The America’s were commonly referred to as the “New World” by European settlers. Tales of gold and silver riches spread quickly as Spanish explorers returned from the New World to fill Spain’s coffers.
After colonies within the America’s became independent countries they began minting coinage from the very same silver & gold resources. A large silver crown size example of this new coinage was the El Salvadorian Columbus Un Peso minted from 1892 to 1914 in honor of Christopher Columbus’ 400th anniversary discovery of the New World.
The common reference to an obverse of a coin as “heads” is misleading with the Columbus Peso as the bust design is actually the reverse design. When determining which side of a coin is the obverse and which is a reverse the rule of thumb typically used is; obverse designs have a mintage date while reverse designs have the denomination. Though this rule may not apply in all situations it is the accepted norm.
The obverse design features a Coat of Arms which has the image of a shield with a volcano, behind which rises a sun and 14 stars above. To the either side of the shield are draping flags. Below the shield are crossed arrows, cannon, and a bow with a palm wreath on either side. On the crest of the shield are two cornucopias of flowers and a pole with a Phrygian cap mounted on top with rays above. Within the rays are the words “15 SET. DE 1821” or September 15, 1821, the day independence was achieved from Spain.
On the upper outer periphery are the words “REPUBICA DEL SALVADOR”. A tid-bit note here; "El Salvador" is Spanish for Savior. On the left lower periphery is the number “900” that represents .900 finesse silver while on the right is the date of mintage. In the center of the lower periphery are the initials “C.A.M” which stand for the Central American Mint.