500-Peso Coin

A crystal frog, an inhabitant of the Andean foothills (one of the most biologically rich areas in Colombia), will be the image in the obverse (heads) of the new COP$500 bi-metallic coin, which Banco de la República (the Central Bank of Colombia) will start circulating as of the second half of 2012. The coin’s design by Colombian artist Johana Calle includes the common and scientific names of this species and fine wavy lines alluding to moving water. These lines go from the lower right side of the rim and to part of the core of this monetary species.

On the reverse (tails), the words “REPÚBLICA DE COLOMBIA” (REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA), the coin’s denomination, the number “500” under which is the word “PESOS,” and the year of issue located at the lower part of the core can be seen. The edge has wavy lines alluding to moving water.

The crystal frog in the new coin

The designer states that the crystal frog (Anura centrolenidae) “is a recently discovered and classified species (Ruiz C. and Lynch, 1997). Its name derives from its translucent visceral peritoneum, which allows seeing its vital organs. One of its main characteristics is that it is an arboreal frog present in rainforests. About 60 species of centrolenidae frogs have been classified in the country.” [Quote originally in Spanish]

Main features of the new 500-peso coin

Obverse (heads)


Rim: Circular and staggered. As a second rim, it has a heptagonal figure (7-sided) in high relief, with a flat, plain, and defined surface.

Inscription: Rana de Cristal” (crystal frog) and the microtext “ANURA CENTROLENIDAE” are in high relief and are located in the upper part of the core. The area of the text is plain.

Multi-level image: the crystal frog is on the left side of the coin, covering part of the rim and core. It is multi-level with a gradual and continuous design increase, creating volume and three-dimensionality. Moreover, it has fine details in its design, thus making it an image with various reliefs and high definition.

Waves: Wave-shaped fine lines in high relief at the bottom of the frog, covering part of the ring and core.

Field: Located on the upper semicircle of the coin and in the background of the frog. It is flat and shiny.

Reverse (tails)

Rim: Circular and in high relief, defined with a flat and plain surface.

Denticles: A succession of well-defined elements in high relief forming a concentric circle to the rim.

High-relief waves: Lines in high relief in the form of waves, forming a circle.

Inscription: The text “REPÚBLICA DE COLOMBIA” (REPUBLIC OF COLOMBIA) and the year of issue are in high relief. There is a high-relief dot at the beginning and at the end of the text.

Denomination: The texts “500” and “PESOS” are in high relief. There is a dot in high relief at the beginning and at the end of the text.

Field: The background of the coin. It is flat and shiny.

Physical features of the new 500-peso coin

  • Alloy: Nickel silver (copper, zinc, and nickel) and CuAlNi (copper, aluminum, and nickel).
  • Weight: 7.14 grams
  • Diameter: 23.70 millimeters
  • Edge: 2.20 millimeters
  • Grooved: perpendicular discontinuous design to the sides of the coin, with eight flat sectors and eight alternating grooved sectors.
  • Color: Bimetallic with golden core and silver ring.