A Primer on the Mexican ‘Libertad’ Silver Ounce as a Vehicle for Savings of the Common Folk

Who created the Mexican silver peso known as the “0.720 Peso”? President of Mexico Venustiano Carranza.

When did minting of this coin begin? In 1920.

Why was it known as the “0.720 Peso”? Because its silver content was 72% of its weight.

What was the silver content of the “0.720 Peso”? The pure silver content of the “0.720 Peso” was 12 grams.

What was the value of the silver in the “0.720 Peso” in 1920? In 1920, 12 grams of silver were worth 52 Mexican cents.

For how many years was the “0.720 Peso” in circulation? It circulated for 25 years, until 1945.

During those 25 years, was the silver in the “0.720 Peso” ever worth less than 52 centavos? Yes; in 1931, 12 grams of silver were worth only 31 centavos, but the public using the coin took no notice of this fact.

Why did the “0.720 Peso” go out of circulation in 1945? It went out of circulation because after World War II, the international price of silver rose and thus the silver in the “0.720 Peso” was worth more than one Peso. Minting more silver Pesos became a loss-making business for the Mexican Mint, so minting ceased.

What became of the “0.720 Peso” coins when they went out of circulation? Most of the coins were sent to a refinery so that their silver could be sold at a profit on the international markets, as happened to the US silver coinage in the 1960’s, but some were saved by Mexican savers, and can still be purchased in downtown Mexico City.

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