Nearly 16 years after it was first issued, a 1999 Mexican Libertad
silver bullion coin has been authenticated as bearing the wrong design.
The coin that Numismatic Guaranty Corp. is calling the 1999 Reverse
of 2000 coin was recently authenticated by NGC. Though NGC describes
the coin as bearing a “Reverse of 2000” design, the Bank of Mexico
considers the side NGC calls the reverse — bearing a new rendition of
the national coat of arms introduced in 2000 — to be the obverse.
The coin is the first 1999 Libertad 1-ounce silver coin to be
declared a “mule,” meaning that it was struck from dies that were not
intended to be paired together.
The coin was struck using a 1999-dated reverse die showing Winged
Liberty matched with an obverse die that was intended for use on the
2000 Libertad silver 1-ounce coin, or “onza.” In 2000, Mexico adopted
a new obverse for the Libertad coins, one showing multiple emblems
encircling the longstanding, familiar eagle-with-snake-on-cactus
design instead of just the central coat of arms by itself.
Dealer Pat Stovall, of U.S. distributor Lois & Don Bailey &
Son Numismatic Services, told Coin World about the mule error.
A client of his, concerned that he had a counterfeit coin, submitted
it to Stovall for submission to NGC, he said.
“NGC has never graded one before and everyone I have mentioned this
to has never heard of one,” Stovall told Coin World. “I would
call it a new discovery.”
The collector bought the coin from dealer Don Bailey when it was
first issued. Stovall said the collector noticed the difference and
kept mum about it, not knowing if others might show up at a later
date. Stovall now leads Lois & Don Bailey & Son Numismatic Services.
After 15 years, without another example to hit the market, the owner
brought the coin to Stovall.
“I suspect it was a test piece, not meant for circulation,” Stovall said.
As for whether other examples may exist, Stovall said, “You would
think if somebody had a coin like that they would submit it to one of
the grading firms to be authenticated, because to look at it you’d
think it would be counterfeit.”
Stovall will offer the so-far unique error for sale in an upcoming
auction venue, he said, but those plans are not finalized.
According to the Banco de Mexico website, Mexico issued 95,000 Libertad 1-ounce
silver coins in 1999, with 340,000 struck in 2000.
The reverse of the first series of Libertad coins displays the
Winged Victory statue that appears on the Mexican Independence Victory
Column in Mexico City. A landscape with two volcanoes is in the
background. The Mexican eagle on cactus coat of arms appears on the
obverse of this version.
The reverse design on the first series of Libertad silver bullion
coins was replaced by a new reverse design of the Winged Victory,
showing the same basic design elements but depicted from another angle.
Keep reading about world coins:
Mint announces new £1 coin to circulate in 2015
20-cent coin celebrates Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary in 2015
is latest subject of Macedonia’s Zodiac coin series
silver tetradrachm sells for seven times estimate
2014 bond coins are entering marketplace
More from CoinWorld.com:
federal judge rules against government in 1974-D aluminum cent case
investigators uncover scheme to defraud U.S. Mint with counterfeit
surfing yields discovery of finest known Sheldon 96 1796 Draped
who asked President Obama why more women aren't on U.S. coins and
notes gets response
Jefferson 'nickel' struck on steel planchet among popular wartime errors
Keep up with all of CoinWorld.com's news and insights by
up for our free eNewsletters
liking us on Facebook
us on Twitter
. We're also on