Obverse Design The legend "PALO SECO" (meaning "dry stick") curves along the top. The legend "CANAL ZONE" curves along the bottom. The token has a square hole in the center. The token has denticles along the rim and a smooth plain raised edge.
Reverse Design The legend "REDEEMABLE FOR" curves along the top. The legend "ONE CENT"in smaller letters curves under the top line and above the square center hole. Under the hole is the number "1". The legend "IN MERCHANDISE" curves along the bottom. The token has denticles along the rim and a smooth plain raised edge.
Metal Brass. Weight 2.5 grams. Size and Shape Round, 19.1 mm in diameter with a square 6.5 mm center hole.
Dates Issued 1919.
Issurer Palo Seco Leper Colony.
Mintage 2000. No record was kept of the number destroyed.
Rarity Scarce. Manufacturer Unknown. Other Catalog Numbers Asociación Numismático's F-219, Conte Porras page #108, Henkle's Canal Zone #87, KM #TN1 (Krause Mishler), MGM #700 (), Plumer page #7 and Schimmel #52.
Varieties Only one variety known.
Function Medium of exchange for the inhabitants of the Palo Seco leper colony. They were not allowed to use regular money in circulation for fear that other people handling the money would catch leprosy.
Population Count Twenty-four specimens of this token in collector hands are known to me. Recent sales include:
  1. Auction sale on ebay on March 25, 2008 for $285.88 (AU condition).
  2. Auction sale on ebay on April 13, 2007 for $230.50 plus $2.00 shipping.
  3. Auction sale on ebay on February 15, 2007 for $127.50 plus $5.00 shipping.
  4. Auction sale on ebay on November 5, 2006 for $375.00 plus $5.00 shipping.
  5. Auction sale on ebay on August 20, 2006 for $255.00 plus $13.00 shipping.
  6. Auction sale on ebay on April 29, 2006 for $355.00 plus $3.00 shipping.
  7. Auction sale on ebay on April 17, 2006 for $300.00 plus $5.00 shipping.
  8. Offered for Auction on ebay on October 9, 2005 for $199, and then for $179. Went unsold at these prices. Offered again in an auction ending January 29, 2006 and sold for $182.50.
  9. Auction sale on ebay on June 27, 2004 for $128.09.
  10. Auction sale on ebay on February 3, 2004 for $141.50.
  11. Auction sale on ebay on October 5, 2003 for $117.62.
  12. Auction sale on ebay on May 15, 2003 for $127.53.
  13. Auction sale on ebay on November 13, 2002 for $202.50.
Notes

See the for the interesting story behind these tokens.