1503 Philippine Barilla and Piloncitos

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1503 Philippine Barilla and Piloncitos

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a.) This is the first coin known to have been made in the Philippines. There is a remote possibility that all of the known barillas are trial specimens, since so few exist. All known specimens were cast in lead, thus making this theory very plausible.
Several sources have mentioned bronze or copper ingot/coins known as "Calderillas", circulated in the Philippines prior to 1766. They are described as shaped like parallelogrmas, from 3 to 5 mm thck, with serrated borders. The available information is spare and no authenticated specimens known to have survived.
There is, however, a record of an issue of these coins made by order of the Spanish governor at the Cavite naval base in 1766. The purpose in this case was to alleviate a shortage of fractional money which followed the war with England in 1762-1764. The circulation of this isuue was brief since it was succeeded later in the same year by the round Barrillas of Carlos III.
b.) Since ancient times, gold has been one of the main products of the islands. Both ancient and modern goldsmiths exude exquisiteness in their craftsmanship for trade, personal vanity and prestige. Piloncitos are the earliest form of precious metal based currency of Tondo, Namayan and Rajahnate of Butuan in present-day Philippines.
It is likely made of pure gold with a weight ranging between 0.5 grams to more or less than 3 grams. Piloncitos are tiny engraved bead-like gold bits unearthed in the Philippines. They are the first recognized coinage in the Philippines circulated between the 9th and 12th centuries. They emerged when increasing trade made barter inconvenient.