José María Morelos was one of Mexico’s most noted and legendary heroes of the revolutionary war with Spain. Originally a catholic priest, Morelos was recruited into the rebellion by leader Miguel Hidalgo and his strategic prowess quickly gave him the rank of colonel.
He became leader of the rebellion after Hidalgo's death in 1811. He won 22 victories, secured most of the Pacific coast line from the Spanish and helped in forming the National Constituent Congress of Chilpancingo. In November of 1815 he was defeated in Tezmalaca was taken prisoner and brought to Mexico City where he was tried and executed by firing squad on December 22, 1815 for treason.
The image of Morelos has been portrayed on Peso coinage from 1947 to 1987 and featured a total of 5 different portrait designs of the famous leader.
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 Morelos, the denomination, year of issue and “Mo” mint mark for the Mexico City Mint .
The Morelos Peso series produced a total of 5 different obverse and 4 reverse designs with 5 different compositions
Type 1 – 1947 to 1949 Morelos facing right, 50% Silver
Type 2 – 1950 Morelos facing left, 30% Silver
Type 3 – 1957 to 1967 Morelos facing right, 10% Silver
Type 4 – 1970 to 1983 Morelos facing left, Copper-Nickel
Type 5 – 1984 to 1987 Morelos facing right, Copper-Nickel
|Type 1 Obverse||Type 1 Reverse||Type 2 Obverse||Type 2 Reverse|
|Type 3 Obverse||Type 3 Reverse||Type 4 Obverse||Type 4 Reverse|
|Type 5 Obverse||Type 5 Reverse|
General Market Notes
The key to the series is the 1949 issue. Though records showed that 4 million coins were minted they were not formally released for circulation making and 1949 issue extremely rare.