Paper, Circulated VF
141 x 70 mm (5-9/16” x 2-3/4”)
OBVERSE: In 1942, as the world was festering in wars of horrible proportions, Colombia was enjoying relative political and social stability. A country torn by civil wars, assassinations, coups, and military juntas, Colombia was prospering. Pictured in profile on the right is Simon Bolivar, El Libertador (1783–1830), first president of Gran Colombia (1819–1830). On the left is a cameo of General Francisco José de Paula Santander (1792–1840), vice president to Simon Bolivar (1821–1827) and fourth president of the Republic of the New Granada (Colombia) (1832–1837). This currency was issued on July 20, 1942, Bogata, Colombia by “EL BANCO DE LA REPUBLICA,” instructed to “PAGARA AL PORTADOR” (pay to bearer) “UN PESO ORO” (one gold weight).
To the right of Santander is a muscular young man with his right arm leaning on a pitchfork and his right foot resting on a large melon. In his left hand, he holds several shafts of wheat; at his side, a tall, fruit-laden basket stands. Youth and agriculture were an important part of Colombia’s economy and future.
REVERSE: An eloquent and intricate engraving decorates the back of this currency. The company logo dominates the center with a profile portrait of Liberty.
It is interesting to point out that, on the bottom center (both obverse and reverse), the printer’s name “AMERICAN BANK NOTE COMPANY” (ABNC) can be seen. The history goes back to 1862 when the Bureau of Engraving and Printing took over the printing of U.S. currency. ABNC had to find new revenue sources to support its business, so it began looking abroad. They were successful and eventually counted as many as 115 foreign countries for which they engraved and printed currency. In 1942, ABNC was printing from their Hunts Point printing plant in Bronx, New York.