By Louis Golino for CoinWeek….
Virtually 40 years after the introduction of Mexico’s Libertad — initially meant as a bullion coin that with time turned a widely-collected numismatic collectible — the coin stays a perennial favourite largely due to its beautiful design. This design continues to be seen by collectors at present as certainly one of the most lovely ever to seem on a contemporary coin and as one with nice historic and cultural symbolism.
However in contrast to different trendy cash that sport allegorical symbols of liberty such the American Silver Eagle, whose reverse design is seen by many collectors as in want of an replace (https://coinweek.com/us-coins/the-future-of-american-silver-eagles-continuity-vs-change/), or the Royal Mint and Paris Mint’s points that includes respectively many various renditions of Britannia and Marianne, there isn’t any discernable curiosity in altering the Libertad design – both inside the Mexican authorities or amongst collectors. The coin has, nevertheless, seen some modifications to each side over the years.
The design’s widespread attraction comes not solely from its magnificence but in addition its iconic Mexican picture, depicting on its reverse aspect the well-known winged victory statue, also referred to as the angel of independence, that sits at the prime of the monument to Mexican independence in Mexico Metropolis. This highly effective motif is proven towards a panorama with the volcanoes Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl in the background.
For numismatists who concentrate on the cash of Mexico, the design faucets into their curiosity in basic Mexico cash since the unique Libertad design used on each silver and gold cash have been based mostly on the 1921 gold Centenario, a coin issued to mark the centennial of Mexican independence. The design was additionally impressed by Roman depictions of the goddess victory.
The gold Libertad, first launched in 1981, carried a entrance view of the angel striding ahead together with her breasts uncovered and wings unfold that was used till 1999, by which she is proven extending her proper hand and holding a wreath of laurel and oak, symbolizing freedom, whereas her left-hand holds damaged chains, symbolizing colonialism. This design is completed in a basic fashion that resembles each the 1921 Centenario and different basic Mexican coinage. From its debut in 1982 till 1995, the silver Libertad carried this similar front-facing view of the angel.
Then in 1996 the silver reverse was modified (and the gold beginning in 2000) to a three-quarter aspect profile of winged victory, nonetheless bare-breasted and holding the similar gadgets in every hand, standing on a pediment with giant, unfold wings. In contrast to the earlier depiction this model has a extra trendy look with extra damaging area in the background and depicts the valley of Mexico Metropolis and a few foliage. Additionally, the diameter was elevated from 36 to 40 millimeters.
The silver obverse from 1982 by way of 1999 was the similar picture of the Mexican coat of arms with an eagle dealing with left and perched on a prickly cactus with its feathers resembling armor and clutching a snake in its beak. This model of the coat of arms, which is the foundation for the official Seal of the United Mexican States, has been used since 1968. Since 1821, there have been eight variations, and lots of extra if one goes again to pre-independence Mexico.
In 2000 the silver Libertad obverse was modified to the present design that depicts the present Mexican nationwide coat of arms with 10 previous variations of this image surrounding it. An inscription in Mexican for “UNITED MEXICAN STATES” surrounds the central coat of arms, because it did on the earlier model.
The gold obverse has not modified since 1981 and is the similar one with the present coat of arms solely.
The earlier reverse design and the newer one carried the similar inscriptions (although positioned in a different way on the unique design) alongside the inside border, together with indications of weight however no face values, together with “PURE GOLD” or “PURE SILVER,” the yr, the purity of .999 fineness, and to the proper the mintmark, “oM.”
Even when a current proposal to monetize the cash (https://srsroccoreport.com/big-trouble-for-the-silver-market-if-mexico-monetizes-its-silver-libertad-coin/) is permitted by the Mexican authorities, the cash would nonetheless lack face values and commerce on the foundation of their precious-metal content material plus a small revenue for banks.
Aside from these comparatively minor modifications that don’t basically change the primary motifs, the Libertad collection has primarily solely added new sizes and finishes over the years.
Final yr a high-relief silver kilo was issued — the solely high-relief Libertad. As for various metals, up to now only one platinum Libertad has been issued, a quarter-ounce coin in 1989.
This example is unlikely to change, barring one other replace in Mexico’s coat of arms, based mostly on an interview I did lately with a key determine in the market for Libertad cash, who additionally shared details about forthcoming cash and mintages of 2018 points that have been simply introduced by the Banco de Mexico.
This yr silver Reverse Proof Libertad cash continued to be launched by the Banco de Mexico. As well as to the 4th 1-ounce coin of this sort since 2015, for the second yr Reverse Proofs struck from two and five-ounces additionally entered the market. Every of those variations appears possible to proceed as an annual situation.
The 1-ounce Reverse Proof was bought in a 2-coin set together with the common Proof commissioned by APMEX in addition to in a Three-coin set with the two and five-ounce Reverse Proof cash meant for inner Mexican distribution that had not but been launched as of press time. Each units are restricted to 500 models.
500 single 1-ounce cash have been additionally produced and bought out from the Banco de Mexico by October, in accordance to Pat Stovall of Lois and Don Bailey and Son, a number one distributor of Mexican cash in the U.S. Pat’s stepfather is the late Don Bailey, the famend professional on and supplier in Mexican cash who handed away in August (https://coinweek.com/people-in-the-news/in-memoriam/don-bailey-dean-of-mexican-numismatics-has-passed-away/).
Though its mintage of 1,500 cash just isn’t low as 2017’s 1,zero50, Pat has seen only a few of those cash in the market and was informed that the majority single cash have been bought at shops and coin exhibits in Mexico and to staff of the Banco de Mexico.
As for the two and five-ounce Reverse Proof silver items, these have been bought in a 2-coin set commissioned by APMEX with a 500-mintage and the Three-coin set talked about above, and extra single cash numbering 1,100 have been additionally produced for a complete mintage of two,100 of every measurement.
Final yr’s cash of these sizes had a mintage of two,000 every.
Mintages for the entire vary of 2018 silver uncirculated and Proof silver cash was simply launched, and the massive shock is the 1-ounce silver BU at 300,000, the lowest since 2007, a coin that sells for about $70 retail.
Different BU silver mintages are 16,600 for the 5-ounce, 20,400 for the 2-ounce, 15,500 for the half-ounce, 18,000 for the one-quarter-ounce, 20,300 for the tenth-ounce, and 17,900 for the twentieth-ounce.
Proof silver mintages are 5,000 every for the 5 and 2-ounce, 10,000 for the 1-ounce, 7,000 for the half-ounce, 5,000 for the quarter-ounce, 6,500 for the tenth-ounce, and seven,900 for the twentieth-ounce. These figures embrace 125 of every choice in a 7-piece Proof set provided since 2014.
As well as, the 2018 BU kilo has a 500 mintage, and the proof-like silver kilo may have a 1,000-mintage.
This yr’s uncirculated gold cash, particularly the half and quarter-ounce items, noticed their premiums spike after a number of sellers reported mintages of 750 for every coin. These two cash now have confirmed mintages of 1,250 every.
The opposite BU gold points for 2018 have mintages of two,zero50 for the 1-ounce, 1,500 for the tenth-ounce, and a couple of,500 for the twentieth-ounce, which can also be what they have been reported as earlier.
Libertad gold coin mintages have been recognized to change in the previous after further cash have been produced later in the yr.
The gold Proof cash are first bought in units with a mintage of 500 and a few particular person cash are additionally issued after that.
At press time, the mint was getting ready to launch the particular person Proof gold items, which can quantity 500 every this yr apart from the 1/10th-ounce coin of which 1,000 can be bought individually.
Two totally new merchandise are additionally coming earlier than yr’s finish, together with the first-ever gold Reverse Proof, which is predicted to be issued solely as a 1-ounce coin with the whole mintage going to a serious U.S. vendor.
The opposite new product is the first-ever silver Libertad cash with an vintage end, which might be bought in a second Three-coin set that may embrace 1, 2, and 5-ounce cash and shall be made for home distribution, although Pat stated he expects to have some on the market.
The Mint introduced that the 2 and 5-ounce vintage silver cash could have mintages of two,000 every, whereas the 1-ounce might be 40,000.
Each this set and the Three-coin Reverse Proof set are anticipated to be housed in a particular show stand with a base, holder for the cash, and a reproduction of the winged angel.
The final couple months of the yr promise to be thrilling ones for Libertad collectors.
Pat additionally stated that there’s some “confusion and anxiety in the air” inside the Mexican authorities, together with the employees of the Banco de Mexico that works on numismatic issues, as a result of the incoming Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has promised to reduce authorities salaries in half after he takes workplace December 1. That is anticipated to end in some staff taking early retirement and to additional scale back the variety of staff in the numismatic division.
Requested about the risk of different high-relief cash in smaller sizes than the kilo, he stated he doesn’t see that taking place. The reason being that by regulation Libertad cash have to be struck in the similar weight and dimensions annually, and producing, for instance, a 1-ounce excessive aid coin would require it to be of smaller diameter than earlier points. The one approach to change this is able to be if a decree have been handed permitting it, and he doesn’t see that as possible to occur.
Lastly, relating to the design of Libertads, Pat stated he doesn’t see them altering as a result of the Libertad is such “a winning coin” thanks largely to its extremely widespread design.
Louis Golino is an award-winning numismatic journalist and author specializing primarily in trendy U.S. and world cash.
His work has appeared in CoinWeek since 2011. He additionally presently writes common options for Coin World, The Numismatist, and CoinUpdate.com and has been revealed in Numismatic Information, COINage, and FUNTopics, amongst different coin publications. He has additionally been extensively revealed on worldwide political, army, and financial points.
In 2015, his CoinWeek.com column, “The Coin Analyst,” acquired an award from the Numismatic Literary Guild for greatest web site column. In 2017, he acquired an NLG award for greatest article in a non-numismatic publication together with his piece, “Liberty Centennial Designs.”
In October 2018 he acquired a literary award from the Pennsylvania Affiliation of Numismatists (PAN) for his 2017 article, “Lady Liberty: America’s Enduring Numismatic Motif,” that appeared in The Clarion.