The gold peso coinage of Mexico is not only popularly collected in various parts of the world today, but also plays an important role in the history of numismatics. It carried on the centuries-long legacy of the first mint in either North or South America, and has been instrumental in celebrating both Mexican independence and Mexican cultural heritage.
The Mexican Mint
Established in 1535, la Casa de Moneda de México is the oldest mint in the Americas, and indeed in the entire Western Hemisphere. gold coins from mexico have a long history in the numismatic and precious metal investment community, especially because mexico is rich in natural resources like gold, and especially silver. the casa, as it is known in mexico, is a highly prestigious mint because of the wide circulation and high quality of its coins. the mint was constructed because of a charter proposed by the spanish crown and was implemented by the viceroy of spain, antonio de mendoza.
Gold Peso Design
Among the most well known Mexican coins are the 1.2057 ounce, Mexican gold 50 peso Centenarios. Gold Centenarios are struck from 90% pure gold, and the alloy is balanced with 10% copper. The reverse of these coins depicts Winged Victory, also known as the Angel of Independence, a majestic statue of a bare-breasted angel that is found in the heart of Mexico City. Though the location is now a bustling urban sprawl, the image on the coin shows the statue in an open mesa, with the volcanoes Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl visible in the distance. Mexican peso coins typically display the Mexican coat of arms on the obverse, which shows an eagle perched atop a cactus while it devours a snake.
Mexican Gold 20 Peso coins are also known for their captivating design. These coins share a common obverse with the 50 peso coins, but their reverse design recreates the intricately carved “sun stone” from the Aztec culture. The impressive sun stone of Tenochtitlán (the Aztec capital) was buried beneath rubble in the sixteenth century, and was not unearthed again for over a hundred years. This magnificent work revealed the Aztec’s understanding of advanced math and cosmology, and is a fitting cultural symbol for modern Mexico’s gold coins.
History of the Gold Peso
The peso was first introduced to Mexico by Spanish colonialism. First minted in 1921, the Mexican Gold Peso commemorates the centennial of Mexico’s hard won independence from Spanish colonial rule. According to the Casa de Moneda de México’s website, pre-1905 coins and pesos were marked with, “República Mexicana,” whereas after 1905, this description was changed to, “Estados Unidos Mexicanos,” in commemoration of the end of the Mexican war for independence.