The Legend of the Mexican Libertad Coin
The Mexican Libertad is unique in that it is one of just two legal tender bullion coins in the world issued devoid of a face value. Yet is still accepted as currency and guaranteed by Banco de México. The Libertad is intended to be bought, sold and traded based on the market value of its Precious Metal content.
However, this detail is not what sets the Mexican Libertad apart in the coin world. It is fair to say the Mexican Libertad coin is among the most beautiful coins in the world. Many collectors even argue it is the most beautiful coin. Since its introduction in 1981, Mexican Libertad coins have captured the hearts and eyes of everyone who has had the pleasure of viewing them.
THE LEGEND OF THE LIBERTAD
The artwork on the Mexican Libertad is so beautiful partly because it tells a story. There is an ancient Mexican legend recounting the tale of princess Iztaccíhuatl. Her father sent her beloved, Popocatépetl, to war in Oaxaca, promising Popocatépetl that when and if he returned, he and Iztaccíhuatl could marry. However, Iztaccíhuatl’s father secretly believed the young lover would never return and so arranged for several other suitors to approach and try to charm his daughter. But Iztaccíhuatl learned of her father’s assumption and the arrangements he made. Believing that Popocatépetl could not possibly survive the war, and knowing she could simply never marry another, Iztaccíhuatl made what she felt was her only escape and killed herself with a dagger. When Popocatépetl returned to discover his beloved dead by her own hand, he carried her to the top of a mountain hoping the cold would revive her. Instead, he succumbed to the cold and froze to death. God blanketed them in snow, turning them into mountains.
Iztaccíhuatl's mountain is called La Mujer Dormida, or The Sleeping Woman, because it resembles a woman sleeping on her back. Popocatépetl became a volcano, raining fire and destruction down upon the earth in eternal rage at the senseless death of his beloved. It is this passionate romance that defines the landscape depicted behind the glorious Winged Victory on the Mexican Libertad. The aching beauty of this story perfectly complements the striking loveliness of this coin.
THE ARTWORK OF THE MEXICAN LIBERTAD
The obverse of the Mexican Libertad coin bears a finely detailed sculptural relief of the National Shield ringed by tiny images of the country’s various historic coats of arms. The reverse of the Mexican Libertad, though, is a truly stunning work of art of surpassing magnificence. It depicts national emblems held dear by the Mexican people, the Winged Victory statue against a background of the Mexican mountain Iztaccíhuatl and the volcano Popocatépetl.
The Winged Victory statue is a key historic and cultural monument to the Mexican people, considered the symbol of Mexico City. The background memorializes the beloved legend of the two lovers for whom they were named. The artwork on this spectacular coin is entirely captivating. The graceful loveliness of the Winged Victory and the distant splendor of the volcanoes are brought almost to life on this exceptional coin.