TYPE II TYPE 2 MEXICO 1991 OnZa LIBERTAD KM-493.4

I have searched the Internet for an explanation about this variety. Let me add that my search hasn’t been that long or extremely arduous but I did make an attempt. The best explanation I heard was from a guy named Dave from Baja Numismatics. I met him for the first time at the Arlington Texas show in May 2016 when I asked to look through his stock. He was just setting up, and was kind enough to let me take a peek through his Onza boxes for sale. It’s usually best to let the dealer set up as they can get cranky, and I’m not talking about Dave. I’m talking about me when I would set up. Lol

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He handed me the first box, and I looked through multiple years. Then the second box, and spotted the Type I 1991 ONZA and Type II 1991 OnZa tabs in order. The 1991 Type I’s were too banged up for me to buy a single one. However, I scored a couple 1991 Type II’s, and kept moving along to the next few years which I thought were attractive. I picked two 2000’s, a few 2004’s, couple 2005’s, and two 2006’s. Then I picked up a very colorful 2003 2 Oz which I thought was very nicely toned.

I asked if he had any 1998’s since the first one I ever bought luckily graded MS 69 by NGC. He mentioned he had sold the better of the two 1998’s recently, and the other coin was at home in New Mexico. He looked at what I picked out, mentioned the 1991 Type II OnZa’s were only found in these sets, and the reason for the revamped die design is unknown.

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The purported mintage he mentioned to me was 50,000 sets, and I think he mentioned that the 1991 Type II OnZa may be tougher to get than the 1998 Onza. This was all new information to me. I had some idea the variety was worth more but how much more I wasn’t really sure but I took the risk. From what Dave mentioned to me I concluded the only way to get the Type II 1991 OnZa is by breaking up a 1991 mint set of five coins.

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Why the die design was switched to strike mint sets remains a mystery that maybe someone out there has an answer to share. Possibly there is no explanation for the switch from ONZA to OnZa for the year of 1991. We do know that the Mexican Mint did switch to the Type II 1991 OnZA design for the 1992 mintage, and sequential mintages up until 1995. Then the design completely changes as we know to the new “Winged Liberty” until present day 2016 when this was written.

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I’m fairly certain the 1991 Type II OnZas were not issued in mint rolls as the 1991 Type I ONZA. I have yet to see a Type II 1991 mint issued roll on eBay, and I could be completely wrong. However this was written to support the theory that only 50,000 OnZa 1991 Type II were issued and let’s take a look at the population reports.

NGC POPULATION REPORT AS OF 08/12/16 FOR THE 1991 TYPE II ONZA KM-494.3

MS 63 MS 64 Ms 65 MS 66 MS 67 MS 68 MS 69 MS 70
0          0           1           2         13          8          2         0

PCGS POPULATION REPORT AS OF 08/12/16 FOR THE 1991 TYPE II ONZA KM-494.3

MS 63 MS 64 Ms 65 MS 66 MS 67 MS 68 MS 69 MS 70
1           1          0           0          2          10         5         0

There are a total of only 45 graded 1991 Type II OnZa coins graded by both companies as of 08/12/16. In comparison to the 1998 business strike that has a low mintage of 67,000 the 1991 Type II may possibly be harder to obtain that the 1998 OnZa. Only time will tell.

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I have also discounted the fact that more may be submitted of either date in the future. Anything is possible with coins but conversely some of these coins may have been melted as well at anytime. These are unknowns and we can base some type of logical conclusion by what data is available today.

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Prices fluctuate with demand as markets may remain unpredictable. More supply may enter the marketplace at anytime to suppress prices or supply may not be available and prices may stay firm or rise. The science of trying to pinpoint prices may drive a person crazy as it’s not exact with many changing variables at anytime.

“Past prices don’t indicate future performance” is a common catch phrase used amongst those that sell financial products such as mutual funds within the investment industry. Which is true and collectibles function somewhat in the same manner. What’s hot today may not be hot tomorrow. Or. Vice versa.

Thanks for reading my thoughts, and enjoy the day.

Sincerely,

Sanjay

The 1998 Mexico Libertad / Mexican Onza , One Troy Ounce of Silver

One year that has always been in extraordinarily high demand by Libertad collectors is the 1998 Onza/Libertad 1 Oz. Silver bullion coin issued by the Mint of Mexico. This particular year had a mintage of 67,000 coins which is one of the lowest for the entire series. To collectors, this year is considered a key date that is highly sought after, and can become very pricey in high grades.

In lieu of price, here is the most recent information which is directly sourced from the Krause Price Guide by NGC.

Libertad Obverse
Libertad Obverse
Libertad Reverse
Libertad Reverse

Ungraded examples of this coin during the first half of 2016 have been selling between a range of $140-$220 on eBay, which is above book value, and some of the examples (depending on when you are reading this) that sell on the higher end of this price range are offered by sellers in Germany.

Coins marketed by some of the German sellers are sold in a capsule, which is an after market holder, and was not issued by the mint. However, these capsules do provide a high degree of protection against any damage to the rim of the coin, and prevents clanging.

image used with permission from eBay user : personalliquidation
image used with permission from eBay user : personalliquidation

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Libertads were originally issued in rolls of 20, the tube was made out of a foil like cardboard, and closed with a seal from The Mexico Mint. Bullion is extremely condition sensitive, 99.99% pure, soft, and prone to getting banged up very easily. Nowadays, Onzas are issued in plastic tubes with 25 coins per roll. Which does not solve the problem of coins rubbing against each other that are stacked.

image used with permission from eBay user : personalliquidation
image used with permission from eBay user : personalliquidation

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The mint packaging doesn’t do an adequate job of preventing abrasions on the high points of the Libertad surfaces as noted. Especially the obverse which has multiple high points, but does a good job of protecting the rim of the coins. German collectors absolutely despise rim dings. If you want to piss off your German coin collecting friend, send them a coin with rim ding, and surely they will hurl it back at you quickly!

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How did these coins make their way from Mexico to Germany? German coin companies marketed coins to their collectors on a “subscription basis” similar to magazines or also known as a “coin program”. For example, a collector may want to collect “World Silver Coins” that were minted in the past few years.

This particular 1998 Onza was one coin that was selected by the company for a coin program. These coin programs also had a buy back price, and would buy back the coin at a certain price from a collector at sometime in the future. I’m not sure how many of the coin programs are active today, but at one time they were very popular in Germany.

I’m making a case that some of the German sourced Libertad coins are well worth the premium as I see it. I sourced my 1998 Onza from a German dealer, and my example was one that had graded MS 69 as shown in a picture below. I thought the coin had an outside chance of an MS 70 grade.

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Sourcing from a dealer in Germany doesn’t guarantee a high grade example. But it seems like their current ungraded Libertad offerings have been protected better than other offerings on eBay that I’ve seen in general.

If somebody could eventually score the coveted MS 70 grade (being the highest possible) in an NGC slab/holder. I’m gonna speculate a collector wouldn’t mind forking over $1,500+ for a pristine example.

To date there are no examples that are graded at the MS 70 level at either grading service to my knowledge for this date. NGC slabs are trading at a premium to PCGS slabs. This is an observation that I have made strictly from monitoring a few eBay sales as a venue for data, and I personally think the Onza looks more attractive in an NGC slab.

Most graded Libertads will have to be at a minimum grade level of MS 67 or higher to obtain any premium above the Krause Price Guide listed from what I have noticed. But keep in mind prices will fluctuate based on supply and demand, and can vary very greatly at anytime. An example graded NGC MS 69 that ended May 9th 2016 recently fetched $809.99 + shipping on eBay.

The above eBay linked/pictured example was sold by me, with 20+ watchers, and the listing was very active. I received a few questions, and one of the most interesting questions I received was, “Are there any tiny milk spots on any sides of the coin?” It seems bullion collectors are looking for the most pristine examples. Bullion coins in the past few years have been developing “white spots”, aesthetically they are not at all attractive, and you can read more about milk spots in the following article from Coinweek.

A growing number of the population within the United States is of Mexican American ethnicity. Many collectors like to collect a part of their heritage as I’ve noticed in the past as a dealer. Trends do come and go with all collectibles markets, and some take longer to develop as well. But this is one trend that is likely to continue for many years to come as I see it. Especially with the diversity of coin collectors in general.

If you are considering purchasing the 1998 Libertad or any coin for that matter. Do your due diligence. Make sure to check the sellers description, and pictures as well. Most eBay sellers are accurate about describing items, and offer money back guarantees minus return shipping.  To avoid any grading surprises collectors may want to consider buying a coin that is already graded by either NGC or PCGS.

This bullion series has very limited mintages, a beautiful design pattern, and a growing collector base as well. Together, demand may outstrip supply for many more dates that are readily available today. With that being said, the price of the 1998 Onza/Libertad will remain a key date, and remain in high demand for many years to come by collectors. “So don’t delay act now supplies are running out” are lyrics that come to my mind by Smashmouth from a song which they sang sometime ago. But only time will tell. And so will the supply!

Thanks for reading my coin conjecture-

Stay tuned for more soon-

Sincerely-

Sanjay