From 1854 to 1864 the unit was the peso duro or peso plata fuerte = $1.04 (20 cuartos= 1 real, 8 reales 1 peso). On this basis 5 cuartos = 3l cents; 10 cuartos=61 cents ; 1 real = 13 cents ; 2 reales = 26 cents.
From 1864 to 1871 the same unit was employed, but the values were expressed in centimos. Thus 3½, 6.2/8, 12.4/8, and 25 centimos de peso fuerte are equivalent respectively to 3¼, 6½, 13c, and 26cents as before.
Thank you, Rod. I knew that I could count on you. Oddly, the abbreviation "Po. Fe." seems to have been used only for this brief period and only in the Philippines: not in Spain, or Cuba, or Puerto Rico. So far at least I haven't come across it elsewhere. Eric
We have no information as to why the postal values were issued as above ; neither is it known why the rates of postage were changed as indicated.
In 1871 Spain adopted the French monetary system, taking the peseta as the base instead of the franc. This system still obtains there. While the peso has for many years been the unit in the Philippines (as quoted on the stamps), the fines in the Spanish laws are given in pesetas, and the peseta has been the common commercial unit of currency.
From 1872 to 1876 the peseta (equivalent to 20 cents) was the unit of value (100 centimos=i peseta; 5 pesetas=i peso). Thus 12, 16, 25, and 62 centimos de peseta are equivalent to 2.4, 3.5, and 12.4 cents, and 1 peseta 62 centimos equivalent to 25 cents.
From 1876 to 1899 the peso again figures as the unit of value equivalent to I dollar silver. The values are stated in centimos, centavos and milésimas of a peso, though the word peso is not necessarily expressed. The 1 real used in the surcharges is still 1/8th of the peso, and is accordingly equivalent to 12.5 centimos de peso. W hy the more recent surcharges should have been expressed in reales when the i2.5 and the 25 centimos de peso stamps both preceded and followed them is not known. It is however the fact
Bib: J. MURRAY BARTELS, F. APTHORP FOSTER a n d CAPTAIN F. L. PALMER, U. S. A. MEMBERS OF TH E BOSTON PHILATELIC SOCIETY 1904