Mexico – Centenary Family

Also known as the Centenario de oro, the Mexican 50 Peso was first issued in 1921 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Mexico’s War of Independence. The Mexican 50 Peso is most noted for being one the world?s first bullion gold coins. Not until the introduction of the South African Kruggerand in 1967 were any other pure bullion gold coins being produced in large quantities. Today they are a favorite of accumulators of gold, due to their low premium over spot and their universal ease of liquidation.

The Obverse design was inspired by the image of Nike, the winged Roman God of Victory. The coin actually depicts the iconic el Angel de la Independencia or the Angel of Independence. In her right hand she holds a laurel leaf and in her left a broken chain. Behind her are the Popocatepetl and Iztaccihautl, the famous volcanoes of Mexico. On each side of the winged angel are the dates 1821, the year in which the Mexico gained its Independence from Spain and 1947 the year in which 50 peso’s were stopped minted. The Reverse depicts a picture of an eagle perched on a cactus feeding on a snake, symbolizing Mexico’s call to arms. Surrounding this depiction are the words ‘ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS’ which translates into United Mexican States. Each Mexican 50 Peso contains 1.2057oz of gold.

In comparison to other coins the Mexican 50 Peso is much larger, with a diameter of 37.08mm and a thickness of 2.69mm.

The Mexico 50 Peso, or Centenario, was first produced in 1921 to commemorate the centennial of Mexico’s independence from Spain. The Centenario was issued every year from 1921 to 1931 and again from 1944 through 1947. Demand was strong for the coin as a bullion issue, so the Mexico City Mint continued to produce gold 50 Pesos with the 1947 date through 1972 and also in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Additionally, Commemorative Medallic issues without the 50 Peso denomination were issued in 1943 and several dates in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Centenario 50 Pesos 37.50 g 37 mm 1921-1931, 1944-1947 .900
Azteca 20 Pesos 15.00 g 27.50 mm 1917-1921, 1959 .900
Hidalgo 10 Pesos 7.50 g 22.5 mm 1905-1920, 1959 .900
1/2 Hidalgo 5 Pesos 3.75 g 19 mm 1905-1920, 1955 .900
1/4 Hidalgo 2.5 Pesos 1.87 g 15.50 mm 1918-1920, 1944-1948 .900
1/5 Hidalgo 2 Pesos 1.50 g 13 mm 1919-1920, 1944-1948 .900

(50 gold pesos)

This piece was coined in 1921 as hard currency to commemorate the first 100 years (centennial) of the Mexican Independence. Subsequently, in 1931 coinage was discontinued and it was not until 1943 when it started again due to the increasing demand for gold coins prevailing at that time. On the obverse side, the centenario presents one of the National Shield used in the past, and the reverse side symbolizes the Winged Victory having the legendary Ixtaccihuatl and Popocateptl volcanoes on the background.

This coin has a pure gold content of 1.20565 oz.

1921 180,000
1922 463,000
1923 432,000
1924 180,000
1925 716,000
1926 600,000
1927 606,000
1928 538,000
1929 458,000
1930 372,000
1931 137,000
1943 89,000
1944 593,000
1945 1,012,000
1946 1,588,000
1947 309,000
1949-1972* 3,975,654
1996* 7,954,777
2000-2009* 302,000

*With date of 1947

(20 gold pesos)

The Azteca was initially coined in 1917 pursuant to the characteristics of the 1905 Monetary Reform. The eagle on this coin has been present in Mexican coinage since 1825. The reverse side features the Aztec Calendar. It is believed that when Hernan Cortés conquered Mexico in 1521, he found the Aztec Calendar at the city’s “Templo Mayor”. Demolished and buried when the Spaniards destroyed the Templo Mayor, it was rediscovered in 1790.

This coin has a pure gold contents of 0.48227 oz.


Coined during the 1905 Monetary Reform, it constitutes the first Republican coinage bearing the reproduction of a national hero: Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, who started the Mexican Independence on September 16th, 1810. The obverse of this coin shows the typical eagle which was used in the National Shield then. The reverse side shows the profile of Hidalgo.

This coin has a gold content of 0.24113 oz.

There are also coins of 5, 2.5, and 2 gold pesos with contents of 0.12057 oz., 0.06028 oz., and 0.04823 oz. of pure gold, respectively.

The 2 pesos gold coin was introduced in 1919. It was designed with the National Shield and the typical eagle of that period. On the reverse side of the coin it has the denomination surrounded by a garland wreath.

This coin has a gold content of 0.04823 oz.