A Brief History of Mexican Coins

Brief Notes on Mexican History

The Aztec Empire was famous for its gold. Huitzilopochtli or Tonatiuh was their sun god. Gold and the sun are tightly connected in many cultures because they share the same brilliant yellow colour. The Aztecs used gold for artefacts in connection with their religion, and also used it to decorate clothing. It was for gold that Diego Velásquez ordered Herman Cortes in 1519 to reconnoitre Mexico, and for the same reason that Cortes disregarded Velásquez's orders to conquer the Aztec Empire in the name of the King of Spain.

Spanish Rule
Mexico, known as New Spain remained under Spanish rule until independence was declared on 16th September 1810 by Father Miguel Hidalgo, although full independence was not achieved until 1821 under General Agustin de Iturbide. During this period most coins were of Spanish type, and are often only distinguished by their mintmarks. The gold coins issued being escudos, 2 escudos, 4 escudos, 8 escudos, and half escudos.

Independence & Turbulent Times
From 1821 until the Reform Constitution of 5th February 1917, underwent considerable political upheaval, since then it has been one of the most stable nations in South America. The coinage remained based on Spanish coin types until the adoption of decimal currency in 1864 based on the peso, but appears to have produce the pre-decimal coins for a few years alongside the new coins.

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