The beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1910 saw the emergence of a new silver Peso, the famous "Caballito," one of the most beautiful Mexican coins ever commissioned. This commemorative coin was struck in .903 silver to celebrate the Centennial of the beginning of the War of Independence. The dramatic design shows a woman riding a small bucking horse, a torch in one hand held high in triumph, a laurel branch for peace in the other, along with the date. The reverse has the Mexican National Emblem, the Golden Eagle standing on a cactus plant with a snake in its beak, surrounded by the inscription "ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS" and “UN PESO”.
The “Caballito” Peso was minted from 1910 thru 1914. Die variations exist in two of those years. The first variation is on the 1911 Peso. Two designs were minted, a “Short Ray” and a “Long Ray” type, referring to the length of the sun's ray on the lower left side. The "Short Ray" is a carry-over from the 1910 dies and it is unclear how many coins were produced before new dies with the lengthened ray were placed in service.
The second variation occurred in 1913. The 1913 production includes a number of overstrikes on 1912 coins, again no quantity is known. The overstrikes diminished the population of 1912 coins, making 1912 the second smallest in primary production only to 1914. 1914 is an extremely difficult year. I have recently added a 1914 MS63 after years of building various sets of Mexican coins. Very few collectible 1914s have surfaced. Only 120,000 were minted in the turbulent waning days of the Revolution and I suspect most were destroyed.
This is an unusual time in numismatic history because the US had minted the Morgan Silver Dollar between 1878 and 1921, with a notable break in production taking place between 1905 and 1920. Mexico’s new Peso put a beautiful coin on the world stage, unchallenged by comparable years of Morgan dollars. Additionally, the “Caballito” Peso contained .7859 oz of silver as compared to the Morgan at .7736 oz. These silver Pesos were the high point of Mexican silver coinage. Their popularity extended not only throughout North America, but the Far East as well.
By the end of the Revolution, the value of the Peso could not keep up with the value of its silver content. Starting in 1918, coin size and silver fineness decreased accordingly. The silver Peso between 1918 and 1945, which brought back the “Cap and Ray” design, continued the Mexican tradition of beauty and numismatic craftsmanship. A new silver Peso of .500 fineness was struck in 1947 with the Mexican Eagle on the obverse and the legend "Estados Unidos Mexicanos”. The reverse shows Jose Maria Morelos. This coin was minted only from 1947 through 1949. The silver content dropped to .300 in 1950, with a new portrait of Morelos on the reverse. No reference was now made to silver content on this Peso, and eventually, all silver content would disappear in 1970 when a cupro-nickel Peso was introduced.
I have added a 1949 Morelos Un Peso to the set. Not necessarily a "crown" as I would describe it, nevertheless this coin is extremely interesting. As silver value grew to exceed the Peso, the 1949 coin was prepared but never issued. This MS63 coin represents one of only less than a hundred that escaped the mint. The rarity and uniqueness speaks for itself.
In spite of the increasing disparity of currency value to silver content, Mexico did mint a number of large, well designed coins of higher Peso face value before bi-metallic coins were the only currency issued. I have added them to this collection of the Caballitos.
The 1921 Dos Pesos is the silver companion to the gold 50 Pesos or “Centenario”, both coins originating in that year to celebrate 100 years of Independence from Spain. The Dos Pesos is struck in 900 fine silver with .7717 oz of silver content. The Dos Pesos is a one-year type, while the 50 Pesos gold coin developed a continual history until 1947. Restrikes of the 1947 gold 50 Pesos continue to this day as bullion.
The 1947 and 1948 Cinco Pesos continued Mexico’s practice of minting general currency from 900 fine silver. But to compensate for Peso versus silver value, the face value had risen. Total silver content is .8681 oz, and at 30 grams total weight it was a hefty pocket coin.
The 1950 Cinco Pesos is a one-of-a-kind commemorative coin minted to celebrate the opening of the Southern Mexico Railroad. Of an initial 200,000 coins, half were reclaimed to help produce the silver 1968 Mexican Olympic 25 Pesos. The 1950 Cinco Pesos is a popular coin for its numismatic artistry and becoming difficult to find in MS condition. Struck in 720 fine silver it contains a total of .6431 oz of silver. This MS66 is a rare example and my favorite Mexican silver coin.
I have included a 1955, 1956 and 1957 10 Pesos struck from 900 fine silver with .8357 oz of silver content. Then a 1960 10 Pesos was minted with like characteristics, to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the War of Independence. This apparently concludes the production of currency coinage from 900 fine silver. Bullion issues in 900 silver, however, continue to this day.
Other interesting coins of the era include an MS65 1957 5 Pesos and an MS63 1957 5 Pesos "Centenario de la Constitucion de Mexico". The latter was small production along with the companion 10 Pesos "Constitucion" at a time silver coins were leaving the monetary scene.
It is significant to include a one-time issue produced in 1968, a 25 Pesos in observance of the XIX Summer Olympics in Mexico City. This coin includes the silver from the 100,000 coins reclaimed from the 1950 Cinco Pesos, and was issued with three different die variations. Struck in 720 fine silver, the silver content is .5209 oz. The initial production became Type 1. Then, with an alteration to the Olympic rings on the obverse, namely the center ring dropping lower than a line drawn tangentially between the two outer rings, Type 2 is designated. Finally, that design was modified on the reverse by engraving a distinct curve in the serpent’s tongue, and Type 3 was born. Records don’t break out what quantities of the three types make up the mintage of 27,182,000 coins; but collectors know that Type 1 is more common than Type 2, and Type 3 seems a bit rare in the coin population.
Photographs are included of all of the coins, to complement the historical and numismatic backgrounds of the coins in this particular timeframe.
Outstanding examples of the beautiful Silver Peso minted between 1910-1914 known as the "Caballito", plus other significant Silver Crowns of the United States of Mexico.