“Reales de Morelos” the first authentically Mexican coin


“El Generalísimo”, as head of the Insurgent movement, minted coins in the towns of Tecpan, Huautla, Oaxaca, Acapulco, Tlacotepec, Chilpancingo, Cerro de Atijo and Tehuacán.

José María Morelos y Pavón , upon assuming the leadership of the Insurgent movement of the War of Independence, was the first to issue a currency in Mexico independently of the kingdom of Spain.

It was a currency of necessity in order to cover the shortage of money to pay the needs of the Insurgent Army, among them the salaries of the troops, their livelihoods and war supplies.

In October 1810, Morelos was commissioned by Miguel Hidalgo to organize an army in the south of the country, and he was at the head of the insurgent movement in March 1811 after the capture of the “Father of the Nation.”

This milestone marked the second stage of the struggle for Independence, in which the purposes of the movement were clearly defined in the document “Feelings of the Nation”, which proposed for the first time the independence of Mexico from Spain.

Morelos minted copper coins between 1811 and 1814, which were equivalent to promises of payment, in silver or gold, when the war triumphed.

According to the ” History of the currency and the note ” of the Bank of Mexico (Banxico), the Morelos was the first fiduciary currency in the country, since its intrinsic value is less than its legal nominal value set by the issuer.

It is also considered the first truly Mexican coin , in which any allusion to the Spanish kingdom is excluded.

The entire viceroyalty suffered from a shortage of money, so the insurgent movement had to mint its own currency with rudimentary means and with little silver, so the most abundant were copper.

The coin presents on the obverse the Morelos monogram accompanied by the denomination and the year of minting.

On the reverse there is a bow with an arrow and underneath the word SUD, the finish is rough.

There were two varieties of this coin, one simple and the other with vegetal ornaments, and pieces of 8, 2, 1 and 1/2 real were produced.

After the siege of Cuautla, Morelos spent a few months in Tehuacán, and when leaving this city he left the insurgent Manuel Mier y Terán in his place, who produced a type of coin with the initials TC between the bow and the word SUD, with a better finish.

According to Banxico, some scholars consider that the letters TC mean that the minting was made in Tierra Caliente, but for others, it means Tlacotepec or Torres de Cuautla.

The most common pieces of this coin were those of 8 Reales and the rarest were those of 2 Reales and those of half a real.

Morelos found a large number of silver bars when he took Oaxaca on November 25, 1812, which allowed him to resume his minting.

These mints were both of the SUD type and of a new variety identified as Oaxaca coins.

The Morelos mints made in Oaxaca include numerous types of varieties, values ​​, and materials since they used silver and copper.

Source: El Universal

Mexico Daily Post