By Jay Turner for PCGS ……
A previous Gold Bullion Spotlight featuring the popular Mexico Centenario coinage offers a look at one of the most popular types of Mexican gold coins from yesteryear. Yet several other vintage coins from Mexico also trade at or very close to their bullion value. Here we will highlight these issues and discuss how they have become popular with collectors in the United States and worldwide with precious metals investors as a bullion unit.
The Mexico Gold 2 Pesos
A coin series beginning in 1919 and minted for circulation has grown to become a very popular gold coin. Featuring a simple design beside the common Mexican eagle found on the coinage of the period, the reverse features the denominational inscription “Dos Pesos” inside of a wreath. The Mexico 2 Pesos carries 1.6666 grams of 0.900 fine gold, giving the coin an actual gold weight (AGW) of 0.0482 ounces.
While these coins bear dates ranging from 1919 through 1920 and resuming in 1944 until 1948, the mintages leave the 1945-dated issues to trade almost exclusively as a bullion coin, with other dates trading for moderate to significant premiums over their metal value. No 1948-dated issues are known except the mintage is listed as 45,000 pieces.
The 1919 and 1920 issues for circulation have mintages of 1,670,000 and 4,282,000, respectively, but surviving examples and collector demand remove most from bullion consideration. Reintroduced in 1944 as a bullion issue, the 1944 date has a mintage of only 10,000 pieces. The 1946 issue has a mintage of 168,000, while 1947 lends 25,000 pieces.
The 1945-dated issue had an original mintage of 140,000 pieces. However, between 1951 and 1972, an additional 4,590,493 coins were minted for bullion sales, with the frozen date of 1945. In 1996 and continuing after that more modern restrikes were produced, all dated 1945. A rare variety of 1945 with an Mo mint mark on both sides of the coin exists and brings a huge premium. It is those coins dated 1945 that are most frequently offered with modest premiums over their bullion value and continue to represent an inexpensive means for most collectors to own a gold coin.
The Mexico Gold 2-1/2 Pesos
Starting in 1918, this coin was issued for circulation until 1920. Reintroduced in 1944 as a bullion issue, the coin was produced through 1948. The 1945 date was frozen and continued being minted into modern times. The piece featuring the bust of Miguel Hidalgo easily differentiates it from the coin’s 2 Pesos counterpart.
Offering 2.0833 grams of 0.900-fine gold, the AGW is a mere 0.0603 ounces, which also makes it a very affordable gold bullion issue. While the 1918-1920 issues can sometimes be found for moderate premiums over their bullion value, uncirculated examples fall into the collector, not bullion, coinage spectrum. The return of the coin as a bullion issue in 1944 saw a tiny mintage of only 20,000 pieces. The 1946 issue has a mintage of 163,000; 1947 offers 24,000; and 1948 saw 63,000 pieces struck. The 1945 is most abundant, with an original mintage of 180,000 followed by a restrike mintage of 5,025,087 between the years 1951 and 1972. More examples have been produced since 1996, with different finishes all boasting the 1945 date, making it the most plentiful bullion issue for this size.
The Mexico Gold 5 Pesos
This circulation-issue coin was produced starting in 1905 with no continuous dates until 1920. This is another coin featuring the bust of Miguel Hidalgo, but it has a 5 Pesos denomination. The circulation issues for this coin mostly fall out of the bullion range, but sometimes dates such as 1906, 1907, or 1920 are offered at or close to bullion prices in circulated condition. The bullion issues are mostly coins dated 1955, which were issued as bullion coins.
The original 1955 mintage was 48,000 pieces; the date remained frozen, however, and between 1955 and 1972 an additional 1,767,645 pieces were struck. From 2000 through 2009, another 89,000 coins were produced with a different finish but still bearing the date 1955. The coin includes 4.1666 grams of 0.900-fine gold, giving it an AGW of 0.1206 ounces or 20% above a tenth ounce.
The Mexico Gold 10 Pesos
The third coin in the series to feature the bust of Miguel Hidalgo, the 10 Pesos was first introduced in 1905. With 8.3333 grams of 0.900-fine gold, the coin’s AGW is 0.2411 ounces. The gold 10 Pesos coins were produced for circulation in 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, and 1920. The most common of these dates (1906, 1907, and 1917) can sometimes be found at prices close to spot.
The series was brought back in 1959 as a bullion coin issue with 50,000 coins minted that first year back. The issue was frozen with the 1959 date and issued that way between 1961 and 1972, when another 954,983 coins were struck. Between 2000 and 2017, another 84,300 coins were produced. The 1959 is broadly considered a bullion issue.
The Mexico Gold 20 Pesos
A coin that continues to grow in popularity with collectors is the gold Mexico 20 Pesos. Featuring the Piedra del Sol, or Aztec sunstone, the coin design differs from other vintage Mexican bullion coin offerings. Weighing in with 16.666 grams of 0.900-fine gold, the AGW is 0.4823 ounces, or just shy of half an ounce. The first issue is from 1917, which continued every year until 1921 for circulation issues.
In 1959, the coin came back as a bullion issue with a mintage of 13,000 pieces. The coin was restruck starting in 1960 with the frozen date of 1959 and between 1960 and 1971, over 1,158,414 pieces were produced. Starting again in 2000, another 113,300 pieces were struck between 2000 and 2017. Because of the coin’s weight, other dates besides 1959 are offered as bullion issues. However, with collector demand increasing for vintage Mexican coinage, premiums have increased, especially on uncirculated issues. This leaves mostly the abundant 1959 issues serving as bullion coins for all practical purposes.
A full five-coin type set includes about 0.90 ounces of gold, making it an affordable diversification in gold and a set easily built even on a modest budget. The coinage of Mexico is only growing in demand and popularity, and its varied designs and physical sizes make collecting and stacking Mexican vintage gold a great way to expands on a collection – with the added benefit of possible larger collector demand in the future.
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