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The Zacatecas mint

The city of Zacatecas is the capital of the state of Zacatecas. Located in a rich mining area, the mint was first opened in 1810 during the War for Independence

The first Republican issue from this mint were dated 1825. The next ten years can be considered the "golden age" of the mint due to the interest of state governments in improving the facilities and investing part of the profits in productive projects, as was the case of Francisco García Salinas, who in 1831 channeled them to partially finance the Fresnillo mining negotiations.

However in September 1842, the central government leased the mint to the Anglo-Mexican Company, with English capital, which had already leased the mint at Guanajuato since 1825. That company was represented by the firm of Manning and Marshall, which shortly thereafter changed its name to Manning and Mackintosh.

The reaction of the people of Zacatecas was swift. A few days later, on 8 October 1842, a supplement to the newspaper El Siglo XIXEl Siglo XIX, Núm. 362, 8 October 1842 published the claims that the City Council, the Departmental Board, the Court of Justice, the Board of Public Works, the Commercial Court, the regular clergy and and many individuals, sent President Santa Anna to have the contract annulled, arguing that it was a very poor deal. Despite this, the government complied with the contract, handing over the establishment to the company on 19 October 1842. The lease to Anglo-Mexicana was extended from fourteen years - as originally planned - to almost 32, including its ratification in 1845 and extensions in the years 1853, 1857 and 1862. (In March 1853 the provisional government of Manuel M. Lombardini leased the mints of Guanajuato and Zacatecas to Jecker, Torre y Compañía.  However, in May 1853 the new government of Santa Anna rescinded this contract without it being executed..)

The Zacatecas mint was eventually returned to the government at the same time as the Guanajuato mint in March 1874, in line with a policy to recover the administration of all the Mexican mints. However, this achievement was short-lived, for when Porfirio Díaz took up arms, at the beginning of 1876, the government of Lerdo de Tejada resorted to the the same mechanism that several of his predecessors had used to obtain funds by renting out the mints. That same year, 1876, the Zacatecas and Guanajuato mints were leased together again to the same company called the Compañía Guanajuato-Zacatecana, made up of regional businessmen with a Board of Directors based in the city of Guanajuato, and a smaller junta in Zacatecas. This contract was extended in 1879 and 1883.

The Guanajuato and Zacatecas mint were returned to the government in mid-1895, and the Zacatecas mint remained in operation until 1905, the year in which it was decreed to be closed as part of the measures implemented in Mexico for the adoption of the gold standard.

Mint owners or lessees and their tenures

from to  
 1824 1836 Government of the State of Zacatecas
1836 23 September 1842 Government of the Republic of Mexico
23 September 1842 31 March 1874 Cia. Anglo-Americana de Casas de Monedas (Manning & Marshall)
1 April 1874 30 June 1876 Government of the Republic of Mexico
1 July 1876 30 June 1895 Sociedad Guanajuatense Zacatecana (formerly Cia. Anglo-Americana)
1 July 1895 21 May 1905 Government of the Republic of Mexico


Assayers and their tenures (as evidence by coinage)

Initial Name Began on Left office on
AZ probably Adalco and Mariano Zaldívar 1825 1828
AV probably Adalco and Jose Manuel Villegas 1826  
AO unknown 1826 1828
OV Manuel Ochoa and Octavio Valenzuela 1829 1831
OM Manuel Ochoa and Manuel Miner 1831 1855
MO unknown (possibly Manuel Miner and Manuel Ochoa) 1855 1860
VL Vicente Larrañaga 1860 1864
MO unknown (possibly Manuel Miner and Manuel Ochoa) 1863 1865
JS Jose Maria Sanchez de Santa Ana 1867 1868
YH Ygnacio Hierro 1868 1874
JA Juan M. Acuña 1974 1876
JS unknown 1876 1886
FZ Francisco P. de Zárate 1886 1905