header Notes Collection

20 Pesos 1994, Mexico

in Krause book Number: 106a
Years of issue: 06.05.1994
Edition: 130 000 000
Signatures: Cajero Principal: Jaime Pacreo Vizcaya, Junta de Gobierno: Jesus Marcos Yacaman
Serie: Serie 1994 - 2007
Specimen of: 06.05.1994
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 120 x 66
Printer: Banco de México, Mexico

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

20 Pesos 1994




20 Pesos 1994

Benito Pablo Juárez García

The engraving on banknote is made after this photo of Benito Juárez.

Benito Pablo Juárez García (21 March 1806 - 18 July 1872) was a Mexican lawyer and politician of Zapotec origin from Oaxaca who served as the president of Mexico for five terms: 1858-1861 as interim, then 1861-1865, 1865-1867, 1867-1871 and 1871-1872 as constitutional president. He resisted the French occupation of Mexico, overthrew the Second Mexican Empire, restored the Republic, and used liberal measures to modernize the country.


The current coat of arms of Mexico has been an important symbol of Mexican politics and culture for centuries. The coat of arms depicts a Mexican Golden Eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus devouring a snake. To the people of Tenochtitlan this would have strong religious connotations, but to the Europeans, it would come to symbolize the triumph of good over evil.

The coat of arms recalls the founding of Mexico City, then called Tenochtitlan. The legend of Tenochtitlan as shown in the original Mexica codices, paintings, and post-Cortesian codices do not include a snake. While the Fejérváry-Mayer codex depicts an eagle attacking a snake, other Mexica illustrations, like the Codex Mendoza, show only an eagle, while in the text of the Ramírez Codex, Huitzilopochtli asked the Tenochtitlan people to look for an eagle devouring a snake, perched on an prickly pear cactus. In the text by Chimalpahin Cuauhtlehuanitzin, the eagle is devouring something, but it is not mentioned what it is. Still other versions show the eagle clutching the Aztec symbol of war, the Atl-Tlachinolli glyph, or "burning water". The original meanings of the symbols were different in numerous aspects. The eagle was a representation of the sun god Huitzilopochtli, who was very important, as the Mexicas referred to themselves as the "People of the Sun". The cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica), full of its fruits, called "nochtli" in Nahuatl, represent the island of Tenochtitlan. To the Mexicas, the snake represented wisdom, and it had strong connotations with the god Quetzalcoatl. The story of the snake was derived from an incorrect translation of the Crónica mexicáyotl by Fernando Alvarado Tezozómoc. In the story, the Nahuatl text ihuan cohuatl izomocayan, "the snake hisses", was mistranslated as "the snake is torn". Based on this, Father Diego Durán reinterpreted the legend, so that the eagle represents all that is good and right, while the snake represents evil and sin. Despite its inaccuracy, the new legend was adopted because it conformed with European heraldic tradition. To the Europeans it would represent the struggle between good and evil. Although this interpretation does not conform to pre-Columbian traditions, it was an element that could be used by the first missionaries for the purposes of evangelism and the conversion of the native peoples.

Two vertical lines are on the top left side for the visually impaired.

Denomination is lower, in center.


20 Pesos 1994


Hemicycle to Benito Juarez.

Located on Avenida Juarez in the Alameda Central, the oldest public park in the city of Mexico and the American continent, the Hemicycle to Juarez is a cenotaph, an empty tomb, erected in honor of Benito Juarez García, former Mexican president, who is buried in the Pantheon of San Fernando, one of the oldest cemeteries in the capital.

This building in Carrara marble was built in 1910 by order of Porfirio Diaz, who led the opening ceremony on September 18, 1910 as part of the celebrations of the Centenary of Independence.

Description of the Hemicycle to Juarez:

Designed by architect Guillermo Heredia, the Hemicycle to Juarez is the most important monument dedicated to the Glory of the Americas.

It has a height of 7 meters and a weight of 70 tons. The sculptures that adorn it were made by the Italian sculptor Lanzaroni.

The central part of the monument, flanked by four Doric columns on each side, holds a scallop and a medallion made up laurels in the center in which you can read the following legend: "To the Glorious Benito Juárez. The Fatherland."

At the bottom is the symbolic tomb crowned by the Republican eagle with open wings. Its base is adorned with a pre-Hispanic border and is supported by a lion lying on each side.

The sculpture that tops the Chamber represents Benito Juarez seated between two allegories: the country, on the right, which is crowned with laurels, and the Law.

Lower, on the right side, is an emblem of Bank of Mexico.

Denomination in numeral is in top right corner. In words in lower left corner.


Banknote Serie J.

Designer: J. Peral.

Engraver: M. Sasian.


I got this banknote in summer 1998, when I was in Mexican town Nogales.