Ask the average collector which is the farthest east United States mint ever used and you're likely to be told West Point. But the correct answer is, Manila, in the Philippines. The United States obtained the Philippines as a colony at the end of the Spanish American War in 1898.
In 1903 the U. S. began issuing 1/2, 1, 5, 20, and 50 centavo and 1 peso coins for the new colony using the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints. The exchange rate was set at 2 pesos to 1 dollar. The obverse of the coins had a woman standing or a man sitting at an anvil with a volcano in the background. The denomination was written around the top and "Filipinas" around the bottom.
The reverses had an eagle with outstretched wings standing on a United States shield with "United States of America" around the top and the date and any mint mark on the bottom. All coins weighed more than their exchange equivalent on the U.S. mainland.
From 1925 on these coins were minted in the Manila Mint--the farthest east mint of the United States.
In 1935 the Philippines became a self governing commonwealth of the United States. The only thing that changed on the coins was the shield on the reverse. It changed from a US shield to one of the Philippines.
The coins continued to be made in Manila until the Japanese took over the country in 1941. All three mainland mints made Philippine coins in 1944 and 1945 for the then captive country.
The Republic of the Philippines was given its independence on July 4, 1946, ending this chapter of US colonial coinage.
Originally published January, 1998.