The Mexican Libertad is a bullion gold coin issued by the Casa de Moneda de Mexico from 1981. It is legal tender in Mexico. Until 1990 the coin’s purity stood at .900 (21.6 karat). From 1991 the fineness was increased to .999 (24-karat) and the denominations expanded from 1/4oz, 1/2oz, 1 ounce to also include 1/20oz and 1/10oz. Sometimes these two kinds of gold coins are distinguished as Libertad I and Libertad II. Apart from the difference in purity, the 2. Libertad had a bigger size and different carving.
After a two year break, in 1996 the Central Bank of Mexico issued the Libertad III. Changes are an optimized minting technique and a slightly different motive. The Libertad is also known as Onza, the Spanish word for ounce. The coin is one of the few billions without a face value.
The obverse shows the winged Victoria, the godness of victory, representing Mexico’s independence. The motive is inspired by the monument El Angel de la Independencia in Mexico City. The background shows the Mexican grassland with the volcanos Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl. This part of the coin also shows the fineness and year of minting. In 1996 the perspective changed and Victoria’s Laureal wreath was removed.
The reverse depicts Mexico’s national emblem and the inspricption “Estados Unidos Mexicanos”. Since 2000 the one ounce coins show ten historical variations of Mexico’s coat of arms surrounding the current coat of arms. Initially the edge was smooth and bore the inscription Independencia y Libertad. Since 1990 the edge is reeded.
The one-ounce first Libertad was minted with 175,000 pieces. The 2. Libertad 1oz coin was issued in only lower numbers of between between 500 and 15,000 coins per year.