Mexico:50 Centavos 1955-1983 Cuauhtemoc


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1955-1983
Number of Types: 3
Composition: Bronze (1955-59), Copper-Nickel (1964-83)
Type 2 & 3 Comp: Copper-Nickel
Diameter: 33 mm (1955-59), 25 mm (1964-83)
Weight: 14 grams (1955-59), 6.5 (1964-83)
Total Series Mintage: 1,641,382,000
Type 1 Mintage: 52,360,000
Type 2 Mintage: 283,080,000
Type 3 Mintage: 1,305,942,000
Obverse Design: National Arms
Reverse Design: Bust Design


In 1950 the Mexico City Mint introduced a new 50 centavo coinage with a design featuring the Aztec King Cuauhtemoc. Unfortunately the new design did not circulate well and the series quickly ended in 1951 making this a two year only type coin.

By 1955 the Mexico City Mint had to produce coinage to meet demand and once again the 50 centavos coin would be minted and the Cuauhtemoc theme would be used but with a completely different design approach. Unlike its predecessor, the design proved popular and coinage would last until 1983.


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 Aztec King Cuauhtemoc in a ceremonial headdress. On the outer periphery is the denomination “CINCUENTA” (fifty) "CENTAVOS" and below is the mint mark for the Mexico City Mint “Mo”.

Obverse Reverse


In its 28 year run the series had a total of three different type coins. The first type was minted with a bronze composition and was a large coin measuring 33mm. By 1964 composition was changed to copper nickel and the diameter was reduced to 25mm. In 1970 coinage would undergo one last change by introducing a new obverse design which featured a modern version of the national coat of arms.

Type 1 Bronze Issue – 1955 to 1959
Type 2 Copper-Nickel – 1964 to 1969
Type 3 New Obverse – 1970 to 1983

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

General Market Notes

Excluding errors, the key to the series is the first year of issue 1955. All other examples are readily available and affordable.

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