Author Topic: Panama 1 centésimo 1937 - signature?  (Read 381 times)

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Offline mrbadexample

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Panama 1 centésimo 1937 - signature?
« on: March 21, 2018, 01:12:36 AM »
Good evening all,

Whilst photographing a few recent acquisitions I noticed that this Panamanian centésimo appears to have a signature above Urracá's shoulder. It's not clear enough for me to make out, even on a high grade specimen. I can't see it mentioned in SCWC or on Numista.

Any ideas please?
Thanks,
MBE  :)

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Panama 1 centésimo 1937 - signature?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2018, 12:06:41 AM »
What's left of my brain insists that it says NORGE, which is what Norwegians call their country. It's more likely to be the initials of the designer(s), though. Any idea where these coins were struck?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Globetrotter

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Re: Panama 1 centésimo 1937 - signature?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2018, 09:40:45 PM »
Hi,

I've tried to get a clearer close-up on that, but all the coins I've investigated on internet, included my own, do not show anything as clear as yours.... I simply cannot believe that NORGE has anything to do with that coin, but tried to look that up too, no connection found either.

On the other hand all the coins I have looked at have something written in the same place as yours. Unfortunately I could not find anything pointing to the what the signature would be, so I have given up by now :-[

Ole
Ole

If you're interested in coin variants please find some English documentation here:
https://sites.google.com/site/coinvarietiescollection/home
and in French on Michel's site (the presentations are not the same):
http://monnaiesetvarietes.esy.es/

Offline malj1

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Re: Panama 1 centésimo 1937 - signature?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2018, 01:41:07 AM »
I got a little closer to the answer finding they were made in the Philadelphia mint.

The Coins of Panama

Following independence, Panama was quick to establish its monetary system. The first objective was to replace the Colombian peso. The Republic wanted its coins to be on parity with the U.S. so the coins would be of equal denomination and value. The denominations would vary over the years including denominations that would seem odd to us such as the 1/2, 1-1/4 and 2-1/2 centesimos pieces. Agreement was reached that the coins would be manufactured by the U.S. Mint. (While the U.S. has minted much of Panamas coins, over the years Panama has used private concerns as well as other foreign mints to produce their coins.) One should note that the coins were not minted on a year-to-year basis, and some were only minted for a short period. The initial silver denominations were 2-1/2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centesimos. The diminutive 2-1/2 centesimos is the smallest coin ever struck by the U.S. Mint.

The first coins were dated 1904 and struck at the U.S. Mint but were not issued until Feb. 12, 1905. The treaty between the countries specified the fineness of coins and the denominations. Unfortunately, the size issue was not adequately addressed. By way of example, the 50-centesimo piece that was set at 90 percent silver was approximately the same size as the U.S. silver dollar.

In terms of currency, the decision was made to use U.S. dollars, which were officially called Balboas. This would mean that if someone wanted change for a 1-Balboa bill ($1 U.S.), two 50-centesimo pieces could be given in change.

This equality/parity problem was finally overcome in 1930 when resized silver coins in the denominations of 1/10, 1/4 and 1/2 Balboa were introduced, bringing them up to compatibility with U.S. coins in size and weight. Thus, for instance, a 1/2 (50 centesimo) Balboa was the same size and fineness as a U.S. half dollar. A 1-Balboa piece was introduced in 1931 that was the same fineness and weight as a U.S. silver dollar. Additionally, as mentioned, the 1-centesimo piece was introduced in 1935 bearing the likeness of Urraca. In 1966, the Republic followed the U.S. lead and changed the metal composition of its coins.

The design of the coins has for the most part used Balboa as the obverse and the Panama coat of Arms (designed by Nicanor Villalz and drawn by his brother, Sebastian) on the reverse.

A unique design is the 1-Balboa silver coin struck in 1931, 1934, 1947 and 1953. The obverse features Balboa. The reverse is a unique and artful design portraying an allegorical female of a Panamanian Lady Liberty. The reverse, designed by famed Panamanian artist Roberto Lewis, was recognized by the staff at the Philadelphia Mint as one of the most beautiful designs ever produced. For 1953, the 50th anniversary of the Republic, the 1 Balboa was struck at the Mexico City Mint. The legend was altered to reflect the 50th anniversary issue and the design was somewhat modified and shifted to accommodate the changes to the legend.

From time to time, the issue has come up as to what is the obverse and reverse on Panamanian coins, especially in the case of these 1 Balboa issues. Panamanians consider the Balboa portrait as the obverse. These four coins are highly sought after. Uncirculated issues (with the exception of 1947) are difficult to come by and are much appreciated when found.

Panamanian coins have been collected by U.S. employees of the Canal Zone and military personnel assigned to the various facilities in the Canal Zone. These coins have also been available as proofs in very small numbers such as some 10,000 sets in 1972. Proofs have been struck by the U.S. Mint and Franklin Mint as well as by other foreign countries. Experienced collectors appreciate the level of detail in these collectible coins.

Of course, Panamanians use their national coins in daily commerce. But as previously stated, they have also had coins from all over the world circulate in their economies, especially U.S. coins from the large American presence over the years.


More here

See also THE COINAGE OF PANAMA

Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Panama 1 centésimo 1937 - signature?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2018, 06:18:06 AM »
Great research, Mal. I can see an R for Roberto, but neither f the two following letters is an L for Lewis...

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline malj1

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Re: Panama 1 centésimo 1937 - signature?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2018, 10:04:27 AM »
Perhaps an American member knows who was designing / engraving coins at the Philadelphia mint in the 1930s.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline mrbadexample

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Re: Panama 1 centésimo 1937 - signature?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2018, 10:51:46 PM »
Thanks all. I keep having another look and I've only managed to convince myself it says anything from Monet to Nunez.  ::)

That's the best picture I can get too.