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 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 silver coins. Non-silver coins are worth face value, less than $1 US dollar.

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

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

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, 02-Feb-2015 18:12:57 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 hat shield mine standing stand woman stated state sheild eagle flags flag drapped drapery repub repbulique republik republ republican republicas republicia reipvblicae republiove republiek repvbliqve republica republique repvbblica republika rebublique republicans repvblique helmeted hood caps headband hooded helmet bonnet cap helmit helmets headdress arms coats shiled crests chevrons shild escucheon insignia arm coat crested crest chevron creast shields escutcheon mines mining stands femal women lady female feminine fem womans females womens ladys princess ladies staats stets stato staaten stado stadt statehood tates stet eaglets egals egal eagles eagel colours blanket banner colors banners bannered curtains drape draped curtain drapes conquestidor conquistador vn un cvarto cuarto quistador conqueror vna uno una cuatro hawk falcon


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)

Hi, I have a 1/2 balboa coin from 1934. It seems that the reverse is minted backwords, when I flip the coin, I see the shield and the year upside down.
The coin was tested positive for silver, also it looks real to me.
Is it how the coin really should be? or is it a mistake in the mint? - Mark
Mark - you have an authentic 1/2 balboa 1934, coin alignment. Nice silver coin Mark, enjoy it. You need to understand the difference between coin alignment and medal alignment:
UP SIDE DOWN - you have coin alignment
RIGHT SIDE UP - you have medal alignment
- CoinQuest (Andrei)

I have a 1996 coin from republic De panama not sure if real silver - sara
Hi Sara -- the 1996 coins are sadly too modern to be struck in silver and they are worth face value in Panama. - CoinQuest (Chris)

I have a 1982 1/4 Panama VN Cvario De Balboa coin. Any idea on the value? - larry
A 1982 1/4 Balboa is made of non-precious metal and is worth face value, about 25 US cents. - CoinQuest (Paul)

well my Balboa is 37 mm 1947 LEY. 0.900 GR. 26.73, what is the exchange value to U.S. value? - Emily
See our page on the one balboa coins: PRESS HERE. - CoinQuest (Todd)

My panama coin I was made in the year 1966 and says REPVBLICA DE PANAMA. How much is this coin worth in U.S dollars? - Janet
This page explains the values of coins from Panama that look like the picture. - CoinQuest (Paul)

1996 Republica De Panama, De Baleoa, Cinco Centesimos coin,one side is the shield but the other side has a number 5

- Janet
Hey Janet -- if you don't see your coin in our database, please CLICK HERE so that we may create a page for it on the website. Thanks! - CoinQuest (Todd)

Have a 1/4 panama coin from 1986 you can see it is not silver, just interested in some facts about it ...thanks in advance
The value is essentially zero. It's a modern non-silver coin minted in large quantities. - CoinQuest (Chris)






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