TO HONOR Pope Francis and to remember his state and pastoral visit, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will issue limited edition papal coins in P50 and P500 denomination.

The P50 commemorative coin for Pope Francis is made of nickel brass while the P500 coin is made of Nordic gold with gold plating.

“Both P50 and P500 coins are legal tender and will be sold for P100 and P1,000, respectively, to cover production, packaging and other costs. The coins are minted under a licensing agreement with the Vatican,” the BSP said in a statement posted on its website.

The obverse side of the coin features the portrait of Pope Francis and is marked “Republika ng Pilipinas” and “Pope Francis.”

The signature of the pope, the denomination, year mark and the BSP mint mark can also be seen on the same side.

On the reverse, the BSP seal and the markings “Papal Visit/Philippines,” the date of his visit “January 15-19, 2015” and the logo of the Papal Visit 2015 are indicated. The words “Mercy and Compassion” are also printed on the coin.

As a policy, the BSP said it commemorates significant events in the country’s history through the minting of coins, medals or overprints on the banknotes.

It is not the first time that coins were made to commemorate a papal visit.

Commemorative coins were also issued for the 1970 visit of Pope Paul VI, and for the 1981 and 1995 papal visits of Pope John Paul II.

The commemorative coins may be ordered through the BSP website. For reservations, forms will have to be downloaded and filled out and emailed to the BSP. Reservation forms may be submitted only until the end of June 2015.

The P50 and P500 coins will be available on the last week of January. P1,000 silver and P10,000 gold Papal commemorative coins will also be available in May. (PR)