Mexican Gold Centenario Coins
The gold Centenario or the Centenario de Oro is one of Mexico’s bullion coins, initially minted in 1921 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mexico’s liberation from Spain. Thus, the name Centenario means centennial. Even though the coin has a face value of 50 Mexican pesos, the Centenario is not meant to be used as a currency, and its face value is for legal purposes only.
The Centenario was issued yearly for ten years from 1921 until 1931 and then again from 1944 until 1947. The demand for the Centenario was high, and so to meet the demand, the Mexican Mint continued to mint the coin with the 1947 date until 1972, and again in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Commemorative Medallic coins were also released without the 50 peso face value on the coin in 1943 and again in the 1950s and 1960s.
Like the gold Libertad, the Centenario’s obverse side depicts the Winged Victoria, the Angel of Independence raising her right hand while holding a laurel wreath, and on her left hand are broken chains. The volcanoes Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl serve as her backdrop. On the lower left is the year 1921, the 100th year of Mexico’s independence. The year on the lower right is the year the coin was minted. Coins that were produced between 1949 and 1972 are typically marked with the year 1947.
The reverse side of the Centenario depicts a golden eagle resting atop a cactus devouring a rattlesnake. The words ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS (United Mexican States) are also shown on the top of the coin.
The Centenario weighs 41.67 grams and contains 1.20565 troy ounces of gold or 37.5 grams, which means that the coin comprises 90% fine gold or 22-karats (.900 gold) and 10% copper. The copper makes the coin more durable from dents and scratches—the Centenario measures at 1.4567 inches in diameter and 0.104 inches thick.