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5 Pesos 1969, Mexico

in Krause book Number: 60j
Years of issue: 19.11.1969
Edition: 106 500 000
Signatures: Unknown signature
Serie: Serie 1957 - 1870
Specimen of: 19.06.1957
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 157 x 67
Printer: American Bank Note Company, New - York

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5 Pesos 1969

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5 Pesos 1969

For many years, two of the lowest denomination notes circulating in Mexico were adorned with portraits of women. The 10-peso note carried a young woman in a peculiar and ornate headdress, while the 5-peso note bore the head of a lady garlanded with jewellery. Both women appear on banknotes issued by the Banco de Mexico, but one of them is not Mexican; both women have been the subject of debate, but for entirely different reasons; and both women have been identified, but, for the identity of one, a legend continues to supplant the truth.

The first of these two women to be immortalized appeared on the 5-peso notes of the Banco de Mexico, issued from its foundation in 1925 until 1972. Immediately following the issue of the banknotes, rumour spread as to the identity of the woman portrayed in the vignette, although initially she was referred to as the gitana, or "gypsy". While the identity of the "gypsy" was never officially disclosed, it was not long before the lady was determined to be Gloria Faure.

Gloria Faure and her sister Laura were two Catalonian ‘artistes’ who were performing in Mexico around 1925. The ladies were reported to have shared their favours with a number of influential men in Mexico and Gloria was said to be the mistress of Alberto J. Pani, the Minister of Finance in the Mexican Government. Pani was known for his philandering and speculation asserted that it was his mistress who had posed for the portrait of the gypsy.

Pani’s philandering had followed him to New York in 1925, where he was negotiating a financial deal with the Americans on behalf of the Mexican Government. While in New York he was accused of keeping women in conditions that were contrary to the "Mann Act", or the "White Slavery" act. His hotel was searched but no charges laid. However, the scandal had broken and the woman who was supposedly accompanying Pani was Gloria Faure. Pani offered to resign, but President Plutarco Elías Calles refused his resignation, having told his Deputies that he did not want a Cabinet of eunuchs.

President Calles’ support for Pani was possibly due to his similar penchant for the fairer sex. Indeed, Calles was suspected of having accepted favours from Gloria Faure himself. This brought accusations that the appearance of Gloria Faure’s portrait on the banknotes had been orchestrated through the efforts of the President himself and not through the intervention of the Finance Minister. However, no matter who was responsible, it became certain that Gloria Faure had posed as the "gypsy".

Truth, of course, is not nearly so exciting as fiction. In 1976 the head of the Numismatic Museum at the Banco de Mexico, Professor Guadelupe Monroy, wrote to the "American Banknote Company", asking for details on the portrait that appeared on the Mexican 5-peso notes. The reply indicated that the original engraving was created by Mr. Robert Savage as a stock vignette and was titled "The Ideal Head of an Algerian Girl". More importantly, the portrait was engraved in 1910, fifteen years before the 5-peso notes were issued and long before the era of Gloria Faure’s great popularity. Despite the efforts of Professor Monroy in seeking the truth, the legend of Gloria Faure lives on, with many dealers’ lists and catalogues continuing to identify the portrait as that of the Catalonian artiste. (Mr. Peter Symes)

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5 Pesos 1969

El Ángel de la Independencia

The Angel of Independence (Spanish: El Ángel de la Independencia), most commonly known by the shortened name El Ángel and officially known as Monumento a la Independencia, is a victory column on a roundabout over Paseo de la Reforma in downtown Mexico City.

El Ángel was built in 1910 to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico's War of Independence. In later years it was made into a mausoleum for the most important heroes of that war. It is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Mexico City, and it has become a focal point for both celebration or protest. It resembles the July Column in Paris and the Berlin Victory Column in Berlin.

The base of the column is quadrangular with each vertex featuring a bronze sculpture symbolizing law, war, justice and peace. Originally there were nine steps leading to the base, but due to the sinking of the ground fourteen more steps were added. On the main face of the base, which faces downtown Mexico City, there is an inscription reading La Nación a los Héroes de la Independencia ("The Nation to the Heroes of Independence"). In front of this inscription is a bronze statue of a giant lion led by a child, representing strength and the innocence of youth during War but docility during Peace.

Next to the column there is a group of marble statues of some of the heroes of the War of Independence.The column itself is 36 meters (118 ft) high. The structure is made of steel covered with quarried stone decorated with garlands, palms and rings with the names of Independence figures. Inside the column is a two-hundred step staircase which leads to a viewpoint above the capital. The Corinthian-style capital is adorned by four eagles with extended wings from the Mexican coat of arms used at the time.

Crowning the column there is a 6.7 meters (22 ft) statue by Enrique Alciati of Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory, like other similar victory columns around the world. It is made of bronze, covered with 24k gold (restored in 2006) and weighs 7 tons. In her right hand the Angel, as it is commonly known, holds a laurel crown above Miguel Hidalgo's head, symbolizing Victory, while in her left she holds a broken chain, symbolizing Freedom.

Construction of El Ángel was ordered in 1900 by President Porfirio Díaz. Gen. Porfirio Díaz began the foundation work immediately and laid the foundation stone on January 2, 1902 and placed in it a gold chest with a record of independence and a series of coins minted in that epoch. But in May 1906, when the foundations were built and 2,400 stones placed to a height of 25 m, the sides of the monument collapsed, so Díaz created a study commission composed of engineers Guillermo Beltran y Puga, Manuel Marroquín y Rivera and Gonzalo Garita. The commission determined that the foundations of the monument were poorly planned, so it was decided to demolish the structure. The work was restarted under the supervision of a steering committee composed of engineers Guillermo Beltran y Puga, Manuel Marroquin y Rivera and the architect Manuel Gorozpe, leaving the artwork in the care of architect Antonio Rivas Mercado. All the sculptures were made by Italian artist Enrique Alciati. The monument was ready for the festivities to commemorate the first hundred years of Mexican Independence in 1910. The opening ceremony was attended by President Díaz and several foreign dignitaries. The main speaker at the event was Mexican poet Salvador Díaz Mirón.

An eternal flame (Lámpara Votiva) honoring these heroes was installed in the base of the column at the order of President Emilio Portes Gil in 1929.

The monument suffered some damage during an earthquake on July 28, 1957 when the sculpture of the Winged Victory fell to the ground and broke into several pieces. Sculptor José Fernández Urbina was in charge of the restoration, which lasted more than a year. The monument was reopened on September 16, 1958. It survived the devastating earthquake of September 19, 1985 with some damage to the staircases and the reliefs, but none to the Angel.

In lower left corner is a seal of Bank of Mexico.

Denominations in numerals are on the right and left sides.

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