The Banco de Mexico has released new commemorative 20-peso coins in observance of the bicentenary anniversary of one of the country’s most prestigious military academies. It was in 1818 that plans for a military academy were first proposed by Diego Garcia Conde, a former Spanish military officer who served in the Mexican Army. Such an academy required approval from the-then Mexican imperial government and through the Imperial War Ministry. In 1823, Emperor Agustin de Iturbide ordered that the former Inquisition Palace complex become the new location for the newly founded Military College of Mexico and the Military Cadet Academy and Engineer’s Training School. These academies were all under the governorship of its new director, now Brigadier Diego Garcia Conde. In 1824, and in compliance with an order from the president of Mexico’s new republic, 18 cadets of the Military College of Mexico, and with the approval of then-college director Col. Juan Dominguez y Galvez, became the first cadets of the newly established Naval Aspirants College and the Tlacotalpan Nautical School, who would be trained to become the Mexican Navy’s future ship officers. The addition of the word “Heroic” was added to the college’s name during the Mexican-American War against the United States from 1846 to 1848. During Mexico’s civil war from 1858 to 1861, and due to the many casualties suffered by cadets in the conflict, the college was closed at the end of the war. The academy was re-established in 1867, with the college becoming an academy exclusively for the Mexican Army in 1897, following the establishment of the Military Naval School in Veracruz.
The College’s distinctive uniform has evolved over time since its founding but was initially inspired by the uniform worn by soldiers who served in the Trigarante (or Three Guarantor’s Army) who fought in the Mexican War of Independence. The current uniform, consisting of the dress black double-breasted frock coat with crimson collars and cuffs, black velvet wallets and moroccos with double rows of seven golden buttons, was introduced in 1947. The last change was that of the black kepí shakó headdress, which was added in 1960 and completes the same standard uniform worn by both men and women cadets since 2007. From 1879, the official emblem consisted of a shield depicting two crossed cannons with their mouths upward, above them a torch with a flame, above them a basket, finished at the top and after the fire of the torch. The college’s mascot has been the royal or golden eagle, which was also adopted as the national symbol of Mexico. The college’s motto Por el Honor de Mexico (“For Mexico’s Honour”), was adopted in 1947 on the centenary anniversary of the addition of the word “Heroic” to the Military College’s name. The present purpose-built campus located in the Tlalpan Borough of Mexico City was inaugurated in 1976 and sustained significant damage in the earthquake of 1985.
The 2023-dated circulation-quality 20-peso 12-sided bi-metallic coins are produced by the Casa de Moneda de Mexico at their facilities in San Luis Potosí, on behalf of the Banco de Mexico. Founded in 1535, they are the oldest functioning mint in North America. The obverse side includes an image of the official shield insignia of the Heroic Mlitary College, which depicts two crossed cannons and a torch with a flame. Above the primary design is the commemorative text SECRETARÍA DE LA DEFENSA NACIONAL BICENTENARIO DEL HEROICO COLEGIO MILITAR 1823-2023 (“Secretary of National Defense Bicentenary of the Heroic Military College 1823-2023”) placed along the upper rim. Below the crest are the insignias of the arms of Cavalry, Infantry, Artillery, Armored Weapons, and Sappers and of the services of Military Police and Superintendents. Below the primary design is the denomination of $20, and to the right is the distinctive M° mintmark of the Mexican Mint. A latent image composed of the number 20 is placed to the right of the crest, and to the left is the micro-text POR EL HONOR DE MÉXICO, the official motto of the college. The coins include the standard reverse side design, which depicts the national coat of arms comprising a Mexican golden eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus, devouring a rattlesnake in its talon. Above the crest is the text ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS (“United Mexican States”).
|12.6 g||30 mm||Uncirculated||
The Banco de Mexico or the Casa de Moneda de Mexico does not retail collector coins directly to the public but does have a vast network of distribution internationally. For additional information, please visit their website.