COINS of Panama  H-Kit

My wife is Panamanian & I have been to Panama many times. Panama is a very friendly country to visit and I am convinced that Panamanians are an extremely industrious people. Unlike other countries, Panama does not have great mineral wealth or oil reserves but does have the Canal. To support this Panama also has many warehouses, merchant marine maintenance & supplies, and a large banking industry. It also has a developing tourist industry and many nice beaches. Panama is becoming the business center of Latin America. You will find a lot of commerce, shopping malls, and new construction. Thus although there is a lot of poverty in the country, the people seem (at least to The Gringo) to be happier and more productive.

Panama has a lot of natural beauty in terms of beaches, tropical forests, mountains, and native indians plus it's a real country unlike some places which seem just like tourist attractions.

For some reason I am unable to control the table widths here, thus the columns are not correctly sized! Any html fixes would be greatly appreciated!

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1904 mint set
2&1/2 - 50 centesimos

(Karl Stephens)


A neat Panamanian coin website
A history behind the 1904 series


Panama's 1st coinage type: the 1904 series. These were issued 1904, 1905, and 1916.

All of these coins are twice the weight in silver as the US counterpart of their denomination. E.g. the 50 Centesimos is 25g of .900 silver: the same weight as a contemporary USA Morgan silver dollar.

I'm looking for ALL 1904 series material in true ms (except the 2&1/2 cents), but especially the 1916 5c. Supposedly many of the 1916 5c coins were thrown into Panama Bay by the pay phone vendors: they were supposed to receive US dimes but the early series Panamanian 5c were the same size & weight. Thus they are uncommon today.




I read that the USA (who designed Panama's 1st coinage) did this so that Panama could not export it's silver coinage to the USA at a 1:1 exchange rate.

Another account states that at the turn of the 20th century silver was very low in value. When these coins were struck, they were issued for the native Panamanian workers on the Canal since the USA employees were paid in gold. The Panamanian govt, having some pride in the coinage decided to put an increased weight of silver into them.

1931 1 Balboa (dollar)
(uncirculated)

This is the 1930 series. The 1931 Balboas are harder to find nice than the 1934 or later dates. I bought this specimen in Panama City in 2006.

Notice how "V" is substituted for "U" in the spelling. This feature is also found on the USA silver "Peace" dollars of that era.




My wife is Panamanian-American. Here is a photo of her wearing her sister's Traditional Panamanian dress. She has her own collection of Panamanian silver coins.

We had a Coin Wedding in Panama in 1998 (Plaza Paitilla). It was her idea actually. Even the wedding cake was made to look like a giant coin.



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