma / 1770, Roma Libertad

1000 T.D. Y.D / Un Peso Sagrado Verdadero Virgen Maria

1770 Un Peso Sagrado Y Libertad

San Pedro Por la Virtud Juego / 1000 (Black Nazarene)

1000 I.J.M / Sun Face with letter inscriptions

1117 Un Peso Sagrado Verdadero Roma / Senor San Jose Patriarca

Un Peso, San Jose Verdadero Sagrado / 1890 Buenas Commecio

Jesus, Maria, Joseph  / 1770 Un Peso Sagrado Y Libertad

Night Watch, Patnubay sa Gabi, Mapald na Taglay, Lucky Pocket Piece /
Day Watch, Patnubay sa Araw,  Mapald na Taglay, Lucky Pocket Piece

T.D. Y.D. San Jose  / 1000 Un Peso Puro Sagrado Verdadero Roma

Un Peso San Jose Sagrado /1770 Libertad Roma

BODHA / 1890 Buenas Comercio

Patriarca Senor San Jose Virtude Commercio / 1770 Roma Y Liberdad

Pangamba - Manga Apostoles Sa Dagat / 1000 T.D. I.F.

Republica Mexicana 1872 / Roma y Libertad Buenas

Un Pesos Sagrado San Joseph Roma / T.D. Y.D. 1001

T.D. Y.D. 1001/ San Rafael

Patriarca Senor San Jose Virtude Commercio / 1101 Sangtus, Sangtus, Sangtus

1906 Un Peso Sagrado San Jose ( obverse and reverse same design)

1770 Un Peso San Jose Sagrado / San Isidro Sagrado + Nagsasaka

Ma. Senyora Del Carmen Roma / 1000 T.D. I.D.

1890 San Miguel Segut Deus / Inscription at the back

Crucified Christ   / 1767 Jesus, Sta. Maria

1810 Roma, Ina ng Awa, Santa Maria / Santo Nino with Inscriptions, Roma

San Pedro, Por la Virtud Y Juego / 1000 (Sun face behind mountains)

 There are  more varieties not included here.

1. Anting-Anting
2. Philippine Medals and Tokens 1780-2010 by Earl D. Honeycutt, Ph.D.