From the Annals of NIH History

Angel of Independence

Medallions and coins are both beautiful artwork and symbols of the achievements and people we value. The silver Mexican Medallion Libertad coin pictured here symbolizes an agreement between the Mexico National Council on Science and Technology and the United States National Institutes of Health. In 2006, the silver-dollar-size coin was given to then–NIH Director Elias Zerhouni to commemorate a joint program for training students from both countries in clinical research; allowing midcareer scientists to work in Mexico or in the United States short-term; bringing Mexican postdocs to NIH for short-term assignments; and identifying areas for joint research. This coin depicts the Angel of Independence soaring over the volcanos Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhautl (front side) and Mexico’s coat of arms surrounded by historical versions (reverse side).

The Office of NIH History has many coins and medallions in its collection. To see more, go to: