Obverse Design The legend "EL PROGRESO" curves along the top. The legend "EMILIO C. KANT" curves along the bottom. The legend "BOQUETE" goes across the middle. Above and below the name "BOQUETE" are ornaments. The ornament above looks somewhat like a crown and consists of a bottom horizontal piece and four leaf-like ornaments going up out of it. The ornament below is very similar except that it is oriented upside-down. The token has denticles along the edge and a smooth plain raised edge.
Reverse Design The legend "VALE POR UNA LATA DE CAFE" (GOOD FOR ONE CAN OF COFFEE) starts at the bottom and curves along the top of the token. At the bottom is an ornament that looks like a narrow bow or a dash dot dash. In the center is a large number "1". The number has many horizontal lines going across inside it. The token has denticles along the edge and a smooth plain raised edge.
Metal Brass. Weight 6.1 grams. Size and Shape Round, 28.7 mm in diameter.
Dates Issued Before 1927.
Issuer Emilio C. Kant.
Mintage Unknown.
Rarity Scarce.(1) Manufacturer Unknown. Other Catalog Numbers Asociación Numismático's F-137, Rulau's Chq 3.
Varieties None known.
Function Coffee plantation token. The token would be given a worker for filling a "lata" with raw green coffee beans. A "lata" was a metal box about one cubic foot in size. On payday the tokens would be turned in for money. In many cases the tokens could also be redeemed at the plantation general store.
Population Count Fourteen specimens of this token in collector hands are known to me. Recent sales include:
  1. Auction sale on ebay on March 24, 2002 for $38.87.
  2. Specimen in AU condition offered for sale on ebay on January 25, 2004 for $99.00. Went unsold at that price.
  3. Auction sale on ebay on May 8, 2005 for $67.00.

Quoting from the :

"Don E. Kant. Owner of a coffee plantation containing 30,000 trees in production on excellent soil. Produces more than 300 quintales every year. Address: Boquete, Province of Chiriqui."

Emilio C. Kant was one of the founders of the Boquete coffee industry. He was born in Russia of German parents in 1864, and started traveling when he deserted from the German Army. After a stint with Keith Minor (founder of United Fruit Company) in Costa Rica, he immigrated to Panama about 1888 and bought land in a place called Alto Lino, where he grew coffee. An I.L. Maduro postcard shows part of his coffee finca at Alto Lino and two of Emilio's ten children. It was taken around 1910. Emilio C. Kant died in 1927.

"EL PROGRESO" (means "Progress" in English) is the name given on the token to the Kant coffee finca.

This token is almost identical to several other Boquete finca tokens such as the Sittón and Castillo token, the Segundo Díaz token, the Nemesio Ledesma token and the Aurelio Rovira token. It is known that the Ledesma token was manufactured in the United States. Since Sittón and Castillo did business with United States merchants, perhaps they found the token manufacturer in the United States and placed orders for themselves and the other four coffee growers.

  1. Although in general I consider 14 specimens known to me to be "common" for a Panama token, I think in this case I just happen to know of a greater percentage of extant specimens. I also note that the token was missed by a number of previous catalogs, unlike truly common tokens. So I consider this to be a "scarce" token.