Obverse Design A ribbon with folds is shown. Three flat folds one above the other form rectangles for the legends. The other parts of the ribbon in between these rectangles have vertical lines close together. The top rectangle says "CARLOS". The middle rectangle says "MILLINGEN". The bottom rectangle says "DAVID". The token has a dentured edge with an inside rim and a slightly raised outside rim.
Reverse Design The reverse has a large number "5" circled by 48 small dots. Legend curving along the top above the "5" says "VALE" which means "VALUE". Legend curving along the bottom below the "5" says "CENTAVOS" which means "CENTS". There is a small Maltese cross on the right and left sides of the circle, separating the upper and lower legends. The token has a dentured edge with an inside rim and a slightly raised outside rim.
Metal White metal; Rulau says copper-nickel; from examination I think it may be a silver alloy. Size and Shape Round, 24.5 mm in diameter; thin flan.
Dates Issued Unknown, perhaps around 1890 but before 1906. Juan Arias who issued a very similar token is listed in the Commercial Directory of the American Republics (1897-1898) as a "General Merchant" in the city of David, province of Chiriqui.
Issurer Carlos Millingen, who had plantations near David, Chiriqui and may have had a store in David.
Mintage Unknown.
Rarity Common. Manufacturer Unknown. Apparently the same manufacturer also made the Juan Arias tokens. Other Catalog Numbers Asociación Numismático's F-80 (photo), Henkle's Chiriqui 40 (photo), Henao's HDA 052-1, Plumer page #2, Rulau's Chq 27 (photo) and Schimmel #42.
Varieties There is only one design variety of this token, but two counterstamps are known. One was a revaluation to 20 centavos. The other was a mark similar to a fleur-di-li on the two crosses.
Function Merchant token and/or plantation token.
Population Count Sixteen specimens of this variety in collector hands are known to me. Recent sales for this variety include:
  1. Auction sale on ebay on January 8, 2003 for $27.51 plus $1.25 shipping.
Notes Ignacio Henao researched these tokens and contacted a descendent of Juan Arias. He was told that Carlos Alberto Millingen was an Englishman who married a half-sister of Juan Arias (Carlota Avila) in 1880, so the two of them were brothers-in-law. In 1906 Carlos Millingen's widow remarried, so he died sometime before that date. The family did not remember much about the tokens.
Notas Históricas

Carlos Alberto Millingen era un inglés residente en David, en la costa Pacifica del entonces departamento de Panamá, cerca de la frontera con Costa Rica. Tenía fincas en la región y sus fichas son similares a los de Juan Arias, lo cual es comprensible dado que en 1880 se había casado con su hermana media Carlota Hassan Avila. Millingen debe haber fallecido antes de 1906, ya que en junio de ese año se casó Carlota nuevamente con Pedro del Rio Ruiz.

View from the Outskirts of David
View from the Outskirts of David
Photo by David S. Plowman, 1993. All Rights Reserved.