The Mexican Libertad silver series coin (sometimes called the “Silver Libertad”) is the official silver bullion coin of the government of Mexico. Regarded as one of the more beautiful bullion coins in the world, Mexican Libertad coins are struck at the Casa de Moneda de Mexico, which is the oldest coinage mint in either North or South America. These are easily the most demanded silver coins produced in Mexico, and are one of the most popular in the Western Hemisphere. You can learn more about the fabulous Mexican Silver Libertad below.
Development, Introduction and History
The “Mexican Mint”, as the Casa de Moneda de Mexico is commonly known, was established in 1535, when it was producing silver coinage for European settlers in what is now Mexico. The Silver Libertads have been the most successful silver bullion produced at the Mexican Mint.
Mexican Silver Libertads were introduced in 1982, when just over one million of the 1 oz.. coins were released. From 1982 – 1990, only 1 oz.. varieties of Silver Libertads were produced. The 1/20 oz., 1/10 oz., ¼ oz. and ½ oz. coins were introduced as part of a very small release in 1991, and have maintained annual releases ever since. Beginning in 1996, 2 oz. and 5 oz. varieties of the Silver Libertads were released.
The 1 oz. version has been the only weight denomination to be produced in large numbers – the rest typically see annual mintages of less than 25,000 – 50,000. Even the number of 1 oz.. Silver Libertads minted each year has fluctuated dramatically. In 1985, more than two million 1 oz.. coins were produced. In 1998, that figure had dropped to a mere 68,000. There were approximately 775,000 1 oz.. Mexican Silver Libertads created in 2013.
1 kilogram versions of the Silver Libertad do exist, although these are rare and not regularly produced.
Mexican Libertad Coins Physical Characteristics
The front, or “obverse”, side of Mexican Libertad coins features the image of a winged angel (The Angel of
Independence) next to the volcanoes Popocatepeti and Iztaccihuati. This angel is considered a monument to the people of Mexico and one of the symbols of Mexico City. The coin’s weight denomination is shown on this side, along with the words PLATA PURA, the fineness (.999) and the year of mintage.
Both volcanoes depicted are themselves part of Mexico’s rich history. According to the folktale, Popocatepeti, the great warrior of pre-Columbian Mexican legends, was the lover of Iztaccihuati, herself the daughter of a king. Iztaccihuati died upon “Lover’s Peak” when she believed Popocatepeti to have been killed in battle. Few coins pack so much history and symbolism into their design as the Mexican Libertad.
The rear, or “reverse”, of the Silver Libertad includes the Mexican National Seal with an eagle, perched atop a cactus, killing a serpent with its beak. The words ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS appear on a wreath that circles the eagle. Since 2000, the Mexican National Seal is surrounded by ten distinct heraldic designs placed across the perimeter.
To date, there have been eight different weight denominations of Mexican Silver Libertad coins released. The most common, by far, is the 1 troy oz. version. The 1 oz. coin measures 40 mm in diameter and 3 mm in thickness.
Other weight denominations include 1/20 oz., 1/10 oz., ¼ oz., ½ oz., 2 oz., 5 oz. and the occasional 1 kilogram. Each denomination is guaranteed to have a millesimal fineness of .999 (99.9% silver content).
Unlike many official national silver bullion coins, Mexican Silver Libertads do not carry a face value and cannot be used as recognized currency in Mexico.
The market value of Mexican Silver Libertad coins is largely determined by the spot price of silver. Since this price fluctuates daily, the market prices of Silver Libertads will fluctuate daily as well. You can check out our Home Page for live metal pricing.
The relative rarity and inconsistent mintage of Mexican Libertad coins can add some volatility to their pricing. This also increases the “numismatic” value of the coin, or its value to collectors and scholars. This means that, at times, Mexican Libertad coins can be priced in excess of the value of their silver content.
Investing in Mexican Libertad Coins Through an IRA
Each Mexican Silver Libertad coin meets the requirements for bullion investing inside of an IRA. Their low mintage figures and variable designs provide these coins with sustainably high demand.
By placing real, physical silver inside of an IRA, investors add diversification to their portfolio that is independent of the fluctuations of stocks and bonds. Since the spot price of silver tends to be much lower than gold, silver can be a more affordable alternative hedge for those interested in precious metals.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows specific types of IRAs to carry gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion inside of a portfolio. Sometimes referred to as a “precious metals IRA”, these IRA accounts may only contain IRS-approved bullion – such as the Mexican Libertad coin. Investors must make a minimum initial purchase of $5,000 worth of approved metals to establish a precious metals IRA. Each subsequent bullion purchase inside of the account must be at least $1,000.
Any IRS-approved bullion must meet minimum purity requirements in order to be included inside of an IRA. Additionally, when an investor makes a purchase of Mexican Libertad coins to add to an IRA, the IRS mandates that the metal be held in an approved depository. This precious metals depository is responsible for the safety and maintenance of the bullion.
Those with existing IRAs have the option of transferring or rolling over funds into a precious metals IRA.
Orders of Silver Libertad coins can be purchased directly from the Banco de Mexico in rolls of 20. A hotly traded coin, Silver Libertads are available with many distributors around the world, such as APMEX (American Precious Metals Exchange).
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