In 2012, the Mexico Mint started a four year series featuring classic coins of Mexico. These bimetallic coins feature a face value of 100 pesos and a sterling silver center surrounded by an aluminum and bronze alloy and are proof-like in nature. The reverse of the coin features the famous eagle eating snake Mexican national emblem.
The first edition of the series I set featured the classic 6 coins of: 1) the 1732 columns- the first minted round Mexican coin, 2) the 1783 colonial bust of Charles III, 3) the insurgent 8 SUD- which were like IOU coins for the exchange of silver or gold after the war- the first Mexican coins (not Spanish), 4) the 8 releases “cap and rays”- which feature the word “Freedom” and looking enough like a sun that heads and tails in Mexican coins is expressed as “Eagle or Sun”, 5) the 1914 Caballito (the iconic beautiful 100 year commemorative victory of the war of Independence coin), and the 6)1913 “little ball” peso, minted during the Revolution for Francisco Villa.
Series II was just released and featured six more wonderful pieces of Mexican history.
Note: All images show the new coin next to the classic coin. Click any image to expand.
The first coin features the colonial 8 reales, Carlos III, 1804, the Philippines and chops reseller. Mexican silver coins were so prevalent in the Orient that many sellers took to adding chop marks to verify the silver content. The Philippines used a colonial government circular countermark with the initials F7 (Ferdinand VII of Spain). This coin has both the cool counter-stamp and chop-marks.
Coin 2 features the colonial 8 reales, 1608, Mexico mint, original “F” type macuquino. These coins were hand-hammered by slamming tokens of irregular sizes down, but because of the pure silver, they were accepted widely. They were used between 1572 and 1730, and the commemorative version features the 1573 date.
Coin 3 is an 8 reales, 1811, struck in Zacatecas, “LVO”- during the Independence War, the Mexican Mint ran out of metal, and so little mints popped up in mining towns- this one represents one from Zacatecas, and the LVO is Latin short for ‘Labor Vincint Omnia’ (Work Conquers All).
Coin 4 features the Second Empire, Maximilian of Hapsburg, and the first minted 1 peso, with the date of 1866, minted in Mexico. Old Max was rumored to be the heir of Napoleon and helped (briefly) established a foreign-appointed Monarchy in Mexico (until his execution).
Coin 5 has the “little hand coin”- the 8 escudos Republican currency, type of mannitol, 1828. With the Latin inscription “Libertad en la ley” (liberty under the law), the popular coins were initially minted in gold.
The final coin of series 2, coin 6 features the image on the back of a coin of the United Mexican States, 5 pesos, 1950, Inauguration of the Southeastern Railway. The Railway was built to connect the Yucatan to the rest of Mexico, and features an iconic tribute coin of the greatest 20th century feat of Mexican Engineering.
While the U.S. Continues to re-use classic designs (the walking liberty on the silver eagle, the buffalo nickel on the gold buffalo), the Mexico Mint has issued a 4 year tribute to their greatest coins. Not likely to have the quick-flipper value of the 2011 Silver Eagle U.S. Sets, it offers coin collectors an incredible opportunity to view iconic pieces and for those collectors who have all of the sets in their collection in 2015, it will be quite stunning. For numismatists, it also features the most exciting and interesting kind of North American History: the kind that fits in your pocket.