Mexico’s bank began to issue a new and elegant 12-sided $20-peso coin in 2019. In in 2021 the bank announced the gradual withdrawal of the old blue-colored $20-peso banknotes featuring Benito Juárez.
In the same year, the bank also issued a limited-edition commemorative $20-peso banknote and coins, and Since then the new $20-peso coins as well as the notes have all been circulating in tandem as legal tender.
$20-peso bills are becoming less common
The old blue-colored $20-peso notes, printed on polymer (a special type of plastic), were already becoming worn by late 2021, and now rarely change hands. (Benito Juárez’s image has been moved over to the latest $500-peso bill.)
The colorful commemorative $20-peso notes, pristine copies of which will likely become collector’s items, have been in circulation since late 2021 but they too are less commonly seen now as the new $20-peso coins are fed into general circulation in ever-greater quantities.
The idea of replacing these notes with $20-peso coins makes sense, because the denomination is versatile and often used for bus fares, and tips. The bills were thus changing hands frequently and the corresponding wear and tear is significant even for a polymer note. A coin is more convenient, and longer lasting.
$20-peso coins carry varying emblems
As is often the case with flagship coins issued by countries’ banks, the shape, size and weight of the coin remains constant but the emblems stamped on them vary over time, and some become sought after and offered at a premium to potential collectors.
This is the case with Mexico’s 12-sided $20-peso coin that has, since its inception, been stamped with a variety of Mexican historical figures including Emiliano Zapata, and key protagonists of the country’s Independence movement.
The latest $20-peso coin features two bald eagles and commemorates 200 years of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States of America.
You can expect to see these coins more often as the $20-peso banknotes leave general circulation altogether, and the coins replace them as one of the most versatile denominations for small trades, and tipping in Mexico.
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