The Mexican 50-Peso gold coin (“Peso”), also known as the Centenario, is best known for its unusually high gold content. Weighing in at just over 1 1/3 ounces troy, the Peso’s 90% (21.6 karat) purity assures a content of slightly more than 1 1/5 ounce of pure gold – 20% more than standard one-ounce gold bullion coins.
The Peso was first struck in 1921 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spain. It remained in regular mintage through 1931, and then resumed in 1942 to meet the rising demand for gold bullion. Over two million pesos were struck in 1945 and 1946 and four million more were minted with the date 1947, most of them restrikes produced between 1949 and 1972.
The early pesos make excellent rare coin investments, while the plentiful later coins are ideal for bullion investment. The Peso, however, is much more than a beautiful commemorative of a nation’s birth. It is an allegorical tribute to the Mexicas, successors to the Aztecs, and to the rich heritage of the Mexican people.
On the Peso’s obverse is El Ángel de la Independencia, the Angel of Independence. In her left hand she holds the broken chains of her liberated people; held high in her right hand is a laurel wreath, an allegory for great nobility, honor, and spirituality. The Angel is seeking a wise and noble soul on whom to rest the mantle of laurel and lead the new nation to greatness.
Behind the Angel stand Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl, two of the highest volcanoes in the western hemisphere and symbols of liberation from Aztec rule.
The Mexican coat of arms featured on the reverse portrays an eagle perched on a prickly-pear cactus – the divine sign given by the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli to the Mexica people telling them where to build the city of Tenochtitlan. The serpent in the eagle’s beak is a symbol of wisdom, and is closely associated with the second Aztec sun god, the feathered serpent Quetzalcóatl.
Whatever your investment needs, the historical allure of the Mexican 50-Peso Gold Coin can only enhance an already exceptional value.
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