Mexico: 5 Centavos 1942-1976 Josefa Domínguez


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1942-1976
Number of Types: 4
Type 1 Comp: Bronze
Type 2 Comp: Copper-Nickel
Types 3 & 4 Comp: Brass
Type 1 Dia: 25.5 mm
Types 2 & 3 Dia: 20.5 mm
Type 4 Dia: 18 mm
Type 1 Wt: 6.5 grams
Types 2 & 3 Wt: 4 grams
Type 4 Wt: 2.75 grams
Total Series Mintage: 4,264,715,000 (approximate)
Type 1 Mintage: 392,133,000
Type 2 Mintage: 5,700,000
Type 3 Mintage: 1,573,284,000 (approximate)
Type 4 Mintage: 2,293,698,000
Obverse Design: National Arms
Reverse Design: Bust Design


During the 1940’s the Mexico City Mint began portraying historical figures on circulating coinage. Interesting one of the first portraits was not that of a famous male figure but that of a female heroine from the Mexican Revolution, Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez.

While Josefa was an ardent sympathizer for people oppressed by Spanish rule it was not what she was most famous for. What sent Josefa into the history books was her role on the eve of the Independence War from Spanish colonial rule.

Josefa was married to Miguel Domínguez who at that time was a magistrate in the city of Querétaro. On the night before the start of the revolution Spainish officials requested Miguel Domínguez to conduct a house search throughout the town in order to apprehend rebel leaders and supply stocks. Though he had no proof, he did suspect his wife of being a sympathizer of the rebels and restricted Josefa to her room to prevent her from exchanging information with fellow conspirators.

Josefa eventually sent a message to the rebels allowing for famous war leaders Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and Ignacio Allende to elude capture and later declare war against the Spanish colonial authorities.


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 Josefa Domínguez. The denomination “CINCO CENTAVOS” is displayed on the periphery as is the year of issue. All coins were minted at the Mexico City Mint and display a “Mo” mint mark.

Obverse Reverse


The Josefa 5 Centavos series produced a total of 3 different obverse and reverse designs and with various combinations produced a total of 4 different type coins. Though some would argue that there are 5 types and we will leave it up to the reader to decide.

In 1960, 1962 & 1965 a handful of coins made from a copper-nickel planchet were minted and found their way into circulation (coins during this period had a brass composition). Some have classified these coins as trial pieces while others say it is a true unique circulating type coin. Without additional mint records we will stay out of this argument and simply show the major 4 coin types for the series.

Type 1 – 1942 to 1946, 1951 to 1955 with bronze composition and bust facing left
Type 2 – 1950 copper-nickel composition with new reverse and obverse
Type 3 – 1954 to 1969 with brass composition and new reverse
Type 4 – 1970 to 1976 with brass composition, new obverse and small diameter

Type 1 Obverse Type 1 Reverse Type 2 Obverse Type 2 Reverse
Type 3 Obverse Type 3 Reverse Type 4 Obverse Type 4 Reverse

General Market Notes

Excluding the debatable copper-nickel versions from 1960, 62 & 65, the key to the series is the 1942 issue and the semi-key to the series is the 1955 Type 3 issue.

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