Category Archives: World Coins

Mexico 1945 Silver 50 Centavos Coin

This coin was one I bought in a roll of Mexican 50 Centavos when silver was a bit higher than it is now. There were some uncommon dates in the group, but the 1945 isn’t one of them.

Mexico 50 Centavos 1945

Mexico 50 Centavos 1945

The obverse shows a Phrygian cap radiating beams of light over the denomination (“50 / Centavos”) over the date (“1945”). There’s a wreath clockwise from 2:00 to 7:00 formed by 2 crossed branches of leaves. The branch on the right appears to be olive, and the branch on the left appears to be oak. The cap is labelled “Libertad” (Liberty) and the mint mark (“M”) is between the 5 & the 0.

Mexico 50 Centavos 1945 Reverse

Mexico 50 Centavos 1945 Reverse

On the reverse, an eagle stands atop a cactus with it’s breast facing the viewer, it’s wings spread, and a snake in it’s beak. Crenellations run around the inside of the rim, and the legend “Estados Unidos Mexicanos” runs from 6:00 to 3:00 along the inside of the rim. The fineness of the coin “0.7 20” appears on either side of the eagle’s head. A wreath of olive and oak leaves is bound together with a ribbon below the cactus and runs from 4:00 to 8:00.

Identification code: KM-447

Date: 1945

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: 56,766,000 (a very large mintage, 1945 accounts for about 22.9% of the 247,934,000 coins minted of this type in 11 dates of issue from 1919 to 1945)

Country of origin: Mexico

Composition: 72% silver, with the remainder likely being copper

Size: 27mm

Weight: 8.3g (0.1929 oz ASW)

Estimated Value: ~$6 in XF40 condition like this with silver at ~$19/oz

Mexico 50 Centavos 1944 Silver Coin

This coin was one I bought in a roll of Mexican 50 Centavos when silver was a bit higher than it is now. There were some uncommon dates in the group, but the 1944 isn’t one of them.

Mexico 50 Centavos 1944

Mexico 50 Centavos 1944

The obverse shows a Phrygian cap radiating beams of light over the denomination (“50 / Centavos”) over the date (“1944”). There’s a wreath clockwise from 2:00 to 7:00 formed by 2 crossed branches of leaves. The branch on the right appears to be olive, and the branch on the left appears to be oak. The cap is labelled “Libertad” (Liberty) and the mint mark (“M”) is between the 5 & the 0.

On the reverse, an eagle stands atop a cactus with it’s breast facing the viewer, it’s wings spread, and a snake in it’s beak. Crenellations run around the inside of the rim, and the legend “Estados Unidos Mexicanos” runs from 6:00 to 3:00 along the inside of the rim. The fineness of the coin “0.7 20” appears on either side of the eagle’s head. A wreath of olive and oak leaves is bound together with a ribbon below the cactus and runs from 4:00 to 8:00.

Identification code: KM-447

Date: 1944

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: 55,806,000 (a very large mintage, 1944 accounts for about 22.5% of the 247,934,000 coins minted of this type in 11 dates of issue from 1919 to 1945)

Country of origin: Mexico

Composition: 72% silver, with the remainder likely being copper

Size: 27mm

Weight: 8.3g (0.1929 oz ASW)

Estimated Value: ~$5 in circulated condition like this with silver at ~$19/oz

1964 Denmark 5 Kroner

This coin is in uncirculated condition but has a bit of contact wear / odd toning on the hair over the Princesses’ ear. That’s a high point, and a likely early indicator of any wear. I’d grade this between AU55 and MS61.

Denmark 1964 5 Kroner Obverse

Denmark 1964 5 Kroner Obverse

The obverse shows King Frederick IX of Denmark, facing to the right. The legend runs from 7:00 to 5:00 along the inside of the rim and reads “FREDERICK IX KONGE AF DANMARK” with artist’s initials at 6:00 on either side of a heart (?). The king is bareheaded, with a pronounced part visible on the right side of his head (towards the viewer).

Denmark 1964 5 Kroner Reverse

Denmark 1964 5 Kroner Reverse

On the reverse, Princess Anne Marie faces to the left with a pearl necklace just above the break in her bust. The legend runs clockwise from 7:00 to 5:00 and reads “PRINCESS ANNE-MARIES BRYLLUP 18*9*1964” with the denomination counterclockwise from 7:00 to 5:00 “5 Kroner”.

Identification code: KM-854

Date: 1964

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: 359,473

Country of origin: Denmark

Composition: 80% silver (20% copper?)

Size: 33mm

Weight: 17g (0.4372 oz ASW)

Other details: Princess Anne-Marie married Constantine II, the King of Greece who reigned from 1964 until the abolition of the Greek monarchy in 1973. Their reign was interrupted by the Colonel’s Coup in 1967, and he was exiled in 1967 after a failed counter-coup. After the junta fell, there was a plebiscite on 8 December 1974 which established the Third Hellenic Republic. Constantine, who was not allowed to return to Greece to campaign, accepted the results of the plebiscite and lived abroad until 2013. He was allowed only brief return visits before that (to attend funerals, open the Olympics, etc).

The couple has 5 children: Princess Alexia, born July 10th 1965 at Mon Repos, Corfu, Greece. Crown Prince Pavlos, born on May 20th 1967 at Tatoi Palace. Prince Nikolaos, born on October 1st 1969 in Rome. Princess Theodora, born on June 9th 1983 in London, who is pursuing an acting career. Prince Philippos, born on April 26th 1986 in London.

Estimated Value: $15 in MS with silver at ~$19/oz

Mexico 1939 50 Centavos Silver Coin

Mexico 50 Centavos 1939 01

Mexico 50 Centavos 1939 01

This coin was one I bought in a roll of Mexican 50 Centavos when silver was a bit higher than it is now. There were some uncommon dates in the group, but the 1939 isn’t one of them.

The obverse shows a Phrygian cap radiating beams of light over the denomination (“50 / Centavos”) over the date (“1939”). There’s a wreath clockwise from 2:00 to 7:00 formed by 2 crossed branches of leaves. The branch on the right appears to be olive, and the branch on the left appears to be oak. The cap is labelled “Libertad” (Liberty) and the mint mark (“M”) is between the 5 & the 0.

On the reverse, an eagle stands atop a cactus with it’s breast facing the viewer, it’s wings spread, and a snake in it’s beak. Crenellations run around the inside of the rim, and the legend “Estados Unidos Mexicanos” runs from 6:00 to 3:00 along the inside of the rim. The fineness of the coin “0.7 20” appears on either side of the eagle’s head. A wreath of olive and oak leaves is bound together with a ribbon below the cactus and runs from 4:00 to 8:00.

Mexico 50 Centavos 1939

Mexico 50 Centavos 1939

Identification code: KM-447

Date: 1939

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: 10,440,000 (a fairly large mintage, but still only 4.2% of the 247,934,000 coins minted of this type in 11 dates of issue from 1919 to 1945

Country of origin: Mexico

Composition: 72% silver, with the remainder likely being copper

Size: 27mm

Weight: 8.3g (0.1929 oz ASW)

Estimated Value: ~$5 in circulated condition like this with silver at ~$19/oz

2013 Austria 1.5 Euro Silver Coin Philharmonic

Austria Philharmonic 2013 Silver 1.5 Euro Coin reverse

Austria Philharmonic 2013 Silver 1.5 Euro Coin reverse

This coin is an Austrian silver 1 ounce bullion piece. Austria is one of the biggest silver minters worldwide. Philharmonics are collected by stackers along with the American Silver Eagles, Chinese Pandas, Canadian Maples, Mexican Libertads, Russian St. George 3 Rubles, and Great Britain’s Brittanias. They’ve been issued annually since 2008, and have a beautiful musical themed obverse celebrating the instruments of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

On the obverse, the dominant image is the pipe organ of the Musikverein concert hall in Vienna, Austria. The legends on this side of the coin include the German words “REPUBLIK OSTERREICH” clockwise from 9:00 to 3:00 and “1 UNZE FEINSILBER” horizontally about 2/3 of the way down the coin. Below that is the date, and at the bottom from 7:00 to 5:00 is the denomination “1.50 EURO”.

Austria Philharmonic 2013 Silver 1.5 Euro Coin

Austria Philharmonic 2013 Silver 1.5 Euro Coin

The reverse shows an array of musical instruments, under the legend “Wiener Philharmoniker” from 9:00 to 3:00. The instruments include a violin, viola, cello, bassoon, flute, harp, and French horn.

Identification code: KM-3159

Date: 2013

Mint Mark: n/a

Mintage: 14,536,400

Country of origin: Austria

Composition: 99.9% Silver

Size: 37mm

Weight: 31g (1 oz)

Other details: Thomas Pesendorfer is the artist behind the reverse design. His imagery was originally designed in 1989 for use on the Gold Austrian Philharmonic Coin.

The Austrian mint was founded in 1194 by Duke Leopold VI of Austria. Leopold was paid a huge 15 ton silver ransom by England’s King Richard the Lionheart when the king traveled through the region on his return from The Crusades. Today, the Austrian Mint produces all the circulation and commemorative coins for the national government.

Estimated Value: $23 with silver at ~$18/oz

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