Mexico:20 Centavos 1943-1974 Pyramid of the Sun


Quick Coinage Facts

Number of Types: 3
Years Minted: 1943-1974
Composition: Bronze
Diameter: 28.5 mm
Weight: 10 grams
Total Series Mintage: 891,924,000 (approximate)
Obverse Design: National Arms
Reverse Design: Pyramid


In 1943 the Mexico City Mint would replace its circulating silver 20 centavos coin with a larger bronze issue with a new design featuring the Pyramid of the Sun.

The Pyramid of the Sun is one of Mexico’s most famous landmarks located in the ancient pre-Columbian holy city of Teotihuacan and is also the 3rd largest pyramid in the world. The design was unique to Mexico and proved extremely popular as it remained in production until 1974.


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 the Pyramid of the Sun in front of the mountain Cerro Gordo. Above the pyramid is a Phrygian Cap with Rays, the legend “LIBERTAD” is engraved into the cap and the cap divides the denomination “20”. Immediately above the pyramid is the mint mark “Mo” for the Mexico City Mint.

At the base of the pyramid is name of the ancient holy city of Teotihuacan, Beneath the design is the word “CENTAVOS” and year of issue.

Obverse Reverse


Throughout the entire series the only changes involved were with the obverse design and there were three distinct designs used:
Type 1 Obverse – 1943 to 1955
Type 2 Obverse – 1955 to 1971
Type 3 Obverse – 1971 to 1974

Type 1 Obverse Type 2 Obverse Type 3 Obverse

General Market Notes

Coins were produced in significant numbers and coins are affordable in high grades. The closest to a key and semi-key for the series would be the 1951 & 1959 issues but only in a condition of uncirculated or brilliant uncirculated.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.