Skip to main content

Serial number creates VICTORY series mystery

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.

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter. >> Subscribe today.

If you like what you've read here, we invite you to visit our online bookstore to learn more about Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Modern Issues, 1961-Present, 25th Edition.

 Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Modern Issues

Learn more >>> is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and affiliated websites.