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Panama 1/10, 1/4, and 1/2 Balboa  1930 to 1996
Panama 1/10, 1/4, and 1/2 Balboa 1930 to 1996

Panama issued large silver coins with several fractional denominations between 1930 and 1996. The patterns on these coins are all very similar. It is easy to get confused about which coin is which. We will try to explain.

This page applies to 1/10, 1/4, and 1/2 balboas. You can see our appraisal for the 1 balboa coin, which is much bigger, at this CoinQuest link. The 1/10 balboas read VN DECIMO DE BALBOA, the 1/4 balboas have annotation VN CVARTO DE BALBOA and the 1/2 balboas MEDIO BALBOA.

All coins in the 1/10, 1/4, and 1/2 series have the conquistador in a wide-brimmed helmet on the front. The back has a draped shield with eagle and stars. The main difference between the denominations is the size of the coin. Get out your measuring stick and read the diameter of your coin, as follows:

1/10 balboa: 18 mm diameter
1/4 balboa: 24 mm diameter
1/2 balboa: 30 mm diameter

The value of your coin will be its silver value plus an added collector premium. First we discuss silver value, then collector premium.

If you have a 1/10, or 1/4 balboa coin minted before 1966, it is a silver coin. Otherwise it is made of copper-nickel and has essentially no value above face value. Here are the silver weights for pre-1966 coins:

1/10 balboa: 0.072 troy ounces of silver
1/4 balboa 1930 to 1947: 0.179 ounces silver
1/4 balboa 1948 to 1965: 0.181 ounces silver

If you have a 1/2 balboa coin minted before 1973, it is a silver coin with weights as follows:

1/2 balboa 1930 to 1965: 0.362 ounces
1/2 balboa 1966 to 1972: 0.161 ounces

To find the base value of your 1/10, 1/4, or 1/2 balboa silver coin, multiply the ounces of silver it contains by the current spot value of silver found at web sites like kitco.com. For instance, if you have a 1/4 balboa with 0.181 troy ounces of silver and the current price of silver is $16 US dollars per troy ounce, the base value of your coin will be 0.181 x 16 = $2.90. The value of silver changes every day, so look it up.

Some coins carry values greater than their silver value. The added value is called collector premium. Here are some approximate collector premiums for these coins.

1/10 BALBOA
worn coins before 1935: add $10
well preserved coins before 1935: add $25
uncirculated coins before 1935: add $100
worn coins after 1934: add $1
uncirculated coins after 1934: add $5

1/4 BALBOA
worn coins before 1935: add $10
well preserved coins before 1935: add $40
uncirculated coins before 1935: add $200
worn coins after 1934: add $1
uncirculated coins after 1934: add $10

1/2 BALBOA
worn coins before 1935: add $12
well preserved coins before 1935: add $50
uncirculated coins before 1935: add $250
worn coins after 1934: add $2
uncirculated coins after 1934: add $15

Coin: 3829 , Genre: Colonizers and Colonies
Requested by: , Fri, 23-Apr-2010 15:33:31 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Mon, 26-May-2014 11:57:30 GMT
Updated by CoinQuest. Be sure to use the current value of silver., Mon, 26-May-2014 11:57:30 GMT
Requester description: 1930 medio balboa repvblica de panama (republic of panama) funny hat shield The coin shown on your page was a (1931).The front was the same as mine, but the back had a standing woman.It was stated that the woman design changed in 1966 to the sheild,eagle atop w/ flags drapped to both sides.My (1930) coin has the eagle and shield w/flags to both sides
Tags: panama 1 10 4 2 balboa medio repvblica republic de hat shield mine standing stand woman stated state sheild eagle flags flag drapped drape repub repbulique republik repcblique republicas reipvblicae repubblica reublico republiove republiek repvbliqve republica republique rupublica repvbblica republika replucique rebublique replublica republka repvblique repbublic hood caps hooded cap mines stets stato stado staate statehood states tates shiled shied chevrons shileld shild escucheon shelid chevron ashield shields colors draped drapes conquestidor conquistador vn cvarto cuarto quistador conqueror drapery helmet hawk falcon coat arms coats crests insignia crest creast

Comments

I have a large (size of U.S. silver dollar) 1934 silver coin in excellent condition that reads VN Balboa. What is it's value? - ANGELA
The coin is on this site. Please use the search function to find it. Click the 'Search' button then type 'balboa' in the 'Expert search' box. - CoinQuest (Paul)

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