Philippine Coins: 5 Sentimos Ang Bagong Lipunan Series
In 1975, 3 years after the declaration of Martial Law by President Ferdinand Marcos, the Philippine coinage would once again be changed. This series is called “Ang Bagong Lipunan” (The New Society) or ABL series. This replaced the Pilipino series coins and was created to commemorate a new government.
This series is divided into 2 periods, 1975 to 1978, and 1979 to 1982. The 50 Sentimo was not included in this series and a new, 5 PISO, denomination was added. I will show you the differences between the coins of each period.
Featured here is the 5 SENTIMOS coin.
Weight: 2.5 g
Diameter: 19 mm
Thickness: 1.35 mm
Just like the 1 SENTIMO of this series, the 5 SENTIMOS has a rather peculiar shape, an 8-point scallop shape. It was meant to aid the visually impaired in easily identifying the coin. To be fair with the ones who designed the ABL series, they were really keen on making each coin easily distinguishable from each other. The word SENTIMOS, plural for SENTIMO (cent), was also implemented in this series. This is the only Philippine coin with this shape.
During the 1975-1978 period, the 5 SENTIMOS were minted in the UK and the US. On the second period, 1979-1982, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas already had its own mint and coins from then on were minted locally.
Proof coins were minted at the Franklin Mint in the US, a private company. Proof coins are meant to be in a set containing all denominations from the series and packaged neatly as a presentation set. These coins are carefully minted in highly polished blanks making them more beautiful than their regular, circulating counterparts.
From 1979 to 1982 the BSP mint mark can be seen on the obverse, right below “SENTIMO”. On the reverse, the original 1949 BSP logo was changed to the graphical rendering. These are the differences in the coins from the two periods. Next time you see an ABL coin, look at the reverse side. Detailed BSP logo means its minted abroad, and the not so nice looking BSP logo means it was minted locally.
Personally, I think the coins from the first period (1975-1979) are better looking, especially the BSP logo on the reverse. The graphical rendering of the logo just meant the engraver was lazy. The logo is just ugly, to put it bluntly.
This coin is no longer legal tender. It is readily available from all local coin dealers for a relatively low price. I bought these particular coins from a dealer.