Located in Central America, this small country borders the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala and Honduras. That’s right! The note we are looking at this week is 1 Colon p125b 1977 (1980) from El Salvador. This lovely note is still considered legal tender; however, it is rarely utilized since the monetary integration of the US Dollar in 2001. This note showcases Cerron Grande Dam and Christopher Columbus.
Cerron Grande Dam was created between 1972- 1976 and is used as a hydroelectric power plant. This dam spans the Lempa River and has a height of 90 meters. The Cerron Grande Reservoir is the largest body of fresh water in El Salvador, and is a habitat for many waterbirds and fish. Unfortunately, the creation of the dam caused flooding that displaced thousands of people and destroyed surrounding towns, and over the years since the reservoir’s creation the body of water has become polluted.
Originally El Salvador used El Salvadorian Pesos, but in 1892 the government decided to rename the Peso to “Colon” in honor of Christopher Columbus. The English sounding name Christopher Columbus was not the name he used himself, and in Spanish Christopher Columbus is Cristóbal Colón. Moreover, the 1 Colon features a portrait of Christopher Columbus. Columbus was formerly credited with discovering the Americas during his famous crossing in 1492. At the expenditure of Spain, Columbus traveled west in hopes of finding gold, spices and precious gems; nonetheless, Columbus was unsuccessful in his endeavors. Trying to appease Queen Isabella I of Castile, Columbus enslaved many natives and sent them back to Spain. This had the opposite effect and with his lack of promised treasure, Columbus wound up being taken back to Spain in chains. He eventually gained his freedom and made one last trip to the Americas before his passing.
I think it’s compelling that El Salvador would honor Christopher Columbus when the explorer wasn’t the one who discovered the country. Instead, El Salvador was first discovered by the navigator Andres Niño. The reasons for using the famous explorer are a mystery to me, but I learned a lot while I researched this note and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. The 1 Colon note is our current featured note and is offered at a discounted price for a limited time.
Country: El Salvador
Denomination: 1 Colon
Pick #: 125b
Year: 1977 (1980)
Other Info: overprint of new date on back
Depictions: Cerron Grande Dam; Christopher Columbus; Coat of Arms
Note Size: 6″ x 2 1/2″
Continent: North and Central America
Watermark: None Discernible