Obverse Design The legend is displayed in four centered horizontal lines across the face of the token. The top line is "CIA.", the second line is "PAN.", the third line is "DE" and the bottom line is "F. y L.". The legend "CIA. PAN. DE F. y L." stands for "Compañía Panameña de Fuerza y Luz", or "Panamanian Power and Light Company" in English. The token has a smooth raised rim.
Reverse Design The legend "CENTS" curves along the top. The legend "SILVER" curves along the bottom. The center of the token has a large "10". The token has a smooth raised rim.
Metal White metal, perhaps nickel or nickel-silver. Weight 2.60 grams. Size and Shape Round, 18.3 in diameter.
Dates Issued Unknown, 1917 or later. One source stated 1917-1920.
Issurer Compañía Panameña de Fuerza y Luz.
Mintage Unknown.
Rarity Common. Manufacturer Unknown. Other Catalog Numbers Asociación Numismático's F-103a and F-103b, Henkle's Locality Unknown #11, Plumer page #2.

The Catálogo Numismático De Panamá lists two varieties as type 1 and type 2 (F-103a and F-103b) without identifying the distinguishing characteristics. No one I've spoken to knows of a second variety, so I am listing only one variety.

There are also two varieties of tokens issued by the Panama Telephone Company (a subsidiary of La Compañía Panameña de Fuerza y Luz) that are very similar to this token.

Function Most likely a telephone token. The token is the same size and shape as the Panama Telephone Company 10 Cent tokens.
Population Count 22 specimens in collector hands are known to me. Recent sales include:
  1. Auction sale on ebay on June 1, 2006 for $14.30 plus $1.25 shipping.
  2. Auction sale on ebay on April 1, 2006 for $113.50 plus $1.00 shipping for set of three telephone tokens (one F y L and the large and small letter PAN DE TEL 10 cents).
  3. Auction sale on ebay on March 1, 2004 for $9.29 plus $1.50 shipping.
  4. Auction sale on ebay on August 23, 2003 for $5.87 plus $1.50 shipping.
  5. Auction sale on ebay on June 18, 2002 for $24.37 plus $.75 shipping in condition EF.
  6. Auction sale on ebay on February 25, 2001 for $40.00 plus $4.00 shipping in condition UNC.
  7. Private sale in November, 2000 for $25.00 for the specimen above, condition AU.
Notes Although the token says "Silver" on it, that does not mean it is made of silver. During the early years of the American era, there was "silver" and "gold" standards for pay rates, housing and other things which was also applied to money. Americans enjoyed the gold standard and Panamanians and West Indies folks were on the silver standard. American money was "gold" and valued one for one. Panama money was "silver" and valued at one half of the American money, based on physical size. A half-dollar sized Panama coin was worth 25 cents "gold", a quarter-sized Panama coin was worth 10 cents "gold", and a dime-sized Panama coin was worth 5 cents "gold". Note however that the Panama half-dollar sized Panama coin actually says 25 centesimos on it, the quarter-sized Panama coin says 10 centesimos on it and the dime-sized Panama coin says 5 centesimos on it. Be that as it may, this token which says "10 Cents Silver" most likely was valued at 5 cents in regular United States coins.
Historical Notes La Compañía Panameña de Fuerza y Luz was an American-owned business founded in 1917 by purchasing the assets of the Panama American Company which had been providing services since 1903. Henry W. Catlin and Edmund G. Ford were prominent in starting La Compañía Panameña de Fuerza y Luz. It provided electricity, telephone and natural gas services to the cities of Colon and Panama City and had a virtual monopoly in the marketplace. The concept of an American-owned company having monopoly control over public utilities was abhorent to many Panamanians including the dictator General Omar Torrijos, and he nationalized the company in 1972. Company assets at that time were valued at 22.5 million dollars. About 90% of the employees were Panamanians. The company was broken up into two new government-owned utilties, the electric company IRHE and the communications company INTEL.