2016 Libertad Silver BU Releases Early

Unlike the American Silver Eagles, which begin sales in January, the Mexican Mint releases its Libertad bullion (BU) coins whenever they want and this year this means now!

The silver BU coins began their 2016 year by surprising everybody and shipping starting April 1. With silver prices up from a few months ago, it is likely good for business. The Winged Victory design on the liberated pays tribute to the solid bronze statue in Mexico City that is covered in 24k gold and weighs seven tons.

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Produced since 1982, and with the current design since 1996, the Mexican Silver Libertad is among the most collected BU silver coins in the world. With 5, 2, and 1 ounce issues, as well as 1/2-, 1/4-, 1/10-, and 1/20-ounce denominations, the obverse features an eagle devouring a snake because it looks really, really cool, and for strong religious reasons varying in interpretation from the People of the Sun devouring the snake of wisdom to a European version that includes missionaries taking sides in the struggle between good and evil.

Last year, 903,000 of the 1 oz. silver bullion libertads were sold.  By comparison, the 2015 American Silver Eagle sold 47 million. The 1982-present libertad Dansco album is sold out everywhere, and the complete BU set now sells for anywhere from $3,200 to $1,600, if you can find them. The 1998-2000 “Holy Trinity” is still very hard to come by, and the 1988, 1989, 2006, and 2007 have become nearly as difficult.

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To libertad collectors, this is a time of adventure. The big unknown is of course the Proof coins, particularly the silver Proofs, which have undergone a massive boom especially in silver fractional Proofs — and most notably in the quarter ounce issue, which seems to have caught up to its American Washington-faced counterpart in popularity. Secondary markets, particularly on the graded silver Proofs, have jumped significantly. For those who started collecting early this is welcome news, and for eagle-eyed newbies it is a warning: start your snake-hunting early!

Gold update: the 2015 libertad gold BU figures (at the time near all-time lows) were revised, and the new figures are as follows: 1 oz., 4800; 1/2-oz., 1100; 1/4-oz., 1300; 1/10-oz., 4100; and 1/20-oz., 1300. Depending on your source, it appears the Mint finished the year by minting its allowable gold bullion coins even though they had previously listed them as sold out. Just another question mark, and something new libertad gold bullion collectors should be wary of: buying early. None of the Proof coins were affected.

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Comments

  1. Robert says

    JM Bullion is selling 1oz BU Coin (Best price I’ve found) and eBay has some 2016 sales for several different sizes.

  2. Dustyroads says

    Ah, ya Gabe, about those 2015 gold BU low mintage coins. My smile turned to a frown when I got the news the Banco de Mexico conveniently decided to mint more after they had released the December mintages. What did I learn?
    Never trust a snake…

  3. Dustyroads says

    Speaking of the Libertads, I think the Mexicans use a Caracara bird for their Eagle, which is actually known as the Mexican Eagle.
    Caracara bids are large scavengers, eating anything that moves, but impressive looking.

    On one occasion I witnessed these birds just feet away from the tractor I was driving driving surround and intimidate a small ground dwelling owl. Every time the owl took to flight the entire group of Caracara birds would follow it until one would peck it’s back and force it to the ground. Funny thing, I never did see them eat the owl, only chase it around. Not the smartest bird on the block.

    http://www.texasescapes.com/FEATURES/Gonzales_-_Caracara/feature_caracara.htm

  4. Rbed says

    Anyone have any info on max mintage of 2016 1 oz proofs? Hopefully back to the 4000 range like 2014 not the 6400 of 2015. The rarer the better!

  5. Ward Draw says

    I can’t be the only one that has noticed this, but it sure looks like it. It appears to me that the 2016 silver libertad has a new design as for the first time ever, there is a second nipple displayed on the right breast of the Angel. Additionally, the left breast nipple is a set of concentric rings, instead of the single ring. I have an MS 70 of the 2016 and a BU roll as well. All feature these new design elements yet I have been unable to find any other source that even mentions it!
    What you say?

  6. Jesse says

    Anybody know when we can expect the kilos this year? I have my proof and BU sets of 1/20 thru 5oz, but haven’t seen any kilos hit the market yet and am getting a little impatient!

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