The half peso coin was issued sporadically from 1937 to 1975. Through most of the series coins were issued with a 90% silver composition but with silver prices spiking during the 1960's coinage costs became a concern and compositions were changed to 65% silver in 1963 and then to copper/nickel beginning in 1967.
The obverse, designed by T.H. Paget, features the bust image of a native princess facing left and wearing a headdress with “LIBERTAD” inscribed on the band. On the outer periphery is the denomination “MEDIO PESO”, weight “12 ½ GRAMOS”, and year of issue. Just below the bust design are the designer’s initials “HP”.
The reverse design features the National Coat of Arms. The 1963 100th Anniversary reverse features the same reverse design with the addition of a dual date “1863 -1963” and motto on the outer periphery “CENTENARIO DE LA RESTAURACION DE LA REPUBLICA”.
In 1963, to honor of the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the republic a special one year type was issued with a modified reverse design. When the series resumed to its original design the composition would be changed to copper nickel until the end of the series in 1975.
Type 1 – Silver Composition 1937-1961 with 0.3617 ounces of silver
Type 2 – 100th Anniversary 1963 with 0.2612 ounces of silver
Type 3 – Copper Nickel 1967-1975
General Market Notes
Excluding proofs and errors, the keys to the series are the 1944 and 1947 issues in a condition of AU or higher.