Author Topic: My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design  (Read 3983 times)

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Galapagos

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My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design
« on: October 18, 2008, 07:47:51 PM »
I like a strongly designed circulation set with recognisable themes. Unfortunately, I find these few and far between in Latin America, but there are one-off designs from individual nations that excite me, and this is one of them:

1960. 20 centavos. The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan.
        Volcanoes Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl in background.

I do like a strong architecture / landmark / cultural artefact theme. I'm not the best of scanners, but just look at the amount of detail in the design, all crowned with the cap of liberty plus starburst. It's a design that never stands out very clearly in a coin catalogue. It was only a couple of years ago that an image of it came to my attention on ebay, and I thought, "Wow! I must have it"









 
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 01:32:42 PM by <k> »

Offline Prosit

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Re: My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2008, 04:00:07 AM »
Nice looking coin!!!!

A story I like to tell over and over and over an over....

One time I collected modern Mexican Cinco Centavos....
I chose a modern design series that I thought would be easy to do, nothing in it that cost more than US $0.25.  It took me like 4 years to complete it.  I gave it to a friend's son of hispanic heritage as I thought it might provide some cutural heritage connection for him...

I have reason to believe he hasn't looked at it since.

Oh well, I tried...

Dale

Offline Figleaf

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Re: My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2008, 01:09:58 PM »
I have personal memories of this pyramid. I was touring Mexico and I'd visited some of the major sites, including Uxmal, a living hell even if you don't have fear of heights. Climbing down a pyramid had become a rite of passage. I was scared out of my wits each time I had to come down, knowing I must. I had steeled myself for Teotihuacan, only to find that it was pretty easy, so I could be gallant to some female companions who were doing their first Mexican pyramid :D, thinking all the while "you ain't seen nuttin' yet" >:D

BTW, the cactuses in the foreground produce pretty good fruit that's hard to eat. Americans call them "prickly pear". Which brings me to the question of whether there's an agave on any Mexican coin. I expect not.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 01:13:27 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Galapagos

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Re: My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2008, 01:27:38 PM »
I have personal memories of this pyramid. I was touring Mexico and I'd visited some of the major sites, including Uxmal, a living hell even if you don't have fear of heights. Climbing down a pyramid had become a rite of passage. I was scared out of my wits each time I had to come down, knowing I must. I had steeled myself for Teotihuacan, only to find that it was pretty easy, so I could be gallant to some female companions who were doing their first Mexican pyramid :D, thinking all the while "you ain't seen nuttin' yet" >:D

BTW, the cactuses in the foreground produce pretty good fruit that's hard to eat. Americans call them "prickly pear". Which brings me to the question of whether there's an agave on any Mexican coin. I expect not.

Peter
Figleaf, not being the plucky sort, I envy and don't envy your experiences, in equal measure. I'd forgotten to mention the cacti. Just another detail that makes this such a marvellous design. You'd be hard pushed to find a better one of a pyramid.

I'm not a botanist and previously had only noted agave on African coins, so I'm surprised to hear it grows in the Americas too.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2008, 01:37:46 PM »
The agave is ubiquitous in Mexico and it is an extremely useful plant. The sides of its leaves can be used for making rope, the thorns for making an instant needle and thread or a pen, some of the flowers are edible and flower stalks can be cut into flutes but most importantly, its juices are the basis of Pulque, Mezcal and Tequila, potent alcoholic drinks. This is why I doubt the plant figures on a Mexican coin.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Galapagos

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Re: My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2008, 01:42:10 PM »
The agave is ubiquitous in Mexico and it is an extremely useful plant. The sides of its leaves can be used for making rope, the thorns for making an instant needle and thread or a pen, some of the flowers are edible and flower stalks can be cut into flutes but most importantly, its juices are the basis of Pulque, Mezcal and Tequila, potent alcoholic drinks. This is why I doubt the plant figures on a Mexican coin.

Peter
I thought the Mexicans would be proud of their indigenous drinks. But I believe their ancestors went in for still stronger stuff on those pyramids: hauling up their human sacrifices, ripping out their hearts, then eating them. Incidentally, Smurfie, you never told us whether all your female companions who went UP the pyramid also came back DOWN...

Offline Figleaf

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Re: My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2008, 01:50:58 PM »
BCN: don't forget the pyramids on the money of Egypt and the United States.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2008, 02:03:57 PM »
Galapagos, them was funny people. They were playing games with rubber balls and hoops. The winner had the honour of being beheaded, so he could convey a wish list of the locals to the gods.

One pyramid that is not likely to make it to a coin is in the Netherlands. There is another one in Belgium that ought to have a better chance, as it marks the place where the battle of Waterloo was fought with a monument, topped by a lion. Both date from the Napoleonic era.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline chrisild

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Re: My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2008, 02:31:27 PM »
That Pyramid of the Sun I remember all too well. We were in Mexico (City) in '06 and also took a few trips outside the inner city, like Xochimilco and, of course, Teotihuacán. We had seen pictures of the pyramids before, but when we got there, we saw awfully long lines, in front of the structure and all the way up and down. Huh?

Well, that is what you get when you go to Teotihuacán on the day of the Spring Equinox. Boy, did we feel dumb. ::)

The Pyramid of the Moon is a little lower but more difficult to climb. Initially we wanted to "do" it too, but the Sun Pyramid took so darn long ... However, the view from above was magnificent (even worth that sunburn ...). And in a way it was an interesting experience to be there with so many others. Except most of them were probably well aware of the special significance of this date, hehe.

Christian

Offline Figleaf

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Re: My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2008, 02:49:02 PM »
Yes and no. During the French occupation, Auguste de Marmont, a French general with nothing to do conceived a clever plan. He had his troops throw up the pyramid with the cigar on top and clear the land around it. His intention was to construct a new town around it, getting rich from selling the land. Four houses were constructed to start the new town. He sent a flattering letter to Napoleon, suggesting that he name the pyramid. Evidently, he hoped it would be named Marmont. In this way, he'd have the approval of the emperor for the use of the troops and a grandiose monument for himself. Instead, Napoleon sent the letter to his brother, King of Holland (sic!), who decided to name it Austerlitz. De Marmont was called to other duties and the town never developed. However, the four houses and the pyramid are still known as Austerlitz.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline a3v1

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Re: My Favourite Mexican Circulation Coin Design
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2008, 12:50:02 PM »
Funny-peculiar people indeed, Mr Figleaf! A pyramid with a chimney? Well, the Dutch do like their ciggies.
If memory serves well, the "chimney" on top of the Dutch pyramid is supposed to represent an obelisk, yet another reference to Napoleon's trip to Egypt.
Regards,
a3v1
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
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