Key coins in this set are as follows:
1982 MS68 DDR pop 2, i discovered this variety and is the only 1 that currently exists.
1990 MS67 PL, first and only BU Libertad given the PL designation for any year.
1988 DDR MS64- this is the first DDR graded by NGC. Total NGC pop, in all grades is 3, all sent in by me.
1987 Double die MS66, i own 18 of these.
2000 MS70, the only grade 70 that exsists for the year or total pop of 1.
2011 MS70, population is only 7 and i acquired 2 from the same owner.
1991 Type 2 MS69 none graded higher, population of 6, i currently own 3.
1992 MS69, 1 of only 3 that exist none graded higher.
1994 MS68, 1 of three that exist none graded higher.
The set also features 24 of the 37 coins in highest known grade.
Of all the sets to collect and to complete i choose the Mexico Libertad because of its difficulty and challenges. Little did I know this set would take the better part of a year and who knows how much money. The biggest challenge to completing a set like this in very high grade is finding the coins worthy of submission. In my search i found myself buying full rolls of various years, calling dealers across the country, auctions and local shops. When the largest of the dealers/distributers don't have what your looking for then you know your in for a ride.
Before starting i also saw the current #1 set had been #1 for 5 consecutive years so getting a #1 set was not really as much a considertation as it was to just complete it.
The libertad was the first foreign bullion coin I started to collect and I feel I just got lucky. Initially it was the low premium over spot that caught my interest but it was the beauty of the coin that kept it. The libertad makes up about 1/3 of my entire collection and I feel these coins are the biggest sleeper coins available today.
Before putting my set together I had other sets i made from the US, Australia and Canada. The other sets were easy and only took a few days to a few weeks to complete due to the availability of high quality graded coins. As i remember, i completed my ASE set the fastest in only 3 days. It took longer to get the coins shipped then to find them.
The libertads have a few things going against them. First, the graded populations are so small for so many of the years you are forced to find raw coins and have them graded. The problem is finding the quality raw coins. Second was the weak strike quality from '82 to 90, the quality of the minting was at best, marginal. Many of the early coins have horizontal scratches on the blanks that appear after the strike of the die. This tells me that many of the strikes were very weak. Third issue, handling of the coins from the mint. After opening many mint sealed rolls from the '80s, the coins appeared as though they were dumped into bins or bags where they were allowed to abbraid with one another. Lastly, availability of finding the coins. Of all the sovereign bullion programs, the Mexico Libertad is by far the consistantly lowest minted bullion coin on the planet. When mints like China, US, Canada, and Australia mints millions and millions of bullion coins each year, Mexico only has minted anywhere from 65k to a little over 2 million per year. I might add that, most yearly mintages are in the few hundred thousand per year.
One thing about putting a set like this together is not just about finding the coin for your set, its about the journey and the ride your taken on. The people you meet, the details you learn and the history behind the coins is what makes the hunt remarkable. Before starting the set, all i knew was these were beautiful coins, today, I can tell you about the mintages, varieties, mules, double dies and changes in design. The journey is what its all about. Dont get me wrong, since its virtually impossible to amass a full set of MS70s, this will be a set I will continue to add to and upgrade when the better coins come along.
Here are some facts and stats about the 1oz BU Libertad:
Lowest mintage, 1998, 67k
Highest mintage, 1992, 2.45 million.
First year of issue, 1982, making it one of the longest running issues of any bullion program in history.
Lowest population for all grades, 1999 rev of 2000, population of 2.
1982 DDR pop of 1.
2000 MS70, population 1, this is in this set.
2010 MS70, population 1, i am looking for this one and if its for sale please let me know.
1990 Proof Like has a pop of only 1, I discovered this coin and had it graded and it is part of this set. This is also the first and only 1oz MS libertad to be given the PL designation.
Second lowest population for all grades, 1987 double die, pop is 31, i currently own 18 of them.
Years with total populations under 50 are 16 different years. Now you will discover the challenge of finding quality coins needed for grading as the grades just dont exsist.
First graded MS70 coin happened in 1997, two were graded that year.
3rd BU coin to get a perfect MS70 took place in 2000.
4th BU coin to get a perfect 70 was in 2010.
Year with the highest population for all grades, 2013 with a total of 3278.
Second highest pop report for all grades was for 2015 with 2516 and still counting as the year still has 3 months to go at the time I write this.
The explosion in grading over the past 3 years tells me that the collector base is growing very fast.
The obverse and reverse of the libertad is not what you think. What we consider the obverse of most coins is actually what the Mexico Mint calls the reverse of the libertad. The true obverse on the libertad shows the Mexico coat of arms with the snake in the eagle's mouth. The reverse of the libertad shows the beautiful winged angel. Until late 2015 NGC had always shown the true reverse of the libertad facing towards the front. With the discovery of the new variety of the 1988 Double Die in late 2015, NGC is calling it a DDR or double die reverse. The 1988 DDR and the 1987 DDO or double die obverse, both show the doubling on the same side the coins for both years.
Here is how i rank the top rarest and most difficult 1oz BU libertads to find. Some are rare but not scarce but as you get closer to #1 they are rare and are more scarce to find.
#7. 1987 DDO
#5. 1988 in any condition
#4. 1991 Type 2
#3. 1988 DDR
#2. 1999 Mule
#1. 1982 DDR
If i have missed something or incorrectly stated something please reach out to me to let me know. I hope you enjoy the set as i have enjoyed putting it together.