In 1991, the Mexican Mint added four fractional sized Mexican Silver Libertads to the bullion series.
Libertad translated in English means 'Freedom'
The Libertad is a symbol of Mexico's Independence, Mexico won its independence from Spain on August 24th, 1821.
However, this is not the date of its celebrated 'Independence Day,' that date is September 16th.
On September 16th, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla,
a Catholic priest, started the Mexican War of Independence when he gave
his famous speech "Grito de Dolores" or “Cry of Delores,” named after
the town in Guanajuato where it took place.
He rang the bell of his church to get the town's attention, and he called on the people to rise against their Spanish-European occupiers.
In the United States, 'Cinco de Mayo' is often misinterpreted as Mexico's Independence Day. Although 'Cinco de Mayo' or the '5th of May' does celebrate an important victory in Mexico's history, it's not the county's Independence Day.
All Fractional Silver Libertads feature a slightly different design on the obverse side from that of their full ounce(s) counterparts.
The Design is the National Coat of Arms of Mexico.
The Coat of Arms is a Mexican Golden Eagle perched upon a cactus with a snake in its beak.
Below the Eagle is a wreath, half made of oak leaves the other half made of laurel leaves.
Above the Eagle are the words "ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS," Mexico's official name in the Spanish language.
The edge on the Silver Libertad is Reeded.
The reverse side of the Silver Libertad features the "Winged Victory" Angel design.
The "Winged Victory" Angel is towering above the volcanoes Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl.
Displayed along the top of the 1/2 oz. Silver Libertad is "1/2 ONZA" (ounce), "PLATA PURA" (pure silver).
The year of issue is also inscribed around the top of the Libertad, along with the word "Ley .999", representing the silver purity of the Libertad.
The 'M under an O' inscribed near the left wing of the Winged Angel is the Mint Mark of the Mexican Mint.
The 1/2 oz. Mexican Silver Libertad does not have a Face Value.
The Mexican Libertad is technically a Bullion 'Round,' and Not a Bullion 'Coin,' the differences are slight but important to know.
Bullion Coins have a 'face value' because the term 'Coin' is used specifically for government backed legal tender.
Bullion Rounds have no 'face value' because in most cases 'Rounds' are manufactured by a private mint or a privately held entity, and no government backs them.
There are some exceptions to this rule, one example being the Mexican Libertad.
The Mexican Mint produces Gold and Silver Libertads, under the authority of the Central Bank of Mexico (Banco de Mexico), and the Mexican Government.
However, Silver and Gold Libertads DO NOT have a Face Value, and for this reason, they are often referred to as Rounds and not Coins.
You can learn more about a Bullion Coin's anatomy here.
Silver Content:.....1/2 Troy oz. (ozt.)
Total Weight:.......15.55 grams
Purity:.................99.90% / .999
Diameter:............30.00mm (1991 - 1995)
Diameter:............33.00mm (1996 - Present)
Mexican Silver Libertad
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The Story Behind the Mexican Coat of Arms
In the early 1300s, an Aztec tribe
also known as the Mexica tribe, who had no homeland, wandered around the
northern areas of the country, known as Mesoamerica, in search of a
place to build their Empire.
As the legend goes, in 1323, the tribe's leader received a vision in a dream that they were to settle at the place where they saw an eagle with a snake in its beak, while perched at the top of a prickly pear cactus.
Two years later, the dream was fulfilled on a swampy island, in Lake Texcoco.
Scouts for the tribe found the eagle, snake, and cactus in the same fashion that the leader described to them, in his vision.
This is where the tribe settled and built the city of Tenochtitlan, which became the center of the Aztec Empire.
Today, Tenochtitlan is known as Mexico City.