Obverse Design The legend along the top says "REPUBLICA DE PANAMA" which means "REPUBLIC OF PANAMA". The center of the coin has the bust of Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the Spanish explorer who settled in Panama and discovered the Pacific Ocean. His name "BALBOA" appears on a ribbon under his bust. Balboa is wearing a soft cap with a feather and armour. Balboa has a legend on his cap which reads "DIOS LEY LIBERTAD" which is Spanish for "GOD LAW LIBERTY". Along the bottom is the date "1904". The coin has a smooth plain raised rim with dentures along the edge.
Reverse Design

The central design is the coat of arms of Panama. Panama's coat of arms is divided into two cantons at the top, two cantons at the bottom and a double wide canton in the center. The upper left canton is a crossed rifle and sword. It originally meant "Good bye forever to civil wars, cause of our ruin". In 1914 the meaning was changed to "Attitude of alertness in defense of our sovereignty." The upper right is a crossed hoe and shovel refering to the labor required to build the republic. The lower left is a cornucopia horn of plenty symbolizing richness and agriculture. The lower right has a wheel with wings symbolizing the speed of progress. The center canton shows land (the isthmus of Panama) between two oceans (the Atlantic and Pacific) with a sea level canal between the oceans. The sun is setting on the mountains in the west and the moon is rising over the waves in the east. This represents the solemn hour of Panama's declaration of independence from Colombia in 1903. An eagle with spread wings, wingtips going up, is standing on the shield which has the coat of arms. It holds a banner in its mouth which is draped along the upper edge of the shield. The banner has the latin motto "PRO MUNDI BENEFICIO" meaning "FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WORLD" and referring to the Panama Canal. Above the eagle are seven stars representing the seven provinces which Panamá had in 1904. On either side of the center shield are two draped flags, which end in three flag tips under the shield (later designs have four flag tips).

The legend along the top says "DIEZ CENTESIMOS DE BALBOA" which means "TEN CENTS OF BALBOA". The legend along the bottom says "G.5. LEY 0.900" The legend "G.5." refers to the weight of the coin which is 5.0 grams. The legend "LEY 0.900" refers to the fact that the coin is 900/1000 fineness by law. The coin has a smooth plain raised rim with dentures along the edge.

Edge Design The coin edge is reeded.
Metal Silver-Copper alloy (90% silver 10% copper). Weight 5.0 grams. Size and Shape Round, 24 mm in diameter.
Dates Issued and Mintage
Date Issued Regular Mintage Proof Mintage
1904 1,125,000 12.
Grading Link to Grading Page.
Mint United States Mint (at Philadelphia). Other Catalog Numbers Asociación Numismático's M-23, Contre Porras page 71, Grigore's #3, Krause's KM-3, Stickney's P-15.
Varieties None known. One year type.
Availability The Diez Centésimos of 1904 is common in low grades and scarce in AU and UNC.
Notes The Diez Centésimos of 1904 was authorized by Law No. 84 on June 28, 1904.