So called bullion coins made news at our Toronto Coin Expo 2018 Spring Sale thanks to a number of very impressive Chinese Pandas that greatly exceeded their pre-sale estimates, which pleased everyone at Geoffrey Bell Auctions Ltd. because we were aware of their potential. Our clients were happy with the results too. In general, bullion coins may be a largely overlooked segment of numismatics, possibly ripe for everything from investing to numismatic study, so this post will explain and examine silver Mexican Libertads.
There is plenty of choice when it comes to silver bullion coins; our Canadian Maple Leaf is a favourite, along with the American Eagle, Australian Kookaburra, Chinese Panda, and the British Britannia being the most obvious. These bullion pieces get to be called coins because they are issued by a government. The Libertad from Mexico is also one of the most popular, but differs from their counterparts in that they aren’t assigned a nominal face value.
While one ounce is the most popular weight collected, they are available right up to an eye-catching kilogram. They are struck as regular “circulation” pieces as well as proof coins.
What makes the Mexican Libertad appealing to collectors, besides that attractive Winged Liberty reverse, is the fact that they have the lowest mintage of the major bullion coin issuers. Collecting the one ounce silvers isn’t prohibitively expensive, yet offers a bit of a challenge when some notable varieties are included in the search. These varieties provide opportunity to learn about the coins as there are a couple of doubled dies, such as the one pictured that was issued in 1987. In 1991 there were two types struck: one with the regular “onza” and another designed “OnZa.” A type II that was recently sold at The Coin Cabinet in Moncton, NB is also pictured.
Plus, because bullion coins haven’t become mainstream yet, there is likely plenty of room for more research and discovery. Best of all, Mexican Libertads provide a fun way to learn about numismatics, and isn’t that what this hobby is about?