Story Of A Gold Coin

December 4, 2018

As I was shuffling papers in some old files, I came across a slip of paper on which I had written down the price I had paid for a Mexican $50 gold peso coin: $717 Mexican pesos.

Judging from the price, I figure that the purchase was made sometime in 1972, when the price of a Troy ounce of gold was $46 dollars. The Mexican $50 gold peso coin contains 37.5 grams of pure gold, and 37.5/31.1 grams per Troy ounce, is 1.206: so there is 1.206 times more gold in a Mexican $50 gold peso piece, that in a Troy ounce of gold.

Thus, $46 dollars per ounce x 1.206 = $55.48 dollars as the value of the gold in the $50 gold peso coin, in 1972.

The rate of exchange Dollar/Peso in 1972 was $12.50 Mexican pesos per dollar, so $55.48 US x $12.50 = $693.50 pesos. I paid $717 pesos, because gold coins are always sold for a small percentage more than the price of bullion gold; in this case, the surcharge was for 3.4%.

The international price of an ounce of gold, as of last Friday, November 30, closed at $1,222.10 dollars. The rate of exchange was at $20.40 Mexican pesos per dollar. So today's price of the Mexican $50 gold peso coin should be close to $1,222.10 x $20.40 x 1.206 = $30,067 pesos. The quote this morning is: $30,890 pesos.

So my investment of $717 pesos, made 46 years ago, has turned into an investment worth $30,890 pesos today. Looks like a good investment.

But there's a lot more! Because back in 1993, our President Salinas de Gortari chopped three zeroes off the rate of exchange. So actually, the $717 pesos I invested turned into - $30,890,000 of the old pesos!

Mexico has a brand-new President. Nobody has any idea what the peso/dollar rate of exchange will be, when his term is over in 2024. I really don't care, for I don't expect to live another six years. But for the time being, I am not selling my $50 gold peso coin.

Originally posted at 

Hugo Salinas Price is a Mexican citizen, born in the USA of an American mother and a Mexican father. He is 81 years of age. Married for 58 years to a Mexican wife; they have 18 grandchildren. He dropped out of three universities: Wharton, Monterrey Tec (Mexico) and National Autonomous University of Mexico.  Hugo started out in business life in 1952 as a General Manager of a tiny company manufacturing radios in Mexico City. He was 20 years old at the time and soon learned about the importance of having funds to meet the pay-roll every Friday. The company was owned by his father, and gradually turned into a manufacturing company with its own retailing branch, selling all sorts of consumer goods, including its own TVs.  His website is

Gold is still being mined and refined at the rate of almost 2,600 tonnes per year.