In 1983 the Mexico City Mint circulated the Cuauhtemoc 50 centavos coinage alongside a new 50 centavos coin with a design that honored the ancient Mayan city state of Palenque.
Palenque was not the largest or most powerful of the Mayan city states it was the most architecturally advanced that produced the finest buildings and monuments of the Mayan civilization. Modern archaeological finds have also produced some the most well preserved painted art and hieroglyphics.
Unfortunately, due to hyperinflation, the 50 centavos denomination, as well as all minor centavo coinage, would cease to be issued and by the end of 1983 the series came to an abrupt end making this a short lived one year type coin. This would remain the last 50 centavos coin until 1993 when coinage reform was introduced by President Carlos Salinas de Gortari in an attempt to reign in hyperinflation and centavo coinage returned to circulating coins.
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 representation of one of Palenque’s most famous rulers Pacal the Great. To the left of the design is the denomination “50 C” and “PALENQUE”. To the right of the design near the base of the neck is the mint mark “Mo” for the Mexico City Mint.
General Market Notes
With close to 100 million coins minted, coins are readily available and affordable in all grades. The only expensive pieces are proof issues as only 53 proofs were minted.