The History of the Mexican Gold Peso
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The Mexican Gold Peso

By Gainesville Coins
Published September 01, 2009

Perhaps the greatest reward of coin collecting is that each coin has its own uniquebeauty and history, and the Mexican Gold Peso is no exception. First minted in 1921, the Mexican GoldPeso commemorates the centennial of Mexico’s hard won independence from Spanishcolonial rule.

The Mexican War for Independence lasted from 1810 to 1821. A Mexican-born Spaniard,Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla led other colonial-born Spaniards, along with Mestizosand Amerindians, in an uprising against the Spanish conquistadors. Although Hildagoshortly following his initial revolt, the Mexicans were ultimately successful inousting their oppressors, and on September 27, 1821, the Treaty of Cordoba was ratified,giving Mexico sovereignty from Spain.

In 1910, the Columna de la Independencia (the Statue of Independence) was erectedin Mexico City’s Paseo de Reforma, commemorating the start of the war. Atop a massivecolumn is a figure of Winged Victory. This angel is made of bronze and plated in24-karat gold. She holds a laurel crown, the symbol for victory, in her right hand.In the left, she clutches a broken chain that represents Freedom. At the base ofthe statue, a mausoleum hosts the remains of war heroes.

The Angel rapidly became a symbol of pride in Mexico, and was the perfect imageto adorn the Mexican Gold Peso. In 1921, the Mexican 50 gold peso was minted forthe first time. Each coin’s reverse depicts Winged Victory in the foreground, withMexico’s volcanoes, Popocatepetl and Iztaccihauti, in the background. On the obverse,the original Mexican coat of arms is etched in brilliant detail. The coat of armsfeatures an eagle atop a cactus, devouring a serpent.

Unlike the Mexicangold 50 peso, the 20 peso features the modern version of the Mexican coatof arms. Rather than facing forward, the eagle on the Mexican 20 gold peso facessideways. This updated design balances the coin’s obverse, which features the AztecCalendar. Also known as the Sun Stone, this ancient calendar is one of Mexico’smost enduring pre-colonial symbols. Thus the Mexican 20 peso acknowledges Mexican heritage, both ancient and modern.

Both the 10 peso and 5 peso coins pay homage to Hildago on their reverse. Consideredthe “Father of the Nation,” Hildago’s efforts—and public execution for his rolein the war—earned him a treasured place in the hearts of Mexicans and a burial inthe mausoleum below the Columna de la Independencia.

The Mexican peso has grown to be a favorite among collectors of gold bullion, due to its historical interest andvalue as a hard asset. While other bullion coins like the Kruggerand and Gold American Eagle are widely promoted,the Mexican gold peso has quietly remained an excellent value for collectors. Theselesser known coins are often available for a very small mark-up over the spot price,making them an outstanding investment for numismatists.

This information is provided for general reference purposes and does notconstitute professional advice. For detailed coin collecting or investing information,please consult with a professional expert.

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