Leprosy was once a dreaded and incurable disease. In order to prevent the "contamination" of its money supply by lepers, Columbia issued special coins for use within its Leper colonies. The introduction of antibiotics made the colonies unnecessary. They were closed and most of the tokens were redeemed. Today these items are quite scarce as few were saved. This brass 1928 Leper Colony 50 Centavo coin features a cross with the word “LAZARETO” on one side and the denomination on the other.