Coin and Paper Money Collecting/Coins of Panama


Actually, several questions (hope you don't mind)

I have an interest in knowing where the various coins for Panama have been struck, knowing at present only that 1904-1933, 1935-1947, 1979-1984 (other than 1 cent), and 2 1/2 cent and some 1 cent pieces from 1973-1975 were struck in Philadelphia, and that 1934, 1966-1973 (and proofs through 1974) were struck in San Francisco, except for 1-10 cents in 1968 and 5-50 cents in 1975 struck in Denver and 1 cents struck in 1975-1983 at West Point.  I have also gathered that 1953 and 1961 are from Mexico, that 1962 and 1966 1-10 cent and non-proof 1 Balboa come from the London Tower mint, and that the different looking coins from 1975-1984 were struck in the Franklin Mint and in Canada.  The West Point cents are particularly interesting to me since they are the earliest products of that mint which are exclusively identifiable as such.

Question 1) US Mint records seem very unclear as to whether the 1974-dated 1 cent coins were struck in West Point and 1975-dated struck in Philadelphia.  Can the (doubtfully reliable) statement in the Krause Catalog that 1974's were from West Point be regarded as verified somehow, or is that a mere conjecture on their part?

Question 2) 1 million FAO 2 1/2 cent pieces are reported as being struck in (and, presumably dated, if Krause is anything to go by) 1975.  Yet I have never seen even one of these actually reported, photographed, or for sale anywhere.  I have seen any number of the Franklin Mint and Royal Canadian Mint version of the denomination for that year with Victoriano Lorenzo on it, and the 1973-dated one (actually struck in 1974), but never the larger size FAO version dated 1975.  Does this coin actually exist?

Question 3) The 1983 copper 1 cents appear to have been struck with identical dies as the 1983 zinc 1 cents, but the mint records claiming 20 million 1 cents in FY 1983 and 25 million 1 cents in FY 1984 say they are all zinc.  When, and by which mint might the 1983 copper cents have been struck, or were they struck outside the US?

Question 4) Where were/are Panama coins being struck after 1985?  If different coins from 1986 onward come from different mints/countries, could you break it down by mint/year/denomination, please?

Hi Griff,

1. I remember reading an article sometime back by a now deceased gentleman who was a serious researcher of the US and Canadian mints and coins they struck. The available documented history was that the US won a contract in 1973 to strike the 1974 1 centesimo and confirms that business strikes were done at West Point and proofs at San Fransisco mints.

2. For practical purposes, no. This coin was never even included in the FAO sets covering that year. Now, whether they were produced and melted, or never actually produced is the real mystery. Unfortunately I would not be able to answer that question.

3. Are you referring to the ones cataloged as KM#22/22a? There were 1983 coins struck in bronze and copper plated zinc, both at the Royal Canadian mint. Official records are 45 million copper plated zinc and 5 million bronze.

4. Vast majority were struck at RCM, see here for a breakdown of denominations and years:

Hope this is helpful,
Thanks for the question! =)

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Dmitry Livshits


My specialty is world coins from the 18th to 20th centuries, primarily non-US foreign coins and related areas such as errors and exonumia (tokens, medals, etc.). I can answer questions relating to identification, grading, selling, preservation and evaluation of such items. In addition to catalog value, I can give you the practical market value and trends for specific types of coins. I will also take questions regarding counterfeits (both modern and antique) and on how to identify them. I am NOT knowledgeable in paper money/banknotes, ancient or "shipwreck" coins. Thank you.


Collector of world coins since early childhood. Access to a variety of auction records and reference material. You can also find me on Facebook.

A.S. in Psychology (2006), B.A. in Forensic Psychology (2008), M.A. in Forensic Psychology (2011).

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