Potentially Unique Panama 1947 Gold 150 Balboas

We have a special treat for this preview, and a chance to use a word we
typically shy away from – unique. The country of Panama is a link both between
North and South America and between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans thanks to
the Panama Canal. The crown sized denomination for Panama is known as a Balboa,
and honors the Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa, who created a settlement
in Panama and was one of the first Europeans to cross the Isthmus of Panama. This
piece we feature here is the only known gold 150 Balboas and is very possibly
unique. It is dated 1947 but was likely struck in the 1970s with modified dies.

The design displays a regal left facing bust of Balboa, wearing armor
typical of a conquistador, including the ornate helm. The denomination is
displayed in an arc above the bust. The reverse features a motif of Liberty
standing facing, with her head turned left, as she supports the arms of Panama
with one hand and holds a fasces with the other.

Also included with this piece is a circulation strike 1947 1 Balboa for
comparison purposes. Indeed with careful examination of this piece a portion of
the original die can be detected at the beginning and end of the denomination
on the obverse and the weight and engraver’s signature behind Liberty on the
reverse. Other changes include a slight change to the ribbon on the leftmost
side of the shield on the reverse. Most interestingly, there are three small
privy marks just behind Balboa’s bust, one of which likely indicates the purity
of the gold. Some mild die rust is evident but this is to be expected when you
consider that the dies remained inert for nearly a quarter century before they
were used to strike this gold piece. After careful review we have concluded
that this fantastic piece is likely unique. Spirited bidding for this piece
seems assured, so be sure to place a bid early.

We are now accepting consignments of world and ancient coins as well as
world paper money for our May 2017 Collector’s Choice Online Auction as well as
Chinese and other Asian coins and currency for our April 2017 Hong Kong
Showcase Auction. If you are interested in consigning your coins and paper
currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one
of our consignment directors.

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