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1921 Columbia Lazareto | by The Bagels
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1921 Columbia Lazareto

There were three leper colonies in Colombia - Agua de Dios, Cano de Lord, and Contratacion. This coinage was issued specifically for use in the leprosaria, out of fear of contagion should the patients use regular circulating coins. For sanitary reasons, the money would be washed and scrubbed on a regular basis.

The word inside the cross in the center of the obverse, "Lazareto", means "leprosarium" in Spanish.

Closed in the 1950s, only a small percentage of the coins from those colonies survived the redemption period

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Taken on March 12, 2010