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Republic of Colombia gold coins
(Simon Bolivar, 5 pesos)

Minted 1919 - 1930
Fineness: .917
Actual Gold Content: .2354 troy ounce

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Simon BolivarSimon Bolivar, often referred to as the George Washington of South America, led the war of independence in northern South America for six countries - - Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia (which is named after him) -- and became their first president in 1819. Bolivar, who descended from an aristocratic family in the Basque region of Spain, was greatly influenced by Thomas Jefferson, Voltaire and Adam Smith among others, but did not believe South America suitable to a U.S.-style republic -- a position that led ironically to a series of revolts against his rule eventually leading to his downfall in 1830.

The Colombia 5 peso is often referred to as the "Colombian sovereign" because it contains the same fine goldcontent as the widely-traded British gold Sovereign. The Colombia 5 peso's connection to the Sovereign dates to 1907 when the peso was pegged to the British pound at the rate of five pesos per pound -- a relationship which continued until 1931 when the United Kingdom went off the gold standard and Colombia shifted its peg to the gold-backed U.S. dollar.

Colombia has had its own problems with paper money and currency depreciation over the years. In recent years, its Senate has debated whether or not to introduce a new peso equivalent to 1000 old pesos, presumably the same peso denominating the 5 peso gold coin pictured above.

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