Though the fifth of May might be best known in the United States for the parties it inspires, the date is important to Mexico as the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla.
The Banco Central de Mexico has released a circulating commemorative 10-peso coin marking the 150th anniversary of the event May 5, 1862, when Mexican forces beat back French invaders. The ringed-bimetallic coin was released Sept. 8, on the 150th anniversary of the death of Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza, who died in Puebla, in the state of Puebla in east-central Mexico, from typhoid fever.
Gen. Zaragoza led an army that was overwhelmed numerically by the world power French army, whose justification was the delayed repayment of debt by Mexico.
The general’s portrait appears inside the central reverse of the ringed-bimetallic coin, set against a scene from the battle at the forts of Loreto and Guadalupe. On the outer ring appear the anniversary text, dates and the denomination, surrounding the design.
The Mexican coat of arms appears on the obverse.
The center is made of copper, nickel and zinc and is surrounded by a copper-aluminum-nickel ring.
The coin, with face value equivalent to about 78 cents in U.S. funds, is legal tender. It weighs 10.329 grams, measures 28 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 30 million pieces.
Distributor Pat Stovall, of Lois & Don Bailey & Son Numismatic Services, offers the coin for $4.75 plus shipping. Write to Stovall at 13165 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Suite 1, Houston, TX 77044, or telephone him at 281-687-6878. ■