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The crisis of 1943

In 1943, during the Second World War, Mexico was again faced with a silver crisis. 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 - caused the price of silver to rise and silver coins to be hoarded. On 21 August Mexico 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. while it arranged for the production of new coins.

Merida

The Chamber of Commerce made at least three issues.

Banco de Yucatan 50c

The first issue, dated 19 August, was for 50,000 notes with a value of $25,000. They were printed by the Cía. Tipográfica Yucateca on special light green paper, with a purple henequén plant as a background, the legend in black and the number in redDiario de Yucatán, Tomo LXIV, Año XIX, Núm. 6113. 22 August 1943. They were signed by one of ten directors Julio Patrón C., Delio E. Alonso, Miguel Peón de Regil, Ramon Febles C., Fernando Cervera Monsreal, Eugenio Herrero, Enrique Ferraez P., Angel Thomas, Ricardo Bolio G. or Enrique Losa L. and had the datestamp of the CámaraDiario del Sureste, Mérida, Año XII, Tomo XXXXVII, Núm. 4026, 22 August 1943. The Chamber issued a notice in the press.

A second issue was dated 25 September. For this the manager, Arturo Rendón R., got off the bench and signed some of the notes.

  date on note
from to total
number
total
value
signed by  
50c 19 August 1943         Julio Patrón Cervera  
        Delio E. Alonso  
        Miguel Peón de Regil  
        Ramon Febles C.  
        Fernando Cervera Monsreal  
        Eugenio Herrero  
        Enrique Ferraez P.  
        Angel Thomas  
        Ricardo Bolio G.  
        Enrique Losa L.  
25 September 1943         Arturo Rendón R. includes number 144667

 

Camara 50c 301954

Camara 50c 301954 reverse

  from to total
number
total
value
 
50c         includes numbers 216084CNBanxico #6554 to 351312CNBanxico #12409

 

A more professional issue is dated 19 November and has the facsimile signatures of Julio Patrón Cervera as Presidente and Miguel Peón de Regil as Tesorero.

Julio Patrón Cervera sig Patron
Miguel Peón de Regil sig Peon

 

Progreso

In the port of Progreso the local Chamber of Commerce agreed on 25 August to issue 10,000 50c cheques.

The Chamber also informed the public by means of a press notice.

Dzemul

Dzemul 25c

Dzemul 25c. reverse

Dzemul is a town 50 kilometres northeast of Mérida.

This 25c piece, with its design based on the first Mérida issue above, shows that the authorities and businesses at least contemplated issuing notes to address a shortage of small change, as late as December 1943.