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1/22/2010
2010 Libertad Proof Brilliant Uncirculated Silver Coins!

2010 Mexico Libertads Feature "Angel of Independence"

The Mexico Libertad coins were first minted in 1982, featuring a beautiful winged angel design, with the storied "Lovers' Peaks" in the background. They were modified in 1996 to "make them more attractive," according to the Mexican Mint. That design, which appears again on the new 2010 silver Libertads, features the Angel of Independence (El Ángel )—an eight ton golden statue designed by Enrique Alciati—on top of a tall slender column in Mexico City. The Corinthian-style column is adorned by four eagles with extended wings from the Mexican coat-of-arms used at the time of construction. Likewise, the reverse of the new Libertad silver coins also feature the Mexican coat-of-arms (an eagle with a snake in its mouth, standing on a cactus) as it has appeared over the years.

El Ángel was built to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico’s War of Independence, celebrated in 1910. In later years it was made into a mausoleum for the most important heroes of that war, including Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, leader of the Revolution and considered "Father of the Nation." Crowning the 36 meter column is the 6.7 meter Winged Victory sculpture that gives the name to the monument and is now featured on Mexico’s popular Libertad coins. It is made of bronze, covered with 24 kt gold, and weighs 7 tons. In her right hand El Ángel holds a laurel crown, symbolizing Victory, while in her left hand she holds a broken chain, symbolizing Freedom.

Sculptor Enrique Alciati moved from his native France to Mexico City c.1889, where he quickly won critical acclaim for his busts of Mexican personalities. In 1891 he was commissioned by the Mexican government to create statues of national heroes for Paseo de la Reforma, in Mexico City, and at the beginning of the 20th century he was commissioned by President Porfirio Díaz to create most of the sculptures for the Independence Column. Alciati’s sculpture of the Winged Victory suffered severe damage during an earthquake on July 28, 1957 when it fell to the ground and broke into several pieces. After restoration, the monument was reopened on September 16, 1958.

 

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