War in its various phases has always had its influence on coinage; mints have changed hands or new mints have operated, new types or denominations have resulted, while special coinages, either necessity or emergency, have come out during such periods of unusual disturbance or stress. The bygone coinage of Europe well attests this fact. The money of North and South America has been equally influenced by war and other political disturbances.
Ever since the recent revolutionary era began in Mexico, and there were prospects that coins might be issued, it has been the endeavor of The American Numismatic Society to obtain specimens of such coins and the data concerning them. The necessity of collecting all possible information and specimens at the time, while events were fresh and the coins could be acquired, was especially borne in mind. This decision was made chiefly because of the woeful lack of knowledge concerning that previous series of crudely struck coins and counterstamped pieces, issued in Mexico by both the Patriots and Royalists during the War of Independence between 181o and 1822. Then, unfortunately, and for a long time afterwards, little attention was paid to those early pieces, and not much pertinent and interesting information concerning them remains today ; or if it does, it has not been resurrected for the numismatic fraternity. Although we have much knowledge and data concerning the extensive coinage of Morelos, the Commander of the Army of the South, there is much more we do not know. We have the coinage of General Vargas, struck at Sombrerete in Zacatecas, but numismatists know little about this man or his coinage. Also there are the various issues struck by the Royalists and the Central Junta, and the many counterstamped pieces, the product of the time, of which for the most part we are ignorant as to details. This is especially unfortunate as these pieces would, with more information, be as interesting as any similar series issued in Europe.
Without attempting to trace the history of the present revolution or, rather, series of revolutions, we can see that the unrest in Mexico, which had been quietly slumbering for a number of years, had its beginning about 1910 when General Porfirio Diaz was elected president for the eighth time. Although the old gentleman was alive to the mutterings of discontent, he was overpersuaded by his advisers to continue his presidency. In November of that year the revolution started under the leadership of Señor Francisco Madero. Diaz had to leave Mexico in May, 1911, and, after a short period of provisional government, Madero became president.
His rule was short-lived and lasted from November 6, 1911, until February 13, 1913, when a coup d'état took place and his murder resulted a few days later. During the next month rebellions again broke out in the North under the command of Generals Carranza and Villa, although some time before there had been in the South, where Zapata and his followers were strong, a very decided opposition to any of the existing governments.
During these first two years, events moved quickly, which resulted in many changes as to politics, but as far as coin issues were concerned we find nothing. With the rapid rise of the Constitutionalist forces of the North and the organization of their territory, we begin to get our revolutionary coinage. This was due probably to the urgent need of a more stable currency and the fact that the civil war had already devastated the land, and what money there was formerly had been either buried or exported. The first currency to be issued consisted of enormous quantities of paper money which were extensively counterfeited and soon became practically valueless. In fact, it looked for a time as though numismatists would be poorly repaid for their trouble in trying to find any coins. As paper money cost practically nothing to issue, and for the most part was put into circulation by force, the necessity of coining money was reduced to a minimum. As a matter of fact when any silver or copper was actually coined, the bullion for it was either stolen or taken over by threats or by force, and the cost of production was consequently very small. Even when silver money was issued, it disappeared from circulation almost instantly, as the flood of paper money made it profitable to melt up the new coin or else export it. Large amounts of coin are, nevertheless, in the country from the fact that much has been forced out of hiding by threats, torture, and other high-handed methods. Also it is a well-known fact that vast sums have been smuggled across the border into the United States. It has been reported that Villa has sent into the United States several million pesos that he coined in Chihuahua. See No. 22, page 20.
The first of these revolutionary issues, especially in the North, were struck with the intention of giving full weight and value. In the South, the coins were stamped with values much in excess of their bullion worth, but later were followed in some instances by a pure token coinage in copper with denominations of silver coins. The alloying of gold in the silver coins is interesting. When done intentionally the amount of gold was stated on the coin, as in the case of the Zapata and Oaxaca issues.
The scope of this monograph is the metallic coinage of the period in question issued by the different revolutionary bands and it makes no pretensions of chronicling the coins issued in Mexico City that followed the regular standards; nor is any attempt made to take up the many and various issues of paper and cardboard money that flooded the country.
Although it has been the aim to chronicle all the varieties struck, the impossibility of doing so is realized. Undoubtedly some pieces have escaped notice. The writer has heard rumors of other pieces but has been unable to get sufficient data about the issuers or descriptions of the pieces. There have been reports of square gold pieces circulating in certain of the mountain districts; more definite reports come regarding crude pieces of silver bullion passing current along the Chihuahua and Sonora borders in the mining districts of the Sierra Madre. These are not coins and consequently are not included in the catalogue; they are simply pieces of silver weighing one or two ounces, and passing for one and two pesos, respectively.
One would naturally expect to find counterstamps as a result of the many changes, but to my knowledge there has been but one counterstamp and that on one of the revolutionary pieces. The probable reason for this absence of surcharging was the scarcity of coins to revalidate, and the fact of no great amount of enemy issues getting into the possession of the other side.
The opportunity is herewith. taken to acknowledge my thanks to the following collectors for information and the loan of certain coins:
Sig. Ignacio Fernandez Esperon of the Mexican Consulate, New York, for much valuable information concerning events in Mexico.
Dr. Francis C. Nicholas for much useful information, and the gift to the Society of a number of these revolutionary coins.
Rev. A. D. Chaurand for the history of the Oaxaca issues.
Mr. George F. Brown for the loan of coin No. 25.
Mr. H. L. Hill for No. 41.
Mr. John F. Le Blanc for Nos. 10, 27, 28, and 46.
Dr. T. W. Voetter for No. 26.
Mr. E. E. Wright for Nos. 12, 13, 14, 16, 21, 44, and 47.
Mr. Farran Zerbe for Nos. 2, 42, and 43.
All the other coins described are in the collection of The American Numismatic Society.
The first actual issue of coins made by the revolutionists was in the State of Sinaloa in June and July, 1913, from bullion taken from the El Rosario Mine, on the order of General Rafael Buelna.
1 Peso. The regular Mexican eight reals or peso. With eagle on obverse and radiate liberty cap on reverse, as adopted in 1825 and issued almost constantly until 1910.
Size 39 mm. Weight of specimen examined, 32.72 gr. (505 grains). Silver.
It is said that only 25,000 were cast, so poor were the results, as the casting was executed in coarse sand moulds. These pieces are very rare and probably very few specimens will find their way into the cabinets of collectors. It is said that they were all melted up in the space of a few days because it was found that a large percentage of gold was in the alloy, which had not been assayed before the pieces were made. Exaggerated tales are told of the amount of gold in these pieces, but these stories must be viewed, for the most part, with considerable scepticism.
The fact remains, however, that the gold in these pieces is far in excess of their face value. It will be noted that they weigh about a fifth more than the standard Mexican peso.
2 Peso. Same as No. I, but counterstamped G.C.
Size 39 mm. Weight 32.2 gr. (497 grains). Silver. Plate I.
This counterstamp is said to be the mark of General Juan Carrasco, and is interesting because Carrasco shortly after issued dollars of his own, and probably at the same time stamped the few remaining Buelna dollars that had escaped the melting pot. This G. C. stamp has been interpreted by some as the abbreviation of General Carrasco, but the more probable reading is Gobierno Constitucionalista (Constitutional Government).
Some time in the late autumn of 1913, General Juan Carrasco caused dollars to be cast at Culiacan in Sinaloa, using as a model the old liberty cap peso as in the previous instance.
3 Peso. Same as No. I, but showing the design more clearly.
Size 39 mm. Weight of five specimens examined, 26.50, 27.26, 27.43, 29.31, 29.64 gr. (409, 421, 423.5, 452.5, and 457.5 grains). Silver. Plate II.
These dollars, for the most part, show the design better than did the Buelna specimens, but the edges were left very rough and consequently had to be filed considerably. They can be distinguished more readily from the Buelna pieces by their weight. They are also rare because the bullion value in them was in excess of their face value, especially as the low valuation of the paper money made it profitable to melt them up. They assay about nine-tenths silver, one-tenth copper, and a small showing of gold.
The next issue was a series of struck coins made at Parral in Chihuahua. It is said that the silver had been confiscated from near-by mines, and the rumor went around that they contained considerable gold. This, however, is probably not so. There are various conflicting accounts about these coins. One statement is that General Maclovio Herrera gave the order to make this money, another account is that General Villa personally authorized it. Both versions may be correct. At any rate this issue is known as Villa's first coinage, and it was probably first struck in October, 1913. Although it was thought that but few were struck, there is no doubt that a great many pieces were made — sufficient to meet the demand for these coins from collectors. This fact can be stated about these and subsequent coins of the revolutionists, namely, that more are undoubtedly seen in the United States than in Mexico, as the very large issue of paper and cardboard money very soon drove out the metallic money. For another coin issued by General Herrera see No. 29.
The description of this issue is as follows :
4 Peso. Obv. H | DEL | PARRAL (Hidalgo del Parral), within a partial wreath and a half circle composed of annulets; at base, 1913.
Rev. I PESO, within partial wreath and half circle of annulets.
Edge reeded. Size 39 mm. Weights of pieces examined vary from 25.92 to 27.59 gr. (400 to 426 grains). Silver.
5 50 Centavos. Obv. FUERZAS CONSTITUCIONALISTAS * 1913 * (Constitutionalist Forces). In centre, a crude representation of the radiate liberty cap, dotted border.
Rev. 50 | CENTAVOS; above, a small radiate liberty cap on pole, at each side spray of leaves, dotted border.
Edge reeded. Size 30 mm. Weights vary from 12.96 to 13.47 gr. (200 to 208 grains). Silver. Plate IV.
Specimens have been noted with plain edge.
The copper coinage consisted of a twocentavo piece. The trolley wire of the Parral-Santa Barbara Railway Company was used to make this coinage.
6 2 Centavos. Obv. 2 ¢ in wreath within a circle, outside of which FUERZAS CONSTITUCIONALISTAS *. Outside border of dots.
Rev. Within circle a radiate liberty cap; outside and on each side, spray of leaves; below, 1913, made by stippling. Size 25 mm. Copper. Plate IV.
Muera Huerta Issues
Probably the next issue, at any rate in the North, is the Muera Huerta piece. This was coined at Cuencamé, an old Indian village between Torreon and Durango, in Durango State, under orders of Generals Calixto Contreras and Severino Ceniceros.
This coin is most remarkable on account of its inscription — MUERA HUERTA (Death to Huerta). So dire a threat on a coin is almost unique in numismatic annals. It is said that Huerta was so enraged about it that he issued a proclamation to the effect that whoever was found in possession of one of these coins should be subject to death.
5 Peso. Obv. In centre, the regular Mexican eagle on cactus; above, EJERCITO CONSTITUCIONALISTA (Constitutionalist Army); below, MUERA HUERTA Around border, continuous outer line and wide denticulations.
Rev. In centre a radiate liberty cap; above, ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS ; below, .1914. UN PESO. 1914. Border as on obverse. Edge shows traces of crude reeding.
Size 39 mm. The two specimens examined weigh 21.70 and 22.61 gr. (335 and 349 grains). Silver. Plate V.
The die of the obverse became broken so badly (No. 7a, Plate VI) , that a new die was cut.
8 Peso. Obv. Similar to No. 7, but instead of a linear border line, one composed of dots and dashes was substituted; also the denticulated border is less marked and the oval pellets on each side of MUERA HUERTA are larger. Rev. Same, as No. 7.
For No. 8a see page 43
Edge coarsely reeded. Size 38 mm. Weights of pieces examined vary from 1947 to 23 gr. (300.5 to 355 grains). Silver. Plate VI.
It is well to bear in mind the weights of the above as Villa very shortly obtained possession of the dies and struck heavier pieces from them in Chihuahua.
9 Peso. Obv. Same as No. 8. Rev. Same as No. 8.
Edge plain or very slightly reeded.
Size 39 mm. Weight of piece examined 28.50 gr. (440 grains). Silver.
Besides the silver peso, there were issued in Durango, probably at Cuencamé, copper five-centavos and one-centavo pieces, crudely done and poorly struck. At least six sets of dies of the five centavos must have been made, as this number of dies has been noted. These pieces are somewhat rare, especially the one-centavo.
10 5 Centavos. Obv. In centre, 1914; above, ESTADO DE DURANGO; below, a wreath.
Rev. Within a circle of four pointed stars, 5 CENTAVOS.
Size 24 mm. Copper. Plate VII.
11 5 Centavos. Obv. Similar to No. 10, but the inscription reads E. DE DURANGO, and the date 1914 is smaller.
Rev. Similar, but 5 CENTAVOS is smaller. Size 24 mm. Copper. Plate VII.
Three dies of this variety have been noted.
12 5 Centavos. Obv. Similar to No. 10, but the 1914 is smaller and lower down in the field, and the N in DURANGO , is retrograde.
Rev. Similar but the c in centavos made thus, [.
Size 24 mm. Copper. Plate VII.
13 5 Centavos. Same as No. 12 but struck in brass.
14 5 Centavos. Obv. Similar to No. 10 but the 1914 is still smaller.
Rev. Similar, but v CENTAVOS.
Size 24 mm. Copper. Plate VIII.
15 1 Centavo. Obv. In centre, 1914, very large; above, + ESTADO DE +; below, DURANGO.
Rev. 1 CENT within a wreath.
Size 20 mm. Copper. Plate VIII.
16 1 Centavo. Same as No. 15 but struck in lead.
Size 21 mm.
17 1 Centavo. Obv. In centre, 1914; above, E. DE DURANGO; below, three five-pointed stars.
Rev. 1 CENT within a border of dots and dashes. The N in CENT is retrograde. Size 20 mm. Copper. Plate VIII.
Villa Issues Chihuahua
In 1914 the Villa issues with the exception of the Muera Huerta pieces just mentioned consisted of copper five-centavo pieces. These new coins must have been issued in great numbers, as they are very common and a large number of dies were used. The workmanship is decidedly better than the coinage of 1913 and the dies bear the name of Salazar. All of these pieces were struck in Chihuahua. The CHIHA and CHA are abbreviations of the state name.
18 5 Centavos. Obv. Radiate liberty cap inscribed LIBERTAD ; below the rays, SALAZAR ; above REPUBLICA MEXICANA; at bottom †E. DE CHIH A †
Rev. 5 ¢ in monogram in centre; above EJERCITO CONSTITUCIONALISTA ; below, † 1914 †
Size 25 mm. Copper. Plate IX.
19 Same as No. 18, but dated 1915. Size 25 mm. Copper.
20 10 Centavos. Obv. Similar to No. 18, but larger and with denticulated border. Rev. Similar to No. 18, but with 10 ¢ in monogram in centre instead of 5 ¢ Size 27 mm. Copper. Plate IX.
The copper used to make these pieces is reported to have come from the telegraph and telephone wires of the vast Terrazas estates. The 10-centavos are not nearly as plentiful as the 5-centavos.
21 5 Centavos. Obv. In centre, regular Mexican eagle on cactus; above, Republica mexicana ; below, wreath. Rev. The same as No. 18, but incuse; everything being retrograde.
Size 25 mm. Copper. Plate IX.
This piece is most peculiar on account of the incuse reverse. Since the writer has seen only this one piece, it is impossible to tell whether this was the reverse intended or not. It will be noted that the obverse is from a new die.
The silver issues of Villa for 1915 show decided improvement both in workmanship and in striking, although some of the plan- chets were poorly prepared. They were struck at Chihuahua from bullion taken largely from the Chihuahua Smelter, a part of the American Smelting and Refining Company. The issuing of this coin enabled Villa to recruit many men for the Sonora campaign, as he was able to pay his troops in silver while the other leaders could pay their men only in depreciated paper money. This coinage ran into millions. The obverse side bears the signature of Sevilla and the reverse that of Salazar.
22 Peso. Obv. In centre, regular Mexican eagle on cactus, near ground SEVILLA ; above, REPUBLICA MEXICANA; below, wreath.
Rev. In centre, radiate liberty cap inscribed LIBERTAD, with SALAZAR underneath ; above, EJERCITO DEL NORTE (Army of the North); below, UN PESO. CH A . 1915. F.M. 902.7.
Edge reeded. Size 39 mm. Weights of pieces examined vary from 26.80 to 27.86 gr. (414 to 430 grains), and were .903 fine. Silver. Plate X.
The army of the North did not confine its mints to Chihuahua province, as we find a series of copper coins struck in Jalisco. The commander of the army in this state was Manuel M. Dieguez.
23 5 Centavos. Obv. Radiate liberty cap, inscribed LIBERTAD, similar to No. 18; above, REPUBLICA MEXICANA; below, 1915.
Rev. 5 ¢ in monogram in centre; above, EJERCITO DEL NORTE; below, EDO. DE JAL. (Estado de Jalisco).
Size 24 and 25 mm. Copper. Plate XI .
Three different die varieties have been noted, one apparently without the word LIBERTAD on Cap.
24 2 Centavos. Obv. Similar to No. 23. Rev. Similar, but with 2 ¢ instead of 5 Size 21 mm. Copper. Plate XI.
These pieces vary from 2 1/2 to 1 1/2 mm. in thickness.
25 1 Centavo. Obv. Similar to No. 23. Rev. Similar, but 1 ¢ instead of 5 ¢. Size 19 mm. Copper. Plate XI.
Francisco Villa struck the following coins in Aguascalientes.
26 20 Centavos. Obv. In centre, regular Mexican eagle on cactus; above, ESTADO DE AGUASCALIENTES; below, olive wreath.
Rev. Partly within an olive wreath, 20 CENTAVOS 1915.; above, a radiate liberty cap on pole.
Size 29 mm. Copper.
27 5 Centavos. Obv. Similar to No. 26. Rev. Similar, but 5 CENTAVOS. 1915, instead of 20 centavos.
Size 25 mm. Copper. Plate XII.
28 5 Centavos. Obv. Similar to No. 26. Rev. 5 ¢ in monogram within olive wreath; above, 1915.
Size 25 mm. Copper. Plate XII.
Madero Brigada Coahuila
In the state of Coahuila General Mac- lovio Herrera, as Commander of the Brigada Francisco I. Madero, issued during 1915 a 20 centavos piece in copper. The S. N. D. P. on the obverse of the coin is said to be the motto of the Brigade. Two versions have been given of the meaning, and probably the first is the correct one. They are as follows : — Servicio Nacional Deuda Publica (National Service, a Public Debt), or Sufragio Nacional, Derecho Publico (National Suffrage, a Public Right). For other pieces struck by this general, see page 12.
29 20 Centavos. Obv. In centre, Mexican eagle similar to that used on the regular Mexican 10 centavos of 1899; below 1915. Around edge BRIGADA FRANCISCO I. MADERO + S.N.D.P. + Rev. 20 CENTAVOS, above + TRAN- SITORIO +
Size 29 mm. Copper. Plate XII.
Two sets of dies of this piece have been noted.
The above comprise the revolutionary coin issues of the North.
In the South, Emiliano Zapata had been conducting a revolution from the very first, but his numismatic evidences began only in 1914. These at first consisted of two-peso pieces about the exact size of a single peso piece, and one-peso pieces about the size of a 50-centavo piece. Later, the two-peso piece was reduced in size and weight, and a 50-centavo piece was added. Still later, a copper issue appeared. These, for the most part, were coined in Guerrero at Taxco in the northern part of the state. This town is sometimes spelled Tasco. One piece has been noted with the mint name Atlixtac, a town in the eastern part of Guerrero. The abbreviation Co. Mo. or C.M. is for Campo Morado (Purple Camp), a rich mining camp in the state which supplied the silver for the coinage.
30 2 Pesos. Obv. In centre, regular Mexican eagle on cactus, from the base of which spring sprays of oak and olive; above, REPUBLICA MEXICANA; below, *DOS PESOS. GRO. 1914 :
Rev. A mountain range of three peaks; the centre one a smoking volcano, above and in centre a radiate sun; across topmost rays, ORO : 0,595. Around edge, "REFORMA, LIBERTAD, JUSTICIA Y LEY" (Reform, Liberty, Justice and Law).
Edge reeded. Size 39 mm. Silver.
The GRO on the obverse is for Guerrero, the state where the pieces were made.
The weights vary from 17.46 to 27.42 gr. (269.4 to 421 grains). There seem to have been two periods of striking these, as the heavier ones are comparatively well struck while the lighter ones are very poorly struck on wretchedly made planchets. See fig. 30a, Plate XIV. A number of dies were used, but as the intent seemed to be to make them alike, no special mention of the minor differences is thought necessary. Also a cast piece, possibly a counterfeit, has been noted weighing 29.29 gr. (423 grains).
31 2 Pesos. Obv. Similar to No. 30, but the lower part of the legend reads *DOS PESOS.G RO . 1915 *
Rev. Similar to No. 30.
Size 40 mm. Silver.
32 2 Pesos. Obv. Similar to No. 31, but no line under RO of GRO.
Rev. Similar to No. 30, but C o . M o ., in exergue.
Size 39 mm. Silver. Plate XV.
33 2 Pesos. Obv. Same as No. 32.
Rev. Similar to No. 32, but exergue reads * c°. M°. *
Size 39 mm. Silver.
The edges of the 1915 issues are reeded as in the previous year but some are so lightly done as hardly to show. The pieces noted of this year vary in weight from 22.94 to 29.47 gr. (354 to 455 grains).
34 2 Pesos. Obv. In centre, regular Mexican eagle on cactus; above, REPUBLICA MEXICANA; below, wreath of oak and olive.
Rev. Radiate liberty cap inscribed LIBER-TAD; below, DOS PESOS, c. M. GRO. 1915. Edge plain. Size 35 mm. Weight of the two specimens examined 18.66 and 20.08 gr. (288 and 310 grains). Silver.
35 Peso. Obv. In centre, regular Mexican eagle on cactus from the base of which spring sprays of oak and olive; below base, 1914; above REPUBLICA MEXICANA .; below, * UN PESO C O . M O . GRO *
Rev. In centre, radiate liberty cap on pole, below ORO: :0,300. Around edge, " REFORMA, LIBERTAD, JUSTICIA Y LEY". Size 33 mm. Silver. Plate XVI.
This very poorly struck specimen is the only one that has come to the writer's attention and weighs 16.52 gr. (255 grains).
36 Peso. Obv. In centre, regular Mexican eagle on cactus, from the base of which spring sprays of oak and olive; above, REPUBLICA MEXICANA.; below, * UN PESO. CAMPO M o .*
Rev. In centre, radiate liberty cap inscribed LIBERTAD within a wreath of oak and olive; above, GRO | ORO : 0,300; around edge, " REFORMA, LIBERTAD, JUSTICIA Y LEY" 1914.
Edge plain. Size 31 mm. Silver.
37 Peso. Obv. Similar to No. 36, but inscription at bottom reads only * UN PESO.
Rev. Similar to No. 36 but liberty cap not inscribed.
Edge reeded. Size 30 mm. Silver.
38 Peso. Obv. Similar to No. 37, but the sprays at base of cactus extend slightly beyond the eagle's wings, and the inscription at the bottom reads * UN PESO *
Rev. Same as No. 36.
Edge plain. Size 31 mm. Silver.
39 Peso. Obv. Similar to No. 37, but the oak and olive spray extends nearly to the edge of the coin. Inscription at bottom * UN PESO.
Rev. Similar to 36.
Edge plain. Size 31 mm. Silver.
The weights of these peso pieces Nos. 36 to 39 vary from 12.57 to 14.52 gr. (194 to 224 grains).
40 Peso. Obv. Similar to No. 38, but bottom inscription reads * UN PESO.
Rev. Similar, but inscription above Liberty cap reads TAXCO . GRO. | * G. | ORO : 0.300. and date in exergue 1915.
Reeded edge. Size 30 mm. Silver.
Two specimens examined weighed 10.89 and 12.44 gr. (168 and 192 grains) respectively.
41 50 Centavos. Obv. In centre, regular Mexican eagle on cactus; above, * REPUBLICA * MEXICANA *; below, wreath of oak and olive.
Rev. Within an olive wreath, - 50 ¢ | TAXCO | GRO. ; above, radiate sun bearing date 1915.
Plain edge. Size 28 mm.
Weight of only specimen examined 8.81 gr. (136 grains). Silver. Plate XVIII .
42 50 Centavos. Obv. In centre, regular Mexican eagle on cactus; above, REPUBLICA MEXICANA; below, oak and olive wreath.
Rev. Within an olive wreath, 50 | CENTAVOS; above, c. M. GRO. | 1915.
Size 30 mm. Copper. Plate XIX .
43 5 Centavos. Obv. Same as No. 41. Rev. Within an olive wreath 5 ¢ in monogram; above, * TAXCO . GRO. 1915.
Size 28 mm. Copper. Plate XIX .
44 10 Centavos. Obv. In centre, regular Mexican eagle on cactus; above, REPUBLICA MEXICANA; below, oak and olive wreath.
Rev. Within an olive wreath, 1915 | 10 | centavos; above, atlixtac . gro. Size 28 mm. Copper. Plate XIX .
Zapata Issues Morelos State
From the state of Morelos, controlled by Zapata, the following pieces have been noted, but the writer feels certain that these three specimens do not represent all of the varieties issued.
45 20 Centavos. Obv. Regular Mexican eagle on cactus; above, E. L. de morelos (Free State of Morelos); below, wreath of oak and olive.
Rev. 20 ¢ in monogram within an olive wreath; above, 1915.
Size 24 mm. Copper. Plate XX .
46 50 Centavos. Obv. In centre, regular Mexican eagle on cactus, from the base of which spring sprays of oak and olive; above, republica mexicana ; below, morelos.
Rev. 50 centavos within olive wreath; above, 1916.
Reeded edge. Size 29 mm. Copper.
47 10 Centavos. Obv. In centre, regular Mexican eagle on cactus; above, RE-PUBLICA MEXICANA; below, wreath of oak and olive.
Rev. Within olive wreath, MOR | 1916 | 10 | CENTAVOS.
Size 28 mm. Copper. Plate XX .
Of all the revolutionary coins, those produced in the independent state of Oaxaca, during the governorship of José Inez Davila in 1915, form the most extensive series, especially as regards denominations and die varieties. Outside of the mint of Mexico City, the only gold that was struck during this recent period of disturbance was from the Oaxaca mint, where a genuine effort was made to provide an adequate coinage to meet all local demands. This coinage circulated freely in Oaxaca city and the neighborhood. Notwithstanding the attempt to keep paper and bullion money somewhat on a parity, the coins were frequently melted down, so that the number of pieces in circulation was never very large. On March 3, 1916, the Carranza forces overcame the Oaxaca government, seized and melted down all of this coinage they could find, and destroyed the dies and archives, so that today these pieces are scarce, especially in the United States. The denominations issued were as follows: in gold, 60, 20, 10, and 5 pesos; in silver, 5, 2, and 1 pesos, 50 and 20 centavos; in copper, 20, 10, 5, 3, and 1 centavos. As there were various changes in designs and sizes, together with frequent mulings of obverse and reverse dies, it is claimed that a complete set of this Oaxaca issue would number about one hundred and fifty varieties.
Teofilo Monroy was the director of the mint and his son Miguel cut the dies, although those for the first series of copper coins were made by an American resident of the city named De Coe. Some of the punches used to make them were those found in the old mint. The obverse type, for the most part, was of one design — the bust of Benito Pablo Juarez facing left, and the inscription Estado L. y S. de Oaxaca (Free and Sovereign State of Oaxaca) and the date 1915.
The whole issue bears the date 1915, except the 6o-pesos piece. This coin was made in the early part of 1916 shortly before the Carranza forces came in, and it is said that partly on this account and partly on account of the scarcity of bullion but twenty-one of, these were struck. Each of these pieces contained 45 grams of pure gold.
48 20 Pesos. Obv. Bust of Juarez to left. ESTADO L.Y S. DE OAXACA * 1915 * scalloped border of half circles enclosing half dots.
Rev. Partly enclosed in oak wreath 20 | PESOS | 0.175 | ORO; above, MONEDA PROVISIONAL ; in exergue T. M ; scalloped border of half circles and half dots.
Edge reeded. Size 28 mm. The two specimens noted weighed 11.31 and 12.21 gr. (174 1/2 and 188 1/2 grains). Base gold. Plate XXI .
49 10 Pesos. Obv. Similar to No. 48, except that the border is composed of arcs rather than half circles.
Rev. Similar to No. 48, except 10 instead of 20.
Edge reeded. Size 23 mm. The two specimens examined weighed 6.22 and 6.28 gr. (96 and 97 grains) respectively. Base gold. Plate XXI.
50 5 Pesos. Obv. Similar to No. 49 except that the date runs into the coat of Juarez and the stars are four pointed. Rev. Similar to No. 49 except 5 instead of 10, and a period after PESOS. The border is composed of arcs rather than half circles.
Edge reeded. Size 19 mm. The two specimens examined weighed 3.34 and 3.79 gr. (51 1/2 and 58 1/2 grains) respectively. Base gold. Plate XXI .
These three pieces, as the title 0.175 indicates, are of very base gold. They present an extremely brassy or lemon- colored appearance. The initials T M on the reverses of these and most of the other coins are for Teofilo Monroy, the director of the mint.
51 5 Pesos. Obv. Similar to No. 49. Rev. In centre 5, in circle AG 0.902 AU 0.010 PESOS; above MONEDA PROVISIONAL; below, oak wreath and T M. Edge reeded. Size 31 mm. Of the several pieces examined, the weights vary from 16.62 to 16.78 gr. (256 1/2 to 259 grains). Silver. Plate XXI .
52 5 Pesos. Same as No. 51, but size 32 1/2 mm. and weight 17.30 gr. (267 grains). One obverse and two reverse dies have been noted.
53 2 Pesos. Obv. Same as No. 49. Rev. Similar to No. 51 but 2 in place of 5.
Edge reeded. Size 22 mm. Weights noted vary from 5.96 to 6.48 gr. (92 to 100 grains). Silver.
Two obverse and one reverse dies have been noted, one of the reverse dies being the same as used on the 10-peso piece, No. 49. Proofs in copper were also struck. This style of the two-peso piece is known as the fourth issue.
54 2 Pesos. Obv. As No. 53, but no punctuation in legend.
Rev. A pair of scales over scroll of the Constitution and a sword in saltire; on the scroll, LEY ; above, liberty cap in a glory. Around, MONEDA PROVISIONAL; below, 2 PESOS.
Edge, rope pattern. Size 33 mm. The specimens that have been weighed vary from 14.19 to 14.77 gr. (219 to 228 grains). Silver. Plate XXII .
But one set of dies has been noticed, and this variety is known as the first issue.
55 2 Pesos. Obv. Same die as No. 54 but commas added after L, S, and end of legend.
Rev. Similar to No. 54, but DOS PESOS. instead of 2 PESOS.
Edge, rope pattern. Size 34 mm. Weights vary from 14.00 to 14.45 gr. (216 to 223 grains). Silver. Plate XXII . This is known as the second issue.
56 2 Pesos. Obv. Similar, but the die being intended for a peso piece, the edge of the die shows, making a broad confining band outside the border of arcs.
Rev. In centre, 2 PESOS ; above, MONEDA PROVISIONAL; below, oak wreath and T M. Border composed of arcs of circles.
Edge, rope pattern, size 31 mm. The weights of the several pieces examined vary from 15.36 to 16.98 gr. (237 to 262 grains). Silver. Plate XXIII .
This is known as the third issue.
The edges of most of the balance of the series are of the rope pattern and consequently will not be noted.
57 1 Peso. Obv. Same dies as No. 56. Rev. Similar to No. 56 but UN PESO instead of 2 PESOS and without the T M. Size 28 mm. Weight 8.51 gr. (131 1/2 grains). Silver.
58 1 Peso. Obv. Same as above. Rev. Same as above.
Size 26 mm. Average weight 7.71 gr. (119 grains). Silver. Plate XXIII .
At least three obverse dies have been noted, one of which is the same die as No. 57. Two reverse dies were used and on one of these the initials T M were added, making three varieties.
59 50 Centavos. Obv. Similar to above. Rev. Similar to No. 58 but 50 CENTAVOS in place of UN PESO.
Size 22 to 23 mm. Weights from 4.08 to 5.57 gr. (63 to 86 grains). Silver.
Five obverse dies are known, one of which is the same as that used on the 10-peso piece No. 49 and the 2-peso piece No. 53. One reverse die only has been noted, this being found with and without the initials T M.
60 A silver twenty-centavo piece has been reported. This was issued for a short time prior to the copper 20-centavo piece, and then discontinued. No specimen is known in the United States, and the details of size, weight, etc., are lacking.
61 20 Centavos. Obv. Similar to No. 51. Rev. Similar to No. 59, but 20 CENTAVOS in centre, no initials.
Size 31 mm. Copper.
62 20 Centavos.
Obv. Similar to above.
Rev. Similar to above.
Size 28 mm. Copper. Plate XXIV .
Five obverse dies have been noted, four of which are those of the one-peso and that of the 20-peso piece. Two reverse dies appear to have been used, one with and one without the initials T M.
63 10 Centavos. Obv. As above, but with the head of Juarez without modeling and tip of bust pointed.
Rev. Same as above but 10 centavos.
Size 26 mm. Thick and thin planchets. Copper. Plate XXIV .
The thick specimens were the first issued of the copper pieces and were soon melted down.
64 10 Centavos. Obv. Same as No. 58. Rev. Similar to No. 63.
Size 26 mm. Copper.
There appear to have been at least four obverse dies used, all of which were of the one-peso piece, while two or possibly three reverse dies were used, with and without the TM.
65 5 Centavos. Obv. Similar to No. 63. Rev. Similar to No. 63 but 5 centavos. Thick planchet. Size 24 mm. Copper. This piece belongs to the first issue.
66 5 Centavos. Obv. Same as No. 65. Rev. Same as No. 65.
Thin planchet. Size 22 mm. Copper.
67 5 Centavos. Obv. Same as No. 59. Rev. Similar to No. 65.
Size 22 mm. Copper.
The obverse dies are the same as used on the 50 centavos, as well as on the 10 pesos and 2 pesos. (Nos. 49 and 53 respectively); and at least three reverse dies were employed.
It has been reported that the first die cut showed a facing head of Juarez. This could easily have proved unsatisfactory, necessitating the adoption of the profile. These pieces are undoubtedly extremely rare.
68 3 Centavos. Obv. ESTADO | L.Y.S. DE | OAXACA | 1915 in rectangular frame. A five pointed star in each comer. Rev. PROVISIO | NAL . TRES | CENTAVOS | — TM — in rectangular frame. A five pointed star in each comer. Rectangular 24 × 16 mm. Plain edge. Copper. Plate XXIV .
This and No. 71 were makeshifts while other dies were being prepared, and very few got into circulation.
69 3 Centavos. Obv. Similar to the gold 5-pesos piece No. 50 but with border of half circles and dots as on No. 48.
Rev. Similar to above but in centre a large flat topped 3 ; below, CENTAVOS. The N is retrograde. Border of half circle.
Size 20 mm. Copper. Plate XXV .
70 3 Centavos. Obv. Same die as 69. Rev. Similar, the 3 is smaller and with a round top; T M added above wreath. Size 20 mm. Copper. Plate XXV .
It is said that the obverse die was intended for the gold 5-pesos piece No. 50 but was too large.
71 1 Centavo. Obv. Similar to No. 68 but inscription in three lines, the date being omitted. Dotted instead of linear border, and no stars in corners.
Rev. Inscription in three lines instead of four as on the three-centavo piece, the T M being omitted. The word UN. being substituted in place of the Tres.
Rectangular 19 × 13 mm. Plain edge. Copper. Plate XXV .
72 1 Centavo. Obv. Similar to 63.
Rev. Similar to 65 but 1¢ in centre. Thick. Size 18 mm. Copper.
73 1 Centavo. Obv. and Rev. same as above.
Size 19 mm. Copper.
These are found on thick and thin planchets and two dies for both obverse and reverse were employed.
Judging from the only example of the coinage for the next year, the issues for 1916 would have been equally extensive and in all probability of better workmanship, if the Davila government had remained in power at Oaxaca. As it happened, the Free and Sovereign State of Oaxaca closed its numismatic existence with probably the most interesting as well as best executed specimen of the revolutionary coins.
74 6o Pesos. Obv. In centre within an open wreath of olive and oak, an undraped bust of Juarez facing left. Surrounding this the legend: ESTADO L. Y S. DE OAXACA —60 PESOS ORO. Ornamented border.
Rev. In centre, a pair of scales over scroll of the Constitution and a sword in saltire; on the scroll, LEY; above, liberty cap in glory. Around, REPUBLICA MEXICANA — 902.7 * T.M. * 1916. Ornamented border.
Edge reeded. Size 39 mm. Weight 50 gr. (772 grains). Gold. Frontispiece.
Copper impressions are also known of this piece.
New Muera Huerta Peso
Since going to press, the following Muera Huerta peso has been discovered. On account of its crudeness it may have been the first one of this series cut, and was then discontinued when better dies were prepared. See Nos. 7 and 8. This peso is undoubtedly an authorized piece made in Durango, as the edge was reeded by the same machine that made the other coins. The die work is interesting, as the obverse lettering clearly shows that the same die-cutter made this who cut the Parral 50-centavo piece, No. 5; and the reverse lettering and stars are of the same style as on the Durango centavo, No. 17.
8a. Peso. Obv. In centre, the regular Mexican eagle on cactus; above, • EJER-CITO CONSTITUCIONALISTA • ; below, MUERA HUERTA. Border of irregular denticulations.
Rev. In centre, a radiate liberty cap; above, ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS; below, UN PESO | 1914; at each side, three stars. Border of dots and irregular denticulations.
Edge crudely reeded. Size 39 mm. Weight 23.88 gr. (369 grains).