By the late 1960’s the price of silver was soaring making it not profitable to coin circulating silver coinage. Mints all over the world began withdrawing silver coinage and replacing it with copper-nickel versions. Yet continuing into the 1970’s Mexico was continuing to produce circulation silver coinage.
In 1977, Mexico introduced its first ever 100 Pesos coin, a crown sized coin struck in silver of .720 fineness and .6429 ounces of silver at the legendary Mexico City Mint. But by the late 1970’s the price of silver had risen to such a cost that it became no longer practical for the Mexico City Mint to continue production and the series was replaced after 1979 with a smaller base-metal coin. It was one of the world’s last circulating coins struck in silver.
The obverse design features the Mexican coat of arms, an eagle clutching a snake while it perches on a prickly pear cactus. On the outer periphery is the phrase “ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS” or as translated to english United Mexican States.
The reverse design features a bust portrait of José María Morelos. To the left of the bust is the denomination “CIEN” (100) “PESOS” and to the right is the year of issue and mint mark Mo. Below the bust design are the words “PLATA PURA” (Pure Silver) and “20 Gr. LEY .720”.
The coin edge is lettered with the phrase “INDEPENDENCIA Y LIBERTAD” (Independence and Liberty).
José María Morelos
José María Morelos was one of Mexico’s most noted and legendary heroes of the revolutionary war with Spain. Originally a catholic priest, Morelos was recruited into the rebellion by leader Miguel Hidalgo and his strategic prowess quickly gave him the rank of colonel.
He became leader of the rebellion after Hidalgo's death in 1811. He won 22 victories, secured most of the Pacific coast line from the Spanish and helped in forming the National Constituent Congress of Chilpancingo. In November of 1815 he was defeated in Tezmalaca was taken prisoner and brought to Mexico City where he was tried and executed by firing squad on December 22, 1815 for treason.
In his honor, the state of Morelos and city of Morelia are named after him. Besides the 100 Pesos coin Morelos' legacy has also been portrayed on the 50 peso note and 1 peso coins from 1947 to 1987.
General Market Notes
Issued for circulation, very few saw actual use and many survivors exist in high grades.