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The Coinage Of Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent)

 
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 Posted 11/20/2020  08:31 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CCFPress to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
PCGS - The revival of one's ancestral, cultural, and spiritual path is something revered worldwide. For Mexico, this is especially true as the nation is faced with hundreds of years of colonial rule that erased much of this in favor of that of the colonizer's systems. Yet, this developed into its own culture, something beautiful and unique, but the draw of the past adds to this diversity creating something uniquely their own. This trend of revival of symbols of antiquity started to appear and be celebrated on the coinage of Mexico in 1943 with the design of the Teotihuacan pyramid. But it would continue with adding more symbolic designs, including those of the deity Quetzalcoatl, to the coins in 1980.


Mexico 1982-Mo 5 Pesos Quetzalcoatl PCGS PR69DCAM


Quetzalcoatl, or the feathered serpent, is a deity whose origin has largely been lost to time. The first known depictions of Quetzalcoatl are in the Olmec (1400-400 BCE) culture, which some archeologists believe date to the time of 900 BCE, however it may even predate this culture. During this time and over a period spanning the next couple thousand years, there was no writing, the history and religious practices were taught and passed down through the oral tradition, and the deity of the feathered serpent was so ubiquitous in the culture the canon for the deity was lost and changed over time. The feathered serpent deity also spread to other civilizations, such as the Mayan and Aztecs, where the name Quetzalcoatl comes from.

Depictions of Quetzalcoatl are varied and many, ranging from the form of being a feathered serpent, a dragon, to that of an anthropomorphic figure. The theology of Quetzalcoatl is just as varied from that of creation, to a symbol of fertility, a spirit of political structure, an agricultural deity, to the God of Wind, air, learning, rain, lightning, thunder, renewal, to that of the boundary-maker between the Earth and the sky. In one narrative, Quetzalcoatl is the giver of corn to humanity so that they would have food. With the Spanish entering Mexico in 1519, Hernan Cortes stated that the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II believed him to be the return of Quetzalcoatl. This would be repeated throughout the telling of the history the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish during colonial time.

With Mexico starting to issue circulation coinage featuring that of first the Teotihuacan pyramid in 1943, then that of Cuauhtemoc, the last Aztec Emperor in 1947, other pre-Columbian designs started to be added to the coins. In 1980, two new designs were introduced; these were the 20 Pesos featuring a Maya ball player and 5 Pesos featuring the stone carved head of the feathered serpent at the Ciudadela complex in Teotihuacan.


Mexico 1984-Mo 5 Pesos - PCGS MS67


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