Coin and Paper Money Collecting/Unknown Gold coin/medal



I have one of those coins that says "estados unidos mexicanos" on the back, with the eagle grasping a serpent, standing on a bent up cactus. But I haven't seen other descriptions of what's on the front to compare it to. Mine has a shield with a crown on top, a castle in the middle held on both sides by what looks like ferrets.
Written on it is "cuidad de mexico  jefe del departamento del distrito federal". It weighs 37.6 grams and has "Independance" and Libertad" on the edge.  It fully tests as Gold even up to 22k.
What is it?  (pic attached)

1921-1947 Mexico 50 peso
1921-1947 Mexico 50 pe  
Hi Jeff,
This is an interesting item. It's a Mexican gold 50 peso coin of the 1921 to 1947 type that an engraver or jeweler turned into a medal by grinding down one side and putting a custom design into it. It appears to be something given to a person in office, as it states in Spanish "department head of the federal district" of Mexico City. Unfortunately there is not a name of a person engraved on it who it was given to, that would increase the value. An auction estimate on this piece would be gold bullion value, considering the damage. Without damage I would expect around 15% above bullion value or even slightly more. A dealer direct sale price will be higher than an auction estimate, with the main difference being that an auction is a quick sale while dealer inventory often takes a long time to sell.
Thanks for the question! =)

Coin and Paper Money Collecting

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Dmitry Livshits


My specialty is world coins from the 18th to 20th centuries, primarily non-US foreign coins and related areas such as errors and exonumia (tokens, medals, etc.). I can answer questions relating to identification, grading, selling, preservation and evaluation of such items. In addition to catalog value, I can give you the practical market value and trends for specific types of coins. I will also take questions regarding counterfeits (both modern and antique) and on how to identify them. I am NOT knowledgeable in paper money/banknotes, ancient or "shipwreck" coins. Thank you.


Collector of world coins since early childhood. Access to a variety of auction records and reference material. You can also find me on Facebook.

A.S. in Psychology (2006), B.A. in Forensic Psychology (2008), M.A. in Forensic Psychology (2011).

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