World Coins

Mexico introduces a trio of 20-peso coins

New circulating commemorative 20-peso coins from Mexico celebrate the nation’s bicentennial of independence and other historic events.

Images courtesy of the Banco de Mexico.

Mexico’s 2021 coinage includes three new circulating commemorative 20-peso coins, one of which celebrates the nation’s bicentennial of independence.

The Bank of Mexico on Sept. 27 released the three new coins, along with silver collector versions, for Mexican Independence and the founding of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan in Mexico City.

Circulating 20-peso coins are ringed-bimetallic pieces, having a copper-nickel-zinc center of 5.51 grams and bronze-aluminum ring of 7.16 grams. The coins measure 30 millimeters in diameter, slightly smaller than a Kennedy half dollar. 

The denomination has an equivalent exchange value of 97 cents U.S.

Bicentennial design

The coin marking the bicentennial of Mexico’s Independence features three statesmen that might be familiar to collectors of other Mexican coins, since all appear on several other coins of the past 100-plus years. 

In the center, the effigies of Miguel Hidalgo, José María Morelos and Vicente Guerrero appear in profile facing left. At the top, the Angel of Independence appears as a latent image, and the micro text LIBERTAD is positioned at left.

In the upper border, the legend BICENTENARIO DE LA INDEPENDENCIA NACIONAL appears. In the exergue, the denomination $20 is indicated, with the years 1821 on the left and 2021 on the right. The Mo Mint mark for the Mint of Mexico also appears.

700 years of Tenochtitlan

Tenochtitlan was a large Mexica altepetl, or city-state, in what is now the historic center of Mexico City. The city was built on an island in what was then Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico.

The coin marks “700 years of the lunar foundation of Mexico City-Tenochtitlan,” according to the Bank of Mexico.

In the center is the eagle from the “Teocalli de la Guerra Sagrada,” or Teocalli of the Sacred War, and above it, the micro text TEOCALLI. This teocalli, or pyramid, is an ancient sculpture, a monolithic pre-Columbian miniature of an Aztec temple, that was once incorporated in the foundations of the National Palace of Mexico.

On the coin’s right is the glyph of the moon as a latent image. In the border is a legend translating to “700 years of the lunar foundation of Mexico City-Tenochtitlan.”

The denomination $20 appears in the exergue. To its right is the year 2021, and to the left is the Mo Mint mark.

500 years

Another coin marks an event in the lasting physical record at Tenochtitlan.

The “500 years of historical memory of Mexico-Tenochtitlan” coin marks the 1521 Spanish conquest and subsequent destruction of the Templo Mayor complex. Tenochtitlan’s main temple complex, the Templo Mayor, was dismantled and the central district of the Spanish colonial city was constructed on top of it. The Spanish destroyed the temple during the construction of a cathedral.

The coin design forms a reflection between very different structures on the site: the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Templo Mayor, as well as the denomination as $20. The Templo Mayor appears also as a latent image; micro text translates to “Cultural Fusion.”

The dual dates 2021 and 1521 appear to the right of the denomination. A legend in Spanish translating to “500 years of historical memory of Mexico-Tenochtitlan” and the Mo Mint mark of the Mint of Mexico complete the scene.

Silver versions

Proof .925 fine silver 10-peso versions are also available for all three themes, each coin containing 1-ounce of pure silver.

The silver versions each weigh 33.625 grams and measure 38 millimeters in diameter.

While the Tenochtitlan silver coins’ designs differ from the circulating coins, the Bicentennial coin has the same basic design as the corresponding circulating coin, except for the denomination.

The coin for the 700th anniversary shows the Mexican eagle with snake as well as the Codex Mendoza, which was created circa 1541 and contains a history of both the Aztec rulers and their conquests as well as a description of the daily life of pre-conquest Aztec society.

The 500th anniversary coin shows the Plaza de la Constitución with the National Flag, the National Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral and tabernacle.

Mintage figures are not yet announced for any of the coins.

Collectors will have to search the secondary market for examples of the circulating coins.

Pat Stovall of Don Bailey Numismatic Services sells the three silver 10-peso coins for $144 plus shipping and handling.

Email him at

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