Mexico's central bank has issued a silver coin commemorating the centennial of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, the country's leading university and one of the most prestigious in all Latin America.

The coin, with a face value of 10 pesos ($0.73), is made with an ounce of pure silver and its surrounding edge is of a continuous striation, the central bank said.

The obverse of the circular piece that is 40 millimeters (1.5 inches) in diameter displays the national coat of arms in low relief surrounded by the words "Estados Unidos Mexicanos" (Mexican United States).

The reverse side, on the other hand, shows a "contemporary, stylized" composition of UNAM'S emblematic buildings, a university city declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007.

In the lower part of the same side are elements taken from the sculptural painting on the rector's office by David Alfaro Siqueiros, accompanied by the institution's motto "Por mi raza hablara el espiritu" (Through my race will speak the spirit), while on the upper part appears the name of the institution of higher learning, and under it "100 años" (100 years).

The ceremony held in the capital to present the commemorative coin was presided by Bank of Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens, UNAM President Jose Narro Robles, and Finance Secretary Jose Antonio Meade.

To celebrate its centennial, UNAM organized an impressive program of festivities that included academic, cultural and artistic events, as well as the publication of new research studies.

The institution promoted by the intellectual Justo Sierra was inaugurated in September 1910 as part of a program of Mexican Independence celebrations during the time of the dictator Porfirio Diaz.

In 1929 it obtained its autonomy and in 1954 the university city was finished on the Mexican capital's south side that today holds most of its installations. It was designed by the architects Mario Pani Darqui, Enrique del Moral and Domingo Garcia Ramos.

The campus is an acknowledged architectural gem accomodating such iconic buildings as the rector's office, the central library and the Olympic stadium with murals by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Juan O'Gorman, which tell the history of Mexico.

In 2009 the institution was honored with Spain's prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for Communications and Humanities.

It has facilities not only in the Mexican capital's metropolitan area but in 24 states around the country, as well as in cities of the United States, Canada and Spain.