By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for PCGS ……
Mexico has a long history of producing some highly collectible coinage, ranging from the historic pieces of eight to the popular Libertad bullion coins. Yet, there are few pieces of money that rise to Mexican cultural significance as the peso, which serves as the monetary unit of Mexico and several other American nations, as well as the Philippines.
The Mexican peso developed amid the Spanish-American monetary system of the 16th through 19th centuries and translates to the word “weight”. Many coins carrying valuations measured in pesos have come and gone over the years, but one of the most important for collectors of 20th-century Mexican coinage is the series of 1 peso coins issued from 1957 through 1967. These pieces mark the last circulating silver 1 peso coins.
Consisting of a 10% silver composition, the 16-gram coin contains 0.0514 ounces of pure silver. On the obverse is the national coat of arms, with an eagle gripping a snake in its mouth among cactuses. The reverse depicts José Morelos, a Mexican Catholic priest who helmed the Mexican War of Independence movement and went on to serve as president. Tried for treason by the Spanish crown and later executed, Morelos remains a national hero of Mexico.
There are no significant rarities among the 1 peso silver coins minted from 1957 through 1967. Mintages were typically well into the tens of millions, though, conversely, many millions have been melted for their silver content, denting the number of extant survivors.
In recent years, these coins have enjoyed steadily increasing collector demand, with exceptionally high-grade pieces – especially those with attractive toning – faring very well at auction. For example, a 1964 Mexico 1 Peso graded PCGS MS67 took $240 in a 2022 Stack’s Bowers Galleries sale.
Still, specimens are not expensive, even in Mint State grades. Assembling a nice run of these Mexican silver coins can be done without tremendous financial outlay. Those who wish to build the set on the PCGS Set Registry can do so for free, with the series ensconced among the Mexican Silver Peso, Circulation Strikes (1947-1967).
* * *