By Neil Shafer
The U.S.-Philippine 500-pesos note of the VICTORY series has turned out to be something of a real mystery. It bears printed signatures of S. Osmena and J. Hernandez, President and Auditor General, respectively. The back is overprinted for the Central Bank; catalog number is 124a. -
So far so good, but the serial number on this note, printed at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving, is 58623. This is a number far in excess of the official total of 20,000 notes with this signature combination. How could this situation come about?
On page 83 of my 1964 publication, A Guide Book of Philippine Paper Money, I list the serial number range as F00000001 – F00020000. This information was taken directly from BEP records. Figures for numbers of notes overprinted for the Central Bank are based solely on percentages, as there are no official records that have ever come to my attention for these overprints.
Perhaps some wartime exigency caused an error to creep into the records. After all, it would not be the first time official records contained a mistake or two.
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