Mexico 1878-Zs S 50 centavos

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Heritage sale 397, lot 14226
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries
Ponterio sale 159, lot 9227
photo courtesy of Ponterio & Associates
from the Mountain Groan Collection
Mexico 1878Zs 50 centavos rev DSLR.jpg

Shown is a balance scale fifty centavos, of a type struck 1869-1895. The first specimen was lot 14226 in Heritage Auctions sale 397 (New York, January 2006) where it sold for $373.75. The catalog description[1] noted, "Republic 50 Centavos 1878Zs-S, choice toned AU-UNC, very attractive and decidely scarce in this grade. The surfaces are somewhat prooflike." The second specimen was lot 9227 in Ponterio sale 159 (Baltimore, March 2011), where it sold for $862.50. The catalog description[2] noted, “MEXICO. Zacatecas. 50 Centavos, 1878-ZsS. Light attractive toning. NGC MS-64.”

This issue from Zacatecas is among the more available dates, though the SCWC gives it a 20% premium over the type coin. However, specimens in the exalted condition shown here are rare and priced accordingly. Other mints include Hermosillo, Culiacan, Durango, Mexico City, Chihuahua, Guanajuato, Alamos and Potosi. An overdate, 1878/7, is recorded for the year.

Specification: 13.54 g, .903 fine silver, .393 troy oz ASW.

Recorded mintage: 254,000 (the highest known mintage for the type).

Catalog reference: KM 407.8.


  • Buttrey, T. V., and Clyde Hubbard, A Guide Book of Mexican Coins, 1822 to date, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1992.
  • Harper, David C. [Ed.], North American Coins & Prices, 17th Ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2007.
  • [1]Tucker, Warren and Scott Cordry, Heritage Signature Auction 397: World Coins, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2005.
  • [2]Ponterio, Richard, Ponterio sale 159: the March 2011 Baltimore Auction, featuring the Len Novotny collection, Irvine, CA: Stack's-Bowers & Ponterio, 2011.

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