Coins of Mexico

Following the Mexican War of Independence

Here are pictures of Mexican Republican coin types. Interspaced among those are pieces from Mexico's 2 coin issuing Monarchs or Emperors. I am currently reading the book "Mexico Biography of Power A History of Modern Mexico, 1810 - 1996" which I highly recommend. & achieved Independence from ~1810 - 1820's.

click on the pix for a view showing obverse & reverse

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Mexico Colonial
Mexican Revolutionary
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Mexico, 8 reales, 1822
Empire of Iturbide (1822-23)
(Alex Siegel/Mike Dunigan, Houston, 1997)

Type 1 small eagle (aka infamous 1-footed eagle)

While 8 R's are extremely common of Iturbide they are almost always found circulated. In mint state his crowns are priced similarly to a choice US Barber quarter, though slightly harder to find.

There are 2 views on A. Iturbide.

One view is that Iturbide was acting selflessly to obey the orders of his government and was always loyal to the Spanish crown. He negotiated with, rather than fought, the Mexican revolutionaries and formed the "Army of the Three Guarantees" (Mexico's 3-color flag was developed from this.) He then became Emperor, ruling from 1822-23. He abdicated due to monetary problems and increasing social unrest. After some months in Europe, he felt his country needed him & he returned. Upon his arrival he was arrested by the local Tamaulipas State Congress and shot.

The other explanation (which I prefer) is that he switched sides when he saw there was more to be gained by joining the revolution than fighting it. After becoming Emperor he threw a wild party for 2 years until everyone got so tired of him, he was forced out. He returned in an attempt to overthrow the nacsent Mexican Republic.

Iturbide, Proclaimation 8 Reales
1822 Mo (Mexico City mint), almost uncirculated
(Karl Stephens)

Hookneck 8 Reales
1824 Mo (Mexico City mint), choice uncirculated
(Alex Siegel prev: Mike Dunigan; Houston, TX)

The Hook neck or Profile Eagle was Mexico's 1st Cap & Ray Design. The Eagle is much more majestic but striking weaknesses due to the design lead to it's replacement with the facing Eagle in 1825

wt 26.90 g, dia ~38 mm, .903 silver.
Actually I bet it's only .9027 silver as that's the same standard stamped on to the Balance Scale Peso.

A book was published just on the Hookneck (El Aguila de Perfil) by Clyde Hubbard & David O'Harrow c. 1997.

Hookneck 8 Reales
1824 Do (Durango mint), uncirculated

(Alex Siegel prev: Mike Dunigan; Houston, TX)
Hookneck of the Durano mint. Somehow the Eagle came out completely differently. Note the big difference in weights and in diameters between this piece and the Mo. I wonder how similar the finesses are; the .903 is just taken from a book.

wt 27.43 g, dia ~36 mm, .903 (.9027?) silver

8 Reales Lib Cap type
Republic, 1854, ms

Alex Siegel: Houston, TX

Std. silver type

Mexico, 8 escudos, 1870 Go mint
gem uncirculated
Superior Auction, New York, 1999)
last of the Colonial gold denominations

Mexico, 1 Peso, 1866 Mo
Empire of Maximillian (1866-67)
uncirculated (PCGS-63)
(Karl Stephens, 2004)

During the US Civil War, France (under would be expansionist Napoleon III) seized the opportuneity to take over the Mexican Republican government and placed a European ruler as Emperor over there.

Maximillian & his wife (???) were chosen. I've been told that Max really did care for Mexico and tried to set up reforms. Unfortunately for him, when the US Civil War ended, President Johnson told the French to withdraw their armies from Mexico. When that happened, Max had no military support and he was imprisoned and executed.

Balance Scale Peso
Republic, 1872 Go, unc
(Ponterio Auctions, ca. 2003")

I have been (and still am) looking for a specimen in choice unc and was disappointed in that this piece was not as nice as I was told. At the time I bought it, average uncs were selling for $100 and choice uncs for $200. Unfortunately I paid $200 for this specimen. Catalog value is $250 in unc. This piece was struck in Guanajuato (mm Go), North of Mexico City.

After the Maximillian era, the restored Mexican Republic issued a new decimal coin type: The Balance Scale series (silver: 1869 - 1873). These were apparently not well received as the design was discontinued after a few years and the Cap & Rays Design resumed. They were struck in silver & gold. The gold Balance Scale series was struck up until 1905; nearly until the disasterous Mexican Civil War of 1910 - 1920.

"Strong Peso" Lib Cap type
Republic, 1898, ms (PCGS-66)
1949 Restrike

(Alex Siegel: Houston, TX)

This is the Restrike officially made by the Mexican Government in 1949.

"Cabalito (Horseman) Peso"
Republic 1910, mint state
Alex Siegel: Houston, TX, ca. 2000

In 1910, Francisco Madero Jr. returned to Mexico to oppose the regeime of Porfirio Diaz who had ruled Mexico as "perpetual" President since 1876. Madero caused a revolution in Mexico leading to an open election where he was elected President in 1911. The years of the Mexican Civil War are usually listed thus as 1910 - 1920 although it's hard to call this a revolutionary coin.

"Two Pesos" Standing Liberty
Republic, 1921, ms
(Alex Siegel: Houston, TX)

One of my few POST Civil War pieces. With the election of General Alvaro Obregon in 1920, the Mexican Civil War came to a close.

Mexico Colonial
Mexican Revolutionary
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