We continue our preview of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo with even more Mexican numismatic highlights. This week we turn for the modern, with a stunning pattern piece produced at the Paris Mint. In anticipation of the centennial of the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence (1810), the Mexican government began making plans for a new commemorative coinage. In 1907 the government of Porfirio Diaz commissioned the Paris Mint with designing these new coins and the job was given to engraver Charles Pillet. Initially Pillet designed a pattern for the 50 Centavos 1907, with subsequent patterns for the Pesos in 1908 and 1909. Master dies, punches and an edge milling device were received in April of 1909 and actual production began on January 21, 1910. This new coinage was radically different than anything Mexico had produced in the past. Not only did it not bear the Mexico City mintmark, there was also no mark of fineness or assayer’s letters. Nevertheless, the piece met with great approval and is considered today to be one of Mexico’s most beautiful and highly collected coins.
The obverse design features a woman (Liberty) riding a Caballito (small horse or pony) holding a torch high above her head and a laurel branch. A stunning rising sun appears in the background, with the date of 1909 below. The reverse design is comprised of the iconic Mexican coat of arms, an eagle perched atop a cactus, clutching a writhing snake in its claws and beak. “ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS” appears around the design, with the denomination of “UN – PESO” appearing at either side of the design. The obverse and reverse dies are both marked “ESSAI”. Minor doubling of the reverse strike is apparent, though not uncommon for a proof striking. This rare and highly sought after piece features bright white surfaces with good luster. PCGS has certified this example at Specimen-63. This rare and highly sought after piece is expected to attract a lot of attention when it comes to auction in Baltimore.
Look for this and other world and ancient numismatic rarities in our upcoming October/November Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our auction this October at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine, California. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link at www.StacksBowers.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 800.458.4646. While our October/November Baltimore auction is no longer open for consignments, we are currently taking consignments of ancient and world coins for our January 2015 New York International Auction and our April 2015 Hong Kong Showcase Auction of Asian Coins and Currency. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.