A 20-cent commemorative stamp honoring Juan Ponce de Leon was issued October 12, 1982, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The First Day of Issue ceremony was held at the San Juan Convention Center on the opening day of ESPAMER '82, the major international philatelic exhibition held there from October 12 through October 17.
Ponce de Leon, the famed Spanish explorer and discoverer of Florida, accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the new world in 1493, when Puerto Rico was discovered. Upon hearing the island was rich in gold, Ponce de Leon requested and received permission to explore and colonize Puerto Rico. He landed in Puerto Rico in 1508 and was named governor in 1509. Royal orders to search for new lands and a belief in the legend of a fountain of youth on Bimini Island in the Bahamas led Ponce de Leon to the discovery of Florida at Easter time in 1513.
The stamp was designed by Richard Schlecht of Arlington, Virginia, and modeled by Esther Porter. The stamp was printed in the photogravure process and issued in panes of fifty.