Graphic Art - Based on Image in the Catálogo Numismático De Panamá

Obverse Design

Bust of Balboa facing left with the legend "POR UN INTERES COMUN" above (translation: "For a common interest"). Legend "EXPOCOMER 85" below.

Reverse Design Eagle facing left with spread wings. Legend "AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE" curving above.
Color Black print on natural wood.
Material Wood. Weight Probably about 2.5 grams. Size and Shape Round, diameter 47 mm per Asociación Numismático's 1996 catalog. This may be a typing error, as 37.5 mm is the standard diameter for wooden nickels.
Dates Issued 1985.
Issuer American Chamber of Commerce. This organization (known as Amcham) was formed in 1978. One of its roles was to encourage American companies to do business in Panama. Juan Sosa was the first Panamanian President of the organanization in 1986 (Juan Sosa was the Panamanian ambasador to the United States from 1987 to 1989 and played a key role in the Noriega conflict). Members in the late 1980's included Chase Manhattan Bank, IBM and Kodak. I recently saw a Panamanian advertisement for Expocomer, so apparently this event still occurs annually. Please e-mail me if you have more information to add.
Mintage Unknown.
Rarity Very Rare. Manufacturer Unknown. Other Catalog Numbers Asociación Numismático's Md-72.
Varieties This is the only known variety.
Function The piece was either an advertisement for an Exposition or a souvenir from it. It may have functioned as both. The Exposition appears to have been to encourage trade between Panama and the United States.
Population Count Only one specimen in collector hands is known to me. I do not know of any recent sales.

Rain Coming Down on Panama City
Rain Coming Down on Panama City
Photo by David S. Plowman, 1993. All Rights Reserved.