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. The 1/4 balboas have annotation VN CVARTO DE BALBOA and the 1/2 balboas have annotation 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. 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.

This page applies to 1/10, 1/4, and 1/2 balboas. The 1/4 balboas have annotation VN CVARTO DE BALBOA and the 1/2 balboas have annotation 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. 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.

Approximate collector premiums 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 |