The Libertad Series of coins from the Mexican Mint is the official bullion coinage of the nation, with the word “Libertad” translating into English as “freedom.” The Libertad image is a symbol of independence to the people of Mexico, who won their freedom from Spanish colonial masters on August 24, 1821. As the nation approached its 100th anniversary as an independent power, the Libertad first appeared on a coin from the Mexican Mint.
That original coin was the gold Centenario, which had a 50 Peso face value with the images of both Winged Victory and the nation’s coat of arms on the coin’s reverse and obverse faces. Today, the Mexican Gold Libertad coin is the standard gold bullion coin issued annually by the country.
Mexican Gold Libertad coins debuted from the Mexican Mint in 1981 with three different weight options available for gold buyers. The coins at the time were the third to debut in the modern era behind the South African Gold Krugerrand (1967) and the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf (1979). The Gold Libertad BU coins issued in 1981 featured just .900 gold content. It wasn’t until the 1991 reissue of the Gold Libertads that the gold content was increased to the .999 pure gold found in the coins today.
For the 1981 issue of Mexican Gold Libertad coins, the Mexican Mint issued weights of ¼, ½, and 1 oz gold. From 1992 to present, the Gold Libertad BU coins have had an on-again, off-again minting. When the coins resumed production in 1991 after a 10-year hiatus, the mint added two weights: 1/10 oz and 1/20 oz. Gold Libertad coins were struck from 1991 to 1994, halted until 2000, struck only for one year at that point, and then reintroduced again in 2002.
Since 2002, the Mexican Mint has struck and released the Mexican Gold Libertad BU coins in all five weights.
The highest mintage figures of any of the five individual weights in the Gold Libertad collection came in 1981. The 1 oz gold coin had a mintage of 596,000 coins that year. The ½ oz hit 193,000 and the ¼ oz hit 313,000 coins. The last time any coin in the collection surpassed 100,000 in any individual year was the 1991 1 oz Gold Libertad coin when it had a mintage of 109,193 coins.
Upon its introduction in 1991, the 1/20 oz coin began to overtake the 1 oz gold coin as the highest minted coin in the collection. The 1992, 1994, and 2000 issues of the 1/20 oz were the highest and well above the 1 oz coin. From 2003 to 2005, the 1/20 oz coin was the most popular, but since then the 1 oz coin has reestablished its dominance as the preferred choice among those buying gold.
There are few bullion coin programs in existence that deliver the history of a nation, of a people, through the design of the coin itself. On the obverse face of Mexican Gold Libertad coins is the image of Winged Victory, also known as the Angel of Independence, in the center of the design. Her figure is based upon the traditional Greek depictions of Liberty and she is a monument to the people of Mexico. The statue of Winged Victory found on this face is based upon the Mexican Independence Victory Column located in Mexico City. It symbolizes the city itself and the nation’s victory of Spain during its war of independence.
Also found on the obverse in the background field are symbols of pre-Columbian Mexican legends. The two volcanic peaks in the design are known as Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. It is said that the latter was the daughter of a king and died upon “Lover’s Peak” believing that the former, her lover and a greater warrior, had died in battle.
The reverse face of Mexican Gold Libertad BU coins includes the Mexican coat of arms. The nation’s official seal, this symbol depicts an eagle killing a serpent with its beak as it sits perched atop a cactus. The nation’s name is engraved here in Spanish as “Estados Unidos Mexicanos” and includes a wreath below the seal. Since the 2000 issue of Gold Libertads, the 1 oz coins have also featured 10 distinct, historic versions of the heraldic design around the perimeter of the coin’s reverse surface. The four fractional-weight coins do not include these 10 designs.
Mexican Gold Libertad BU coins are unique among their counterparts. Since 2010, the highest individual mintage year came in 2015 when just 4,800 coins were struck in 1 oz gold and less than 11,000 coins were struck across all four fractional weights combined. If you have questions, please contact JM Bullion at 800-276-6508, connect with us via our live chat, or simply email us.