Observations regarding the $1 and $5 background plates

Because the colors are so pale and the printing quality is sometimes poor, the background plates are rather difficult to study. The following observations are the product of a preliminary study and only serve to establish the fact that the 1 and 5 pesos backgrounds were reset several times during the course of production.

One portion of the background that is relatively easy to study is the field behind the Juarez portrait. This is comprised of 54 ornamental types arranged six across and nine down, each in the form of a stylized flower. The flower ornament may be up or down.

background flower

Three different arrangements have been recorded:

background 1 background 2
Arrangement 1
(alternating throughout)
Arrangement 2
(alternating rows)
Arrangement 3
(all up)


Arrangement 1 was used for the February 1915 printings of the 5 Pesos and all of the 1 Peso notes.
Arrangement 2 was used for 5 Pesos notes, April through July 1915.
Arrangement 3 was used for 5 Pesos notes from August 1915 on.

That the 1 Peso background was reset several times can be readily seen by comparing the ornament behind the lower left large red "1 ".background ornament

Compare also the small "1 Peso" above and left. Note that 3 and 4 show an error "1 Pes_"