Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Mexican Fifty Pesos Gold
The most popular gold bullion investment coins continue to be US American Eagles, Canadian Maples Leaves, and other widely available and very liquid coins. But another coin that continues to be a strong gold investment is the Mexican 50 peso gold coin. It has a number of features that are different from the most popular bullion coins. First off, rathern than containing exactly 1 troy oz of gold, Mexican 50 peso gold pieces contain 1.2057 troy ounces of fine gold (37.5 grams). It is also struck in 20 karat gold, in other words 90% pure gold with the remainding 10% being copper. This gives them an orangey color similar to a South African Krugerrand.
Because of their high gold content and additional copper, they are quite large coins, with a diameter of 36 mm and a total weight of 41.67 grams. Compare that to a Canadian Maple Leaf which has a diameter of 36.07 mm and a total weight of 31.65 grams, and to an American Eagle that has a diameter of 32.7 mm and a total weight of 33.39 grams.
The 50 peso coin was minted in two runs, from 1921 to 1931, and again from 1944 to 1947. The earlier series sells for a somewhat higher premium, but the later restrikes sell at a low premium above spot, similar to the low premium of South African Krugerrands. They therefore make a good bullion investment. I was surprised when I first learned about their low premium, assuming that their age would give them more numismatic value.
Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, and the 50 peso coin was produced for the centennial celebrations of Mexico's independence. The obverse of the coin features "El Angel de la Indepencia" (which you can probably guess means "The Angel of Independence"), an image of the statue erected in Mexico City for centennial commemoration. On the reverse of the coin is the Mexican coat of arms.
Because of their relatively large size and captivating imagery, Mexican gold peso coins are striking and enjoyable coins to have as part of your physical gold stack. But they are also solid bullion investments. Just don't let their beauty prevent you from selling them when the price is high! Don't fall in love with your investments or you'll make unwise decisions. But with some self discipline you can enjoy both the coins and the money they will eventualy yield for you.