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The crisis of 1943

In 1943, during the Second World War, Mexico was again faced with a silver crisis (there was a combination of reasons: anticipation of a rise in the price of silver; the Mexican government’s agreement to sell practically its entire silver production to the United States for its military industry; and a boom in the Mexican and US jewellery industries). On 21 August it imposed a heavy export tax on silver products, to make it unprofitable to melt down silver coins to ship as bullion, and temporarily suspended a contract which promised all surplus silver production to the United States. However because of a shortage of fractional coinage, especially the fifty centavos denomination, it was compelled to authorise banks to issue cheques with printed denominations of twenty-five and fifty centavos. All these issues were quickly withdrawn.


By mid September the Cámara Nacional de Comercio in Mazatlán had been authorised to issue 50c cheques al portador[image needed]El Pueblo, Año XVII, Núm. 1552, 18 September 1943. These cheques, drawn on the Banco Comercial del Pacífico, began circulating on 3 October. The initial issue was of $50,000El Informador, Guadalajara, 6 October 1943.