Mexico's Gold Coin history stretches back to the age of conquest, when Spanish Conquistadors flooded into the New World and reaped huge rewards in gold. This history of conquerors seizing the treasure of the vanquished and striking it into coins dates back the Greek and Roman Times. In Mexico, the Spanish struck Gold Escudos into rough planchets called "Cobs." Later they struck the same denominations into Portrait Gold Doubloons. After independence from Spain, Mexico continued to strike 19th century Gold Escudos featuring the Mexican Eagle. At the turn of the 20th century, Five Peso Gold Coins, 10 Peso Gold Coins and 20 Peso Gold coins were minted for the Republic of Mexico. The United States of Mexico minted Ten Peso Gold Coins, 20 Peso Gold Coins and the massive 50 Peso Gold Coins. Later in the 20th century, Mexico struck Commemorative Gold Coins and Mexican Gold Libertads, which it continues to strike today.
The Spanish established Mints in Mexico long before machine made coins were introduced. Rough gold planchets of the proper weight and purity were hand struck into coins known as Cobs. Because these Gold Coins were individually struck, each is unique.
Beginning in the mid 16th century, mints in Mexico struck Gold Cobs in One-Escudo, Two Escudo, Four Escudo and Eight Escudo sizes. The Cob Coins set the standard for all the Mexico Gold Coins that followed, and indeed, they set the standard for Classic U.S. Gold coins, because at the founding of our nation, our Founding Fathers adopted the Mexico Gold Coin standards for our own Classic U.S. Gold Coins.
In the 17th century, machine manufactured Mexico Gold Coins were struck in the same denominations as the earlier Cob Coins. Because Mexico was a Spanish colony, all these Mexico Gold Coins feature a portrait of Spain's ruling Monarch, and are called Portrait Gold. They're also known by their more exotic name, Gold Doubloons, which conjures up images and pirates, booty and sunken treasure. And indeed, Mexico Gold Coins have been recovered from sunken treasure ships and sometimes appear on the marketplace with such historic pedigrees.
After Mexico achieved independence from Spain in the 19th century, these Mexico Gold coins continued to be struck with the Mexico Eagle replacing the king's portrait. In the early 20th century, the denominations changed to Gold Pesos after a monetary reform in 1905 that put Mexico on the gold standard.
The premier Classic Mexico Gold coin of the early 20th century is the Mexico 50 Peso Gold coin. Minted between 1941 and 1972, the Mexico 50 Peso Gold Coins contain 1.2 ounces of pure gold. They introduced the image of el Angel, which is used today of both Gold Libertads and Silver Libertads.
Mexico Gold Libertads are struck in both Brilliant Uncirculated and Proof versions. The coin features the image of Winged Liberty on the obverse and an array of the different eagle versions used on Mexican Gold Coins since independence. The Proof Gold Libertads are struck in very low quantities.
Mexico has also minted small bullion coins in Two Peso (.0482 ounce gold), Two and Half Peso (.0603 ounce gold) and Five Peso (.1206 ounce gold) denominations. These Mexico Fractional Gold Coins have long been a very popular way to own gold.
In addition, Mexico has issued a number of other Mexican Gold coins, including Gold Commemorative coins.