Mexico: 5 Centavos 1936-1942 Aztec Calendar


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1936-1942
Composition: Copper-Nickel
Diameter: 20.5 mm
Weight: 4 grams
Total Series Mintage: 129,000,000
Obverse Design: National Arms
Reverse Design: Denomination


In 1936, a new 5 centavos coin with a composition of copper-nickel was introduced as a replacement for the previous bronze 5 centavos coin that ran from 1914 to 1935.

Besides a different composition, the new coin was smaller in diameter (20.5 mm versus 28 mm) and all coins were minted at the Mexico City Mint from 1936 to 1942 but no coins were issued in 1939 & 1941.


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 denomination “5 CENTAVOS” within the Aztec Stone Calendar. Above the denomination is the year of issue. All coins were minted at the Mexico City Mint and display an “M” mint mark in between the year of issue and denomination.

Obverse Reverse

General Market Notes

The key to the series is the 1938 issue.

Considering the series is such a short run (only minted for 5 different years) there are quite a few examples available to collectors (129 million total coins issued). With a high total series mintage, prices are fairly reasonable with the exception of 1938 issues and this includes uncirculated examples.

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