The Finest Certified Key Date 2 Centavos

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is proud of our strong Mexican numismatic offering in our Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo. The timing is ideal to offer lot viewing in conjunction with the U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association Convention held in October in Arizona. Here we highlight a key date Mexican 1922 2 Centavos that surfaced recently under particularly unusual conditions. An individual with little to no numismatic background entered a coin store in Germany, with a handful of uncertified coins that included an assemblage of Mexican minors from the early 1920s. While they were certainly uncirculated at first glance, they did appear to be pocket change. This unassuming group of coins contained the elusive 1922 2 Centavos.

The 1922 is an extremely rare and seldom encountered key date of the 2 Centavos series. It seems likely that the mint produced the dies and struck some coins intended for circulation but never received the order from the Federal Reserve to introduce them into circulation. The Mint State grade offered here is remarkable, as this key date is typically found with wear, and usually corroded. Often times a spurious piece is found with an altered date and artificial corrosion to hide the alteration. This stellar example now provides a standard for other pieces to be analyzed against as it is the finest certified by either NGC or PCGS, with the second highest piece graded AU-58 Brown by PCGS.

The obverse design is dominated by a laurel and oak wreath, with the mintmark “Mo” monogram just below. A large “2 ¢” monogram provides the central element, with the date of 1922 just above. On the reverse, two small sprigs are bound together; one oak and the other laurel and provide the nadir of the design. Just above this, springing from a dirt mound stands the prickly pear cactus, with branches splitting off horizontally providing an excellent perch. The proud Mexican golden eagle stands defiantly atop its roost, wings spread, and clutching a writhing serpent in its talon with the serpent’s upper portion grasped by the eagle’s beak. The inscription states “ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS.” The preservation on this coin is impeccable, with attractive chocolate brown surfaces and an abundance of underlying orange mint luster. This truly remarkable coin would highlight even the finest twentieth century collection.

Look for this and other world and ancient numismatic rarities in our upcoming Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo. Preview this coin along with the rest of our auction this October at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries office located in Irvine, California. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link at To schedule an appointment, please call 800.458.4646. While our October-November Baltimore auction is no longer open for consignments, we are currently taking consignments of ancient and world coins for our January 2015 New York International Auction and our April 2015 Hong Kong Showcase Auction of Asian Coins and Currency. Time is running short, so if you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.

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