Obverse Design

Curving along the top is the legend "PERCEMENT DE L'ISTHME DE PANAMA" which means "PIERCING OF THE ISTHMUS OF PANAMA". A woman representing the Panama Canal brings together two Poseidon figures (the Pacific and the Atlantic ocean), in the background are two lighthouses representing the two coasts. There is a circle of very small beads next to the rim.

Reverse Design

Starting at the lower left and curving around along the top to the lower right, with a dot divider at the bottom center, is the legend "COMPAGNIE UNIVERSELLE DU CANAL INTEROCEANIQUE" which means something like "UNIVERSAL COMPANY OF THE INTEROCEANIC CANAL". In the center of the are several lines of text. The top line of text says "FD. DE LESSEPS" and the second line says "FONDATEUR" referring to Ferdinand de Lesseps, founder of the French canal company. A short solid line separates the top legends from the next four lines of legends. They say "LA BANQUE PARISIENNE", "A", "SES SOUSCRIPTEURS" and the date "1880". The legend means "THE BANK OF PARIS TO ITS SUBSCRIBERS". There is a circle of very small beads next to the rim.

Metal Bronze. Weight Unknown. Size and Shape Unknown. Silver is round, 34.75 mm in diameter and 2.25 mm in width.
Dates Issued 1880.
Issuer Compagnie Universelle du Canal Interocéanique.
Mintage Unknown.
Rarity Very Rare. Manufacturer Most likely the Paris Mint. Other Catalog Numbers None known.
Varieties Issued in bronze and silver. The most common design, which appears in both bronze and silver, has all the reverse legends going across the middle and specifically mentions the dates December 7, 8 and 9, 1880. There is a second more rare design I have only seen in bronze, which has the "COMPAGNIE UNIVERSELLE DU CANAL INTEROCEANIQUE" reverse legend curving along the edge, and mentions only the year 1880 without any days or month.
Function Issued to subscribers who purchased a certain amount of stock in the French Canal Company in 1880.
Historical Notes

The medal was engraved by Louis-Oscar Roty (1846-1911), one of the greatist medalists of the nineteenth century. By far his most famous work is that of ‘La Semeuse’, the woman sowing seeds who still appears on most official French coins. He was a leading creative visionary during his era and has influenced many engravers and artists ever since. These medals are sought after not only by Panama Canal collectors but also by Roty collectors, with a significant impact on the price of these scarce medals.

Population Count No recent sales are known to me.