Cuba 5 Peso Gold Coins
From the discovery of Cuba by Christopher Columbus in 1492 until the end of the 19th century, Spain controlled the small island country located just 90 miles South of the American border at the Florida Keys. During the Spanish-American War the Americans lent military assistance to the Cubans to gain independence from Spain. This independence was finally established in 1902 as a protectorate of the United States. Through this period, the United States Mint made coins for Cuba, including these gold bullion coins minted in 1915 and 1916.
Relative freedom was enjoyed by the Cuban people until 1952 when a dictatorial regime ceased control of the country in 1952 under the leadership of Fulgencio Batista, who was overthrown in 1959 by Fidel Castro. The Castro regime continues to rule Cuba, however, recent events have re-established diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba, which have eased sanctions placed on the tiny country by the United States after a 5 decade long hiatus in communication created by the Bay of Pigs in 1961 and the Soviet led Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
These coins represent a period in time when Cuba was a relatively free country (under American supervision) and was a flourishing tropical tourist destination for Americans.
Owning Cuban Gold Coins
With the rocky relationship between the United States and Cuba over the past five decades, some ask whether it is legal or acceptable for Americans to own Cuban gold coins. The short answer to that is yes - by all means. There is no law against the possession of Cuban coins minted prior to the Castro regime which began in 1959. By contrast, items minted since then could be considered illegal since they are 'legal tender' and fall under the legislation passed by the United States in 1962 that prohibits such items.
Why 1915 and 1916?
From the involvement of the United States in gaining Cuba's independence (beginning in 1898) until 1914 the US dollar was the official currency of Cuba. That's when the Cuban Legislature created the Cuban National Currency System authorizing centavos and silver and gold pesos to be minted in Philadelphia beginning in 1915. The gold coin mintage lasted only two years, but a number of the smaller denomination coins were minted by Philadelphia for decades thereafter. During those two years just under 1.8 million 5 Peso coins were minted of .900 fine gold (same composition as United States gold from that era).
|Year of Issue:||1915|
|Weight in Grams:||8.35 g|
|Weight in Ounces:||1/4 oz|