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Mexican 2½ peso coin

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2 swiss centimes (obverse)
2½ pesos
Dos y medio pesos 1945
Coin from 1945
General information

Flag of Mexico Mexico


2.50 pesos

Measurements and composition
  • 4.23 g (1870-1893)
  • 2.0833 g (1918-1948)

15.5 mm (1918-1948)







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The peso coin is a circulation coin that was issued by Mexico from 1870 to 1893 in two main types. The first was produced from 1870 to 1893 by seven different mints, while the second was coined by the Mexican Mint between 1918 and 1920, and then again from 1944 and 1948.

Both of the coins had values equivalent to 2.50 Mexican "old" pesos prior to their eventual demonetization.


1870–1893 coinEdit

Mexico 2.5 pesos 1872

An 1872 coin from Mexico City

The first Mexican coin denominated at 2½ pesos was introduced in 1870 by the Government of Mexico, during the nation's time as the Mexican Republic. It was then produced annually until 1893. During this time period there were at least eleven mints in operation in Mexico, including those in Álamos (mint mark As), Chihuahua (CH), Culiacan (Cn), Durango (Do), Guadalajara (Ga), Guanajuato (Go), Hermosillos (Ho), Mexico City (Mo), Oaxaca (Oa), San Luis Potosí (Pi), and Zacatecas (Zs). Of these, only the facilities in Álamos, Culiacan, Durango, Guanajuato, Hermosillos, Mexico City, and Zacatecas produced the 2½ peso coin, although the one in Mexico City tended to be the only regular issuer. The coin is composed of .875 fine gold (87.5% gold and 12.5% copper), and has a mass of 4.23 grams. It uses coin alignment and is round in shape.

Featured in the center of the coin's obverse is the coat of arms of the Mexican Republic — which consists of an image of an Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) standing atop a prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) while devouring a snake (Serpentes), the eagle's head facing towards the right. Oak (Quercus) and laurel branches also appeared on the coat of arms of the Mexican Republic, but were not generally included with the remainder of the arms on the coins of the period. The Spanish state title "REPUBLICA MEXICANA" (English: "Mexican Republic") is inscribed around the rim of the coin, starting near the bottom of the dexter wing of the eagle in the arms, arching at the top of the obverse, and ending to the right of the eagle's sinister wing. Printed below the arms at the very bottom of the coin is the date of minting in Western Arabic numerals.

Engraved in the middle of the coin's reverse is the value "2½ PESOS", the numbers and the word "PESOS" written on separate lines and the former being much larger than the latter. The oak and laurel branches from the coat of arms of the Mexican Republic are present along the lower periphery of the coin, tied together at the bottom of the reverse and extending upwards across both the left and right rims of the piece before stopping at a height just underneath the top of the number "2" in "2½". Arched around the top of the coin is the last initial of the assayer who approved the piece for circulation, followed by an "875" that indicates the coin's gold content as 875 pure, and then followed by the mint mark of the facility it was produced at.

The total mintage of the first type of 2½ peso coin is currently unknown, but most of the yearly mintages are less than 1000 specimens. The Mexico City Mint produced the largest number of examples by far, having coined the piece during every year of production except for 1871 and 1893. Zacatecas, the second largest producer, is attributed to eight dates: 1872, 1873, 1875, 1877, 1878, 1888, 1889, and 1890. The Guanajuato and Hermosillos facilities only produced the pieces during two years, the former in 1871 and 1888 and the latter in 1874 and 1888. The mints in Álamos, Culiacan, and Durango only manufactured the pieces for one year, Álamos and Durango in 1888 and Culiacan in 1893.

In 1870 a copper pattern coin of the same design and denomination was produced at the mint in Mexico City and assayed by an individual with the initial "C". A silver piece was subsequently minted at San Luis Potosí in 1888 and inspected by an assayer with the initial "R", and another composed of white metal was later coined at Mexico City in 1889 and was checked by someone with the initials "AM".

Date Mint Assayer Mintage
1870 Mo C 820
1871 Go S 600
1872 Mo M/C 800
1872 Zs H 1,300
1873/2 Mo M
1873 Zs H
1874 Ho R
1874 Mo B/M
1874 Mo M
1875 Mo B
1875/3 Zs A
1876 Mo B
1877 Mo M
1877 Zs S
1878 Mo M 400
1878 Zs S 300
1879 Mo M
1880/79 Mo M
1881 Mo M 400
1882 Mo M
1883/73 Mo M 400
1884 Mo M
1885 Mo M
1886 Mo M 400
1887 Mo M 400
1888 As/Mo L
1888 Do C
1888 Go/Mo R 110
1888 Ho G
1888 Mo M 540
1888 Zs/Mo S 80
1889 Mo M 240
1889 Zs/Mo Z 184
1890 Mo M 420
1890 Zs Z 326
1891 Mo M 188
1892 Mo M 240
1893 Cn M 141

1918–1948 coinEdit

Mexican 2½ pesos 1945

Piece dated 1945

The second type of 2½ peso coin was introduced by the United Mexican States, as Mexico came to be officially called, during 1918. It was then produced annually until 1920. After a period of nearly twenty-four years, the second 2½ peso piece was reintroduced in 1944 and then emitted until 1948. Official restrikes dated 1945 were later produced from 1951 to 1972, in 1996, and from 2000 to 2009. Before the introduction of fractional Krugerrands in 1980, the coin proved to be a popular small bullion coin. Also, due to its small mass and size, the piece was once considered ideal for use in jewelry. Every example of the second type of 2½ peso coin was produced at the Mexican Mint in Mexico City. The piece is composed of .900 fine gold, and has a mass of 2.0833 grams and a diameter of 15.5 millimeters. Like the preceding coin, it is round in shape and uses coin alignment.

Displayed in the center of the obverse is the coat of arms of Mexico, slightly adapted from the one used on the obverse of the piece issued from 1870 to 1893. The wings on the eagle are relatively shorter on the coins issued from 1918 to 1948, the eagle itself is somewhat more sophisticated in design, and the oak and laurel branches are actually present at the bottom of the heraldic depiction. The state title "ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS" (English: "United Mexican States") is inscribed along the periphery of the obverse, starting at the left side of the coin, arching at the top, and concluding at the right periphery. Unlike the earlier coin, the date is not included on the obverse.

Featured in the middle of the coin's reverse is a left-facing bust of Generalissimo Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (1753–1811), a famous Mexican priest and prominent Patriot leader of the Mexican War for Independence. "DOS Y MEDIO PESOS", Spanish for "two-and-a-half pesos", is printed along the rim of the coin, the first three words inscribed to the left of the image of Hidalgo and the final written to the direct right. The date of minting is printed after the indication of the value, divided by a single five-pointed star.

A total of approximately 3,745,000 original strikes of the second type of the Mexican 2½ peso coin were produced from 1918 to 1920 and again from 1944 to 1948. About 5,025,087 official restrikes bearing the date "1945" were minted from 1951 to 1972. Additional matte restrikes bearing the same date were coined in 1996, and a further 517,000 pieces with the year "1945" were manufactured from 2000 to 2009.

Date Mintage
1918 1,704,000
1919 984,000
1920 607,000
1944 20,000
1945 (original strikes) 180,000
1951-1972 restrikes (dated 1945) 5,025,087
1996 Matte restrikes (dated 1945)
2000-2009 restrikes (dated 1945) 517,000
1946 163,000
1947 24,000
1948 63,000


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Coat of arms of Mexico Mexican peso
Banknotes $1$2$5$10$20$50$100$200$500$1000$2000$5000$10,000$20,000$50,000$100,000
Coins 10¢20¢25¢50¢$1$2$2.5$5$10$20$25$50$100$200$250$500$1000$2000$5000$10,000$50,000$100,000

1/20 ozt.1/15 ozt.1/10 ozt.¼ ozt.½ ozt.1 ozt.2 ozt.5 ozt.1 kg

Miscellaneous American Banknote CompanyBank of MexicoCentenarioMexican Mint

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