Gold 20 Peso coin from Mexico dated 1959

This coin is in excellent shape. It was graded BU by the seller, and I think it would slab out at MS-62 or MS-63. It was also quite a splurge; I grabbed it on a whim just because it was darn pretty and the seller who displayed it had no qualms about using her bare hands to handle it. Had to save this dusky little beauty from such abuse!

Coin - Mexico - 20 Peso - 1959 Obverse

Coin – Mexico – 20 Peso – 1959 Obverse

The obverse shows a famous Aztec stone – the Cuauhxicalli. This monumental piece is believed to have been carved around 1479 during the reign of the 6th Aztec ruler. The Cuauhxicalli is also known as the Sun Stone, Aztec Calendar, Stone of the Five Eras, and Eagle Bowl. It is huge – at almost a 12 foot diameter, it weighs more than 24 tons. It has a similar design and pattern to other Aztec sacrificial altar decorations & may at one time have been used for holding bodies or body parts. The piece was buried shortly after the Spanish conquest, hidden under earth in the Zócalo (main square) of Mexico City. In 1760, it was unearthed and placed as a decoration in the Western tower of the metropolitan Cathedral, where it remained for 125 years. In 1885, it was transferred to the national Museum of Archaeology and History by order of the President of the Republic, General Porfirio Diaz. The Cuauhxicali takes up most of the center to the top of the obverse. Below it is the denomination “Veinte Pesos”. Below that is the legend “*15 Gr. ORO PURO*”

Coin - Mexico - 20 Peso - 1959 Reverse

Coin – Mexico – 20 Peso – 1959 Reverse

On the reverse, the dominant image is of an eagle feasting on a snake while perched on a prickly pear cactus. The legend reads clockwise from just before 9:00 to just after 3:00 “Estados Unidos Mexicanos”. The date is placed diagonally behind/below the eagles posterior.

Identification code: Mexico KM-478

Date: 1959* (see blow, under mintage)

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: Approximately 13,000 were minted in 1959. But, according to NGC, there were extensive restrikes with the old date still being used. “During 1960-1971 a total of 1,158,414 pieces were restruck, most likely dated 1959. In 1996 matte restrikes were produced. An additional 78,000 pieces dated 1959 were struck in 2000-2009″. That gives a total mintage of approximately 1,249,414 to date (with more possibly on the way).

Country of origin: Mexico

Composition: 90% gold (& 10% copper?)

Size: 27.5 mm diameter, 2 mm thick

Weight: 16.6 grams (for 15g or 0.4823 troy oz of pure gold / AGW (Actual Gold Weight))

Other details: 90% gold purity has proven a difficult sell. Many collectors prefer items with 99.9, 99.99, or 99.999% gold purity due to reduced storage & security costs. After all, a 90% gold coin also has 10% of base metal, which is “wasted” space in a storage vault or safe. The US mint had a short lived American Arts medal series in 90% gold in the 80′s, but abandoned it to focus on “purer” issues with extremely low face values. (As I write this, 20 pesos are worth approximately $1.32 US, while US bullion gold coins run from $5 to $100 face values).

One theory about why the denominations are so bizarrely low is that governments could theoretically seize the assets & redeem them only at face value. Since the 1959 peso has been demonetized (and the neuvo peso that replaced it has been demonetized too) that seems a bit odd in this case. Just something to bear in mind.

90% gold content was historically how coins were minted for most of the 19th century. Purer gold content was possible, but led to rapid wear and tear in consumers pockets. As this coin was minted long after gold coinage was in regular use, it’s gold ratio may simply be a historical nod.

Estimated Value: $625 with gold just under ~$1200/oz

Canada 1943 5 Cent Coin – V for Victory

This coin is in EF45 condition, with traces of luster. It is a one year type, and not many were kept in good shape.

Coin - Canada 1943 5 Cent - V for Victory in Brass Obverse

Coin – Canada 1943 5 Cent – V for Victory in Brass Obverse

The obverse shows King George the 6th, bare headed and facing to the left. The legend reads “GEORGIVS VI D:G:REX ET IND:IMP:”

Coin - Canada 1943 5 Cent - V for Victory in Brass Reverse

Coin – Canada 1943 5 Cent – V for Victory in Brass Reverse

On the reverse, a flaming torch is placed in front of a Roman numeral 5 (V). The legend “CANADA” goes CW from 10:00 to 2:00, with the date spread on either side of the central device (“19 – 45″) and the other half of the denomination CW from 7:00 to 4:00 (“CENTS”).

Identification code: Canada KM-40 (1943 only)

Date: 1943

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: 24,760,256

Country of origin: Canada

Composition: Tombac (Brass: 88% copper, 12% zinc)

Size: 21.2 mm in diameter, 1.7 mm thick

Weight: 4.5g

Other details: There are a *ton* of varieties of this “nickel”. This coin is dodecagonal, which was done to make it easy to tell them apart from the other circulating brass coinage (a 1 cent piece). The nickel that was normally used in 5 cent coins was a critical war material (much like the American 5 cent pieces, where silver was substituted).

Estimated Value: $2-5 (and less in worse shape… and I got this one for 10 cents from a junk bin)

Coin - Canada 1943 5 Cent - V for Victory in Brass Obverse 2

Coin – Canada 1943 5 Cent – V for Victory in Brass Obverse 2

Coin - Canada 1943 5 Cent - V for Victory in Brass Reverse 2

Coin – Canada 1943 5 Cent – V for Victory in Brass Reverse 2

Tazewell County Illinois 1/4 Cent Tax Token

This coin is a tax token from one of the Illinois Counties. The state issues were far more common, but Illinois & Washington State had many different county issuers.

Obverse legend reads “Redeemable in Pekin, Illinois / Association Of Commerce” in 2 concentric circles clockwise from 7:00 to 5:00. The denomination of “1/4 c” is in the center. A diamond shape is at 6:00.

Token - Tax - Tazewell County Illinois Quarter Cent 01a

Token – Tax – Tazewell County Illinois Quarter Cent 01a

The reverse has the legend “Tazewell County Token” clockwise from 7:00 to 5:00 around the same denomination. A diamond shape is at 6:00.

Token - Tax - Tazewell County Illinois Quarter Cent 02

Token – Tax – Tazewell County Illinois Quarter Cent 02

Identification code: L97 (there are L97a through L97f varieties – I don’t know what differentiates them… yet!)

Date: 1936

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: unknown (although this is listed as a relatively common R1-R3 token)

Country of origin: United States

Composition: Copper

Size: 16.5 mm

Weight: unknown

Estimated Value: $3-15 (I found 2 that sold on eBay: an AU one that went for $8 and one in roughly the same shape as this one that sold for $16)

1891 German East African 1 Rupie Silver Coin

This coin is a neat piece of history, from the German colony of East Africa (modern day Tanzania). That short lived bit of colonialism got knocked out early on in the first world war (the last coins were minted in 1916). I’d grade this one in Fine (F12) to Very-Fine (VF20) condition.

German East Africa - 1 Rupee 1891 Obverse

German East Africa – 1 Rupee 1891 Obverse

The obverse shows the German Kaiser Willhelm the second in military garb, from the chest up, facing to the left. He has a rather odd eagle on his helmet (where a spike would normally be in Prussian uniform). The legend reads “Guilelmus II Imperator” from 8:00 to 4:00.

German East African - Eine Rupia 1891 Reverse

German East African – Eine Rupia 1891 Reverse

On the reverse, there’s an odd crest in the center, with a tropical tree supplanted by a lion striding to the left (with it’s right paw raised) all inside of a scrolling, scalloped shape that defies easy description. The date is at the bottom of the crest. There’s a ring outside the crest, with the legend written outside that. It reads “Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Gesellschaft” from 8:00 to 4:00. The denomination is written in that same area from 7:00 to 4:00 ‘ “Eine Rupie”.

Identification code: GermanEastAfrica KM-2 (1890-1902)

Date: 1891

Mint Mark: n/a (Berlin)

Mintage: 126,000

Country of origin: Germany (for use in modern day Tanzania)

Composition: 91.7% silver (8.3% copper, presumably)

Size: 30mm

Weight: 11.6 grams

Other details: After 1902, the pattern on the Rupiah’s reverse changed pretty drastically. Instead of the shield pattern, the imagery was removed and replaced with “1 Rupie” + the date within a wreath.

Estimated Value: $20-30 with silver at ~$20/oz (these have a premium above their silver content)

German East African Rupee 1891 Obverse

German East African Rupee 1891 Obverse

Coin - German East Africa - 1 Rupia 1891 02

Coin – German East Africa – 1 Rupia 1891 02

Gallery

2003 Wildlife Refuge Centennial Duck

This gallery contains 4 photos.

This medal is part of a 4 piece set. This example is slabbed by PCGS and graded PR69DCAM. I’ve put a censorship block over the serial number on my piece, as I don’t want copies of mine flowing out of … Continue reading

Australian 5 Dollar Silver 2000 Olympic Map

This coin is encapsulated in a plastic case & is in clean proof condition. There’s some residue on the case, but the coin’s surface is pristine. The fields are mirrorlike & the details are frosty.

Australian 5 Dollar Silver Coin Map 2000 Obverse

Australian 5 Dollar Silver Coin Map 2000 Obverse

The obverse shows the bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing to the right, wearing her full regalia (a stylized variation on the Imperial State Crown, teardrop earrings, pearl necklace). The legend reads “Elizabeth II Australia 2000″ clockwise from 7:00 to 4:00. The denomination is clockwise from 7:00 to 5:00.

Australian 5 Dollar Silver Coin Map 2000 Reverse

Australian 5 Dollar Silver Coin Map 2000 Reverse

On the reverse, there’s a map of Australia, surrounded by 19 tall sailing ships (mostly they appear to be 3 or 4 masted schooners) representing the settlement era ships each with it’s masts pointing toward the center of the coin. On the continent, there are 2 stickfigures that seem to be dancing in opposite directions next to 4 footprints (a mix of outlined & full). Wavy lines surround the shore, representing the Great Barrier Reef. At 6:00 is a 6 sided trapezoidal diamond that may represent the Olympic Torch, with 5 colorized rings.

Identification code: Australia KM-371

Date: 2000

Mint Mark: C (Canberra)

Mintage: 100,000 (sold in sets of 16)

Country of origin: Australia

Composition: 99.99% Silver

Size: 40.5 mm

Weight: 31.635 g (without the case)

Other details: The interlocking rings are the symbol of the Olympic Games. There are five interlocking rings, colored blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field. Originally designed in 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin; the ring colours supposedly included all of those found on the national flags of the countries that competed in the Olympic games at that time. Coubertin wrote in the 1912 Olympique:

“…the six colours [including the flag’s white background] thus combined reproduce the colours of all the nations, with no exception. The blue and yellow of Sweden, the blue and white of Greece, the tri- colours of France, England and America, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Hungary, the yellow and red of Spain next to the novelties of Brazil or Australia, with old Japan and new China. Here is truly an international symbol.”

Coin Australia Five Dollars 2000

Coin Australia Five Dollars 2000

Coin Australia Five Dollars 2000 Continental Map

Coin Australia Five Dollars 2000 Continental Map

Coin Australia 5 Dollar Olympic Ring Closeup

Coin Australia 5 Dollar Olympic Ring Closeup

Estimated Value: $75 with silver at ~$28/oz