In 1930, during the depth of the Great Depression, Uruguay produced a tiny quantity of only 14,415 brilliant uncirculated 5 Pesos Gold coins commemorating the 100th anniversary of the republic. The coins feature a portrait of Jose Artigas, the “Father of his country.” Each coin contains ¼ oz. of pure gold, a little more than a U.S. $5 gold coin. Interestingly, the United States stopped minting the $2 ½ and $5 gold coins after 1929, and the 1930 $10 and $20 denominations are extremely rare, valued at over $10,000 each in brilliant uncirculated quality! So if you are looking for a 1930 gold coin from the Americas at a reasonable price – here it is!
José Gervasio Artigas 1764-1850) is revered as Uruguay's greatest national hero. He is regarded as the father of Uruguayan independence. In his youth Artigas was a gaucho in what is now Uruguay. Allied with the Buenos Aires junta, he fought for independence from Spain and won a brilliant victory at Las Piedras. His insistence on federalism against the efforts of Buenos Aires to assert control over the entire region led to civil war. He ruled over a portion of what is now Uruguay and central Argentina until a Portuguese invasion forced him into exile in 1820 in Paraguay. Uruguay achieved independence in 1828. The constitution was approved officially on July 18, 1830, after having been ratified by Argentina and Brazil. It established a representative unitary republic--the República Oriental del Uruguay (Oriental Republic of Uruguay), the word oriental (eastern) representing the legacy of the original designation of the territory as the Banda Oriental.
Today José Gervasio Artigas is remembered on the anniversary of his birth with a national holiday. A department (state) of Uruguay is named after him, as are countless public monuments, schools, buildings, radio stations and even an Antarctic base.