Libertad collecting is a joyous hobby that rests somewhere between the adrenal-stimulating activity of cliff diving and the patient detail-sifting of prospecting sand. This year’s surprise offering from Mexico’s mint is a first. Like the Reverse Proof set of two years ago, it has a precedent: the collecting of bullion silver bars. It also pays homage to the Libertad’s roots as a bullion coin. This silver Proof set is issued in honor of the 35th year of the Libertad’s being offered by the mint as a bullion coin (and silver Proof, gold bullion, gold Proof, and even a rare platinum all exist). The set comes in a wooden case, complete with a certificate of authenticity.
The set, which totals 3 ounces of silver, consists of a 2-ounce ingot and a 1-ounce Brilliant Uncirculated silver coin that has been fused to the silver bar. On the obverse (shown above), the words 35th Anniversary OF THE MEXICAN SILVER LIBERTAD COIN is placed to the left of the coin on a background of mountains and desert that continues the background of the Libertad obverse. In the upper right corner is the set’s unique ID number.
On the reverse, the background is an Aztec-inspired pattern, with a large number 35 to the left of the coin and, below the number, the words ANIVERSARIO DE LA SERIE LIBERTAD PLATA. Above the number is an Aztec warrior in a feathered eagle helmet, with the date of the Libertad’s first issue, 1982, to the left.
The mintage for the set is 5,000, and as most Liberated collectors expected, it sold out from the mint before it has even been announced. Secondary markets and primary insiders who have an in with the mint still have the set close to the offering price, but that price is creeping upwards as the sets have been drying up. (Two vendors who are currently offering the sets are Bullion Exchanges, in New York, and MūnzDachs, in Germany. The latter offers shipping within Germany only. Some ebay vendors have the sets as well.) It seems to be trending around $50–$100 over issue price, and who knows what the graded versions will sell for. The sets should be shipping toward the end of the month, so for now, it’s pre-sales only. In other words: happy hunting!
In other Libertad news: the gold BU release figures have all come in at 1,000 mintage or less for 2017, so don’t expect to see these offered. The mintage for the 1-ounce is just 900, and the 1/10-ounce gold has a mintage of just 300. The 1/20-ounce gold has the highest mintage of just 1,000, so although the gold bullion Libertad has yet to take off like the silver Proofs or even the silver bullion, it remains ripe for the picking! ❑