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What is a Mexican Libertad?

Learn about Mexican Libertads

The Mexican Libertads are silver and gold coins minted by the Mexican Mint. The Mexican Mint was established in 1535 and is the oldest mint in the Americas. Libertads don’t have a face value but are still accepted as currency and guaranteed by Banco de México based on the market value of their precious metal content.

What is a Gold Libertad?

The 1 oz Gold Libertad has been popular since its introduction in 1981. These stunning gold coins are issued in fractional sizes of 1/20 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/2 oz, along with the more familiar 1 oz coins. The Gold Libertad is unique, being the only gold coin issued in the world that has no face value stamped on the coin yet is accepted as currency.

The Design of the Gold Libertad

Made from .999 fine gold, the Gold Libertad is a stunning coin that resembles the design of the renowned 50 Peso Gold Coin, the Centenario. The artwork featured on the Gold Libertad coin is arrestingly beautiful and essential to the history of Mexico. The coin’s obverse bears a finely detailed sculptural relief of the National Shield ringed by tiny images of the country’s various historical coats of arms.

The reverse of the Gold Libertad is a truly stunning work of art of surpassing magnificence. It depicts national emblems held dear by the Mexican people, the Winged Victory statue against a background of the Mexican mountain Iztaccíhuatl and the volcano Popocatépetl. Its legendary design and limited mintage make the Gold Libertad coin a sought-after addition to any collection.

What is a Silver Libertad?

The 1 oz Silver Libertad coin was first introduced in 1982 and has been produced annually since its introduction. Each year of release has varying mintages, typically much lower than other bullion counterparts, which adds to the collectibility of the Libertad series.

From 1982 to 1991, the Mexican Mint offered the Silver Libertad in just 1 oz of silver. In 1992, the Mexican Mint expanded the series to include the 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, and 1/20 oz coins to the series. In 1996, the Mexican Mint once again expanded the series with the 2 oz and 5 oz silver coins. The latest addition to the silver bullion coins came in 2008 when the 1-kilo coin was introduced. The Mexican Mint has offered each of these weights every year since they were introduced, with a few exceptions. The exceptions include the 2012 1/20 oz Silver Libertad, 2013 and 2014 1 kilo Silver Libertads.

The Design of the Silver Libertad

The Silver Libertad coins have featured the same design elements on the obverse and reverse since 1982. When the series was introduced in 1982, the Mexican Mint used designs from the Gold Centenario coin from 1921. The obverse of the coins featured Mexico’s modern coat of arms from 1982 to 1999. This design includes a Mexican golden eagle in left-profile relief with its talons and beak holding a rattlesnake as the bird sits perched on a prickly pear cactus. Coins produced from 1982 to 1995 show the old angel design.

The original Winged Victory depiction appeared on the Silver Libertad’s reverse in 1982. The design portrayed her figure in front-facing relief. She held up a wreath crown in her right hand with broken chains in her left hand. There is a notched-edge design element with the mountains of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl in the background field. In 1996, a new design was released featuring a unique portrayal of Winged Victory. The design featured the statue at the top of the Mexican Independence Victory Column. Still, it now featured her image from a three-quarter side portrait instead, with greater visibility of the mountains in the background field.

The obverse of the coin features Mexico’s coat of arms, with the design updated in 2000 to also picture Mexico’s historical coat of arms. The reverse of the beautiful coin tells the legend of two star-crossed lovers, Princess Iztaccíhuatl and Warrior Popocatépetl, who were turned into volcanoes by the Aztec gods so they could finally be together. The angel of Victory depicted on the reverse was changed in 1996 to show a three-quarter side profile.

Libertads: Historical Importance Meets Artistic Beauty

The Gold and Silver Mexican Libertad coins hold a unique and significant place in the world of numismatics. Both coins, with their unique features, limited mintages, and cultural significance, contribute to the allure of the Mexican Libertad series for collectors worldwide.

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