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Centenario of Gold, the Mexican coin that many people love

Gold Centenario coins are in high demand by collectors and investors. Here’s why they are worth so much.

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Centenario de Oro

Centenario (Centennials in english) are extremely beautiful and, above all, VERY valuable coins.

In this article I tell you why Centennials are so valuable to collectors and investors, how much they are really worth.

You will also read about two simple tests you can do to identify if a Centenario is authentic or not. Which is very important to protect yourself from scams and swindles.

Anyway, this is an article that you must read before buying a Mexican Centenario.

What is a Gold Centenario?

A gold centenario is a coin minted by the Mexican Mint in 1921, with a purity of 0.900 and an approximate amount of 1.2 ounces of the precious metal, or 37.5 grams of 21.6 karat gold. Now you know how many grams of gold a Centenario has.

Centenario of Gold
Centenario of Gold

The coin was minted to celebrate the first Centenario of Mexico’s Independence, hence its name, as you have probably already guessed. The face value of a Centenario is 50 pesos, but as we will see below it can reach much higher prices.

In 1931 its production was interrupted, but was resumed in 1943 to respond to the growing demand for gold coins that existed at that time.

What does the gold Centenario look like?

The Centenario has a simple design, but loaded with symbolism that makes it a desired piece by collectors and, above all, by investors. The design was the work of Jorge Enciso and Emilio del Moral.

At first glance, we find on the obverse one of the national coats of arms used in the past, which was used for more than 50 years and is known as the Eagle of the Republic. The eagle is surrounded by the inscription “Estados Unidos Mexicanos”.

The shield was used on coins of ½, 1,2,4,8 reales. By the way, some specialists point out that the Porfirian peso from 1898 to 1909 has a very similar eagle design.

On the other hand, on the Reverse we find a figure representing the Winged Victory. This representation is the monument of the Angel of Independence, between the legendary volcanoes Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl in the background.

Also on the reverse we find the mint dates of the coin in question (1947 in this example); and 1821, year of Mexico’s Independence. On both sides of the Angel are the face value and the weight corresponding to pure gold.

The Edge, or third side of the coin, is inscribed with the phrase “Independencia o Libertad” (Independence or Liberty). This is what is known in numismatics as a talking edge.

Golden Centenario of Gold
Golden Centenario of Gold

Centennials are quickly recognizable as they have a very particular design. This makes them an iconic coin in the numismatic history of Mexico.

Centenario Family

The Mexican Centenario coin belongs to a family of gold coins minted in different denominations.

The Centenario is the largest denomination, with a face value of 50 pesos as I mentioned before. But there are also the Azteca with a face value of 20 pesos, and the Hidalgos of 10, 5, 2.50 and 2 pesos, all minted in the same precious metal.

All coins have the same obverse, but the reverse varies according to the corresponding motif. Of course, the value of each one of these is equivalent to the amount and purity of gold in each piece; and the real demand for them.

What is the value of a Centenario?

It is normal for many people to wonder what the value of a Mexican centenario is. After all, it is a very popular currency, although not very accessible to most people.

We must differentiate between buyers and sellers.

That is to say, if you want to buy a Centenario to have it, or as an investment vehicle, possibly the price you will pay is quite different than if, on the contrary, you have one and want to sell it.

The difference lies mainly in the fact that this type of valuable Mexican coins are generally traded using intermediary institutions that provide guarantees to both parties. Especially when you want to sell a Centenario.

The point is that these institutions also earn money for their service, and this makes a difference between how much you pay and how much the seller gets.

That said, let’s analyze both situations.

Where can I sell a Centenario?

If you have a Centenario in your possession, and you want to sell it, the fastest way is to approach a bank or a collectible coin store to offer it. Surely these institutions will buy your piece, but be prepared for a counteroffer at a lower price.

You can also sell it directly, offering it on one of the online platforms that exist today. Another way to sell a centenary is to contact an auction house, so that it can be offered to collectors or investors interested in the piece.

For more information in this regard you can consult our Guide on How to Sell Antique Coins Safely.

Where can I buy a centenario?

You can buy a Centenario in many places and marketplaces, both physical and digital. In fact, on Mercadolibre and other platforms Centenarios are offered at different prices.

However, my recommendation is that you approach some of the Banks enabled to sell these pieces.

The banks where you can buy Centenarios in Mexico are:

  • Banco Azteca
  • Banamex
  • Banorte
  • Banregio
  • BBVA – Bancomer
  • Mexican Mint
  • Interactive Museum of Economics (MIDE)

If you are outside of Mexico then you should visit a local PROOF or antique coin supplier who can get the Centenario of Gold for you. Then you will be able to buy it in your city.

Now, the value of the Centenario varies according to the price of the Gold metal in the world market, as many people believe that buying them is a way to protect their money from inflation.

In general terms, in Mexico, Centennials can reach prices above  50 thousand Mexican pesos . In the United States, for example, they can be worth  2500 dollars . If you are in another country you have to convert to the local currency.

How to know if a Centenario is authentic?

Due to the popularity of gold Centenarios, many criminals and fraudsters have created counterfeits that are beginning to circulate in the market.

Those who buy Centenarios directly from the Bank can be confident, but what about the coins that already leave this institution, and continue to be marketed. The risks of finding a counterfeit increase.

For this reason, to know if a Centenario is original, you should consult a specialist who will perform the corresponding tests. Even so, without being an expert, there are some questions and tests you can perform to verify the authenticity of the coin.

The first question is: How to identify a gold Centenario?

To identify if a Centenario is gold, the simplest test is to bring a magnet close to the coin and see if it sticks. This is known as the magnet test.

Gold does not normally stick to conventional magnets; therefore, if you notice attraction between the magnet and the supposed Centenario it is probably a fake.

Counterfeit Centenario Coin
Counterfeit Centenario Coin

Anyway, let me alert you that this proof is not enough. Some fraudsters cast Centenario coins in soft, non-magnetized metals such as lead. Then they apply a gold plating or gold plating. In this way, they are gold on the outside, and pass the magnet test.

The second question is how much does a gold Centenario weigh?

The total weight of a Centenario is 41.66 grams, including the 37.5 grams of pure gold, which is important for the following test.

You must place the Centenario on a balance and check its weight. The mints have very precise quality control processes, and they get all coins to the right weight, but counterfeiters rarely achieve the same level of accuracy.

So, if the test weighing result is off the mark, you should not buy that centennial coin.

The third question is what is the edge of the Centenario coin like?

One of the characteristics of many counterfeit coins is that criminals forget to reproduce the third side of the coin. If the coin you are looking at does not have the phrase “Independencia o Libertad” on the edge, it is a counterfeit for sure.

In any case, even passing these tests, the ideal thing for your own security is to always buy gold Centenarios from the official institutions mentioned in this article above.

Are you going to buy a Centenario soon?

I imagine you are considering investing in the purchase of one of these beautiful Mexican gold pieces. If so, I hope you will follow the recommendations in this article to buy safely.

I only wish that once you have it in your hands, you can enjoy the pleasure of owning such a beautiful and valuable coin.

Leave me a comment telling me what impressed or helped you the most in this article. The comments from my readers inspire me to continue researching and publishing about this fantastic world of collecting ancient and modern coins.

Kossi Adzo is the editor and author of Startup.info. He is software engineer. Innovation, Businesses and companies are his passion. He filled several patents in IT & Communication technologies. He manages the technical operations at Startup.info.

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