Silver Mining in Mexico

During the 16th-18th Centuries Mexico was the number one silver mining country in the world. The La Valenciana mine in Guanajuato, Mexico was the largest producer. In 1750 more than 80% of all the silver in the world had come out of La Valenciana and the Count of La Valenciana, was the richest man in the world. La Valenciana minted its own silver peso coins. These flowed to Spain along with silver coins from Peru.  As those pesos traveled east into Europe, the price of silver in Europe slowly fell. Also, yearly the "Nao of China", a fleet of Spanish galleons, set sail from Acapulco to China and brought back silks and other goods. The payments for these goods were done with Mexican silver pesos, which then flowed out of China west along the commercial routes. So in the seventeenth and eighteenth century the silver peso was not only the most accepted currency in the world, but also a universal currency, much as the US dollar is today.


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