The first of its kind, the 2006 1 Kilo Silver Libertad proof-like coin available from Gainesville Coins comes in a handsome wooden presentation case with informational booklet and certificate of authenticity. Struck from 1 kilogram of .999 fine silver, the brilliant image of the Angel of Independence shines atop her victory column in the middle of Mexico City, as the legendary volcanoes Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl loom over the landscape on the frosted background.
The obverse features the national arms of Mexico, surrounded by past representations, including an image of the mythical eagle with snake from the 16th century Mendocino Codex. Measuring 110 mm, this massive yet beautiful pure silver coin would look right at home as a display in even the poshest living room or den. The Angel de la Independencia holds a laurel wreath of victory in one outstretched hand, over the tombs of the Heroes of Independence of Mexico, while grasping the shattered shackles of slavery in the other, signifying Mexico's freedom from the tyranny of Spain.
The volcanoes Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, which tower over the plains of Mexico near the capital, are named for two star-crossed lovers of Aztec mythology. Popocatepetl was a great warrior, and Iztaccihuatl was the daughter of the king. They wished to wed, but the king disapproved. Seeking to get rid of the young man, he commanded Popocatepetl to bring back the head of a rival king to prove his worthiness for his daughter's hand.
Popocatepetl's warband was gone for a long time, fighting the forces of the enemy, yet Iztaccihuatl remained faithful to her beloved. As time wore on, and doubts arose, a jealous rival who wished Iztaccihuatl for his wife spread the rumor that Popocatepetl had been killed in battle. Distraught, Iztaccihuatl refused to eat, and wasted away in mourning. The day of her funeral, Popocatepetl returned triumphant, the head of the enemy king held high. His returning army ran into the funeral procession of Iztaccihuatl. Devastated, he took her body in his arms, and climbed the mountain, laying her on a natural slab. He knelt down over her, his torch held up to illuminate her face, until he too died from a broken heart.
Taking pity on the tragic couple, the gods transformed them into the mountains Iztaccihuatl, the White Lady, and Popocatepetl, the Smoking Man. Sometimes Popocatepetl's grief overcomes him and he rains fire onto the plains below.