On May 5th, 1862, an army of Mexican citizens and soldiers defeated a well-armed French troop nearly three times its size. The battle at Puebla was a moral victory for Mexico, but it was not a battle that led to independence. Mexico declared independence from Spain on September 16, 1810. A commemorative coin was issued to honor the battle at Puebla on its centennial in 1962. The coin itself is a glory to behold.
There are two coins in the centennial series: one silver and one gold. Each coin features a different design honoring the Puebla people’s victory The gold coin’s obverse design features General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín, who helped lead Mexican troops at Puebla to victory. In addition to his portrait, the coin includes text commemorating the battle of Cinco de Mayo. The reverse features the same design found in the middle of the Mexican flag: an eagle eating a snake, while sitting atop a cactus.
The obverse of the silver Puebla coin features a man riding a horse with a cannonball and cannon in the background. The man on horseback represents the farmers and citizens of Puebla. Many poorly armed citizens rode on horseback during the battle. Their mastery of the local landscape was a major factor in the victory. The reverse of the silver Puebla coin is the same as the gold version of the coin. The shared reverse design has a fascinating history itself.
The image on the Mexican flag, and the reverse side of both coins, is the fruition of an Aztec prophecy. The vision was said to come from one of their gods, and instructed them to build their empire when they found the image described. Aztecs were said to have indeed seen this very image on an island in Lake Anahauc, fulfilling the prophecy. That location is now the site of Mexico City.
The gold coins contain half an ounce of gold and were uncirculated. The silver coins were circulated, and contain very little actual silver. Because of the coins’ major differences in composition, and the fact that one was uncirculated, the two coins vary drastically in price. In good condition, the gold coin is worth over a thousand dollars, whereas the silver coin, even in good condition, is worth less than twenty dollars.
From a battle where angry farmers holding garden hoes helped defeat a well-armed French army to an Aztec vision resulting in a modern metropolis, both the gold and silver Puebla coins honor the proud history of Mexico. Curious about the Puebla or other commemorative coins? Come into Liberty Coin & Currency. We love to talk about any and all coins.
Liberty Coin & Currency specializes in rare coins and currency. We are a family-owned business located in Portland and Vancouver. We also buy gold, silver, diamonds, and jewelry. Visit us first for a free evaluation.