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One of the Most Sought After Rarities Minted During the Mexican Revolution

By Todd McKenna, Numismatist

Author: Todd McKenna / Monday, October 29, 2012 / Categories: World Coin of the Week
his week we highlight one of the most sought after rarities minted during the Mexican Revolution. The 1915 Suriana 2 Pesos was produced in the state of Guerrero, which had been a hotbed of rebellion since the onset of the revolution in 1910 and had even been home to minor rebellions against the government of Porfirio Diaz since the 1870s. During the period this coin was struck, the Ejercito Libertador del Sur controlled the area under the leadership of Emiliano Zapata. By this point in the constantly evolving political landscape of the revolution, Victoriano Huerta had resigned the Presidency of Mexico and hostilities between the combined forces of Venustiano Carranza and Alvaro Obregon against Francisco “Pancho” Villa had broken out. This left Zapata alone in the south defending the lands under his control without making further strides to gain more territory.

Like many of the coins minted in areas under Zapata’s control, this coin contains the legend, “REFORMA, LIBERTAD, JUSTICIA Y LEY” (Reform, Freedom, Justice and Law) which was taken from his Plan de Ayala of 1911. Like the previous series of 2 Pesos from Guerrero this coins depicts the Mexican eagle emblem and a volcanic mountain range under a sun face. However, the Suriana pieces are made special (and considerably more rare) by the addition of the name of the local Suriana region under the mountains. Most issues from this and the preceding series have considerable unevenness in the strike; this appears on the piece we present but to a minimal extent with all elements struck up and visible. Adding to this better strike is the even, attractive toning with areas of luster still remaining in protected areas. Garnering a grade of NGC AU-58 the preservation of this piece is an impressive feat when one considers that in the year following its striking, General Pablo Gonzalez laid waste to the south of Mexico after being dispatched by Carranza to defeat the Zapatatistas. After three years of pursuit Zapata was assassinated on 10 April 1919 having been double-crossed by one of Gonzalez’s colonels who had posed as a defector.

Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio will be bringing this desirable and classic rarity of the Mexican Revolution to auction at the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expo in Baltimore this November. The entire sale will be available for viewing before the sale in our Irvine CA (Oct. 23-30) and New York City offices (Nov. 6-10). We encourage all who are interested in this viewing to contact our offices and set up an appointment. For those unable to attend either viewing, the entire sale will be available online at StacksBowers.com.