Posted on April 26, 2019
You can’t hold the ancient Aztec Sun Stone in your hands, and unless you travel to Mexico City, you can’t see it in person either. However, with an intricately designed new silver round from the Golden State Mint, you can own a replica of this historically significant item from the Aztec Empire of the 16th century. The new silver rounds in the Aztec Calendar release are available in two weights with impressive attention to detail in the design on the obverse side. Take a moment to learn more about this beautiful design and the release details of the Aztec Calendar Silver Rounds.
On the obverse face of the 1 oz Aztec Calendar Silver Rounds is an intricate depiction of the historic basalt carving from the early 16th century Mexica culture. The actual stone consists of a central disk, three rings of design elements, and an edge design field. The central disk contains a depiction of the Aztec solar deity Tonatiuh. His figure is depicted holding a human heart in each of his clawed hands, with a tongue representing the sacrificial knife used in Aztec ceremonies.
The first ring includes concentric zones with signs that correspond to the 20 days in each of the 18 months on the Aztec Calendar. In the second ring, you’ll notice several square sections, each containing five points. The third ring is occupied primarily by two fire serpents with human heads emerging from their mouths. Finally, along the outer edge of the design there are various dots that are said to represent a starry night sky.
The reverse side of the Aztec Calendar Silver Rounds bears a left-profile effigy of Cuauhtemoc, the final ruler of the Aztec Empire. Cuauhtemoc ruled the capital city of the Aztec Empire, Tenochtitlan, from 1520 to 1521. He came to power at a time when the empire was crumbling. Several battles with invading Spanish Conquistadors, raids by smaller tribes aligned with the Spanish, and epidemics of smallpox had decimated the Aztecs. The portrait of Cuauhtemoc captures him wearing ceremonial dress and includes an inscription of his name below his bust.
In addition to the 1 oz Aztec Calendar Round, Golden State Mint also issued a 5 oz Aztec Calendar Silver Round for silver enthusiasts. Both of the rounds feature .999 pure silver content and come with no mintage caps associated with production. However, there are different packaging options available between the two weights:
It was originally theorized that the Aztec Sun Stone, or Calendar Stone, was carved anywhere between 1250 and 1521 AD during a period known as the Mesoamerican Postclassical Period. However, modern testing and analysis has led scholars to now posit that the carvings were created between 1502 and 1521. The intricate design elements of the Calendar Stone were carved into a massive chunk of basalt rock that is 141 inches in diameter, 39 inches thick, and weighs roughly 24 short tons. That’s the equivalent of 48,000 lbs!
As the Aztec Empire crumbled and the people began to abandon their capital city of Tenochtitlan ahead of the advancing Spanish Conquistadors, the Aztec people buried their coveted Sun Stone in the Zocalo, what is today known as the main square in Mexico City. The treasure remained hidden beneath the city for nearly 270 years. On December 17, 1790, crews repairing the Mexico City Cathedral unearthed the massive stone. It was initially mounted on the exterior wall of the Cathedral as part of the repairs and renovations, where it would remain until 1885. In order to better preserve the stone, it is now housed in the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City.
The Aztec Calendar Silver Rounds are produced by the Golden State Mint. With locations in Southern California and Central Florida, the family-owned business has been producing stunning silver, gold, and copper products since 1974. Founded by Jim Pavlakos, the mint is today overseen by Jim and his son Andrew as they continue to grow the mint and produce one-of-a-kind precious metal items.
The Aztec Calendar Silver Rounds have proven immensely popular with JM Bullion customers so far. There are remaining items in stock for both weights, so don’t wait to get your hands on one. If you have any questions about these silver rounds, please give us a call at 800-276-6508, chat with us live online, or email us. Continue to check our blog each week for exciting new features and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for the latest information and opportunities to participate in our weekly contests for a chance to win silver and gold.