Matt Quinn of Stack's Bowers published a short blog article on May 13, 2015 about a rare, colorful and interesting series of Panama
banknotes. Here's an excerpt. -Editor
The “Banco Central d Emision de la Republica de Panama,” banknotes issued in 1941 are a numismatic favorite and always attract great
interest among collectors when offered at auction. The series comprised just four denominations with One, Five, Ten and Twenty Balboa notes
produced. The notes were printed by the Hamilton Bank Note Company of New York and each of the denominations employed bold contrasting
colors with identical format size. Vignettes changed through the four notes along with the color selections. The only readily available
note of the series is the One Balboa, which due high demand still commands a low four-figure price in average circulated grades.
The series is commonly referred to by the nickname “The Arias Issue,” which references President Dr. Arnulfo Arias. The President was
largely responsible for the introduction of a new article which would authorize official and private banks to circulate paper money and the
first and only bank to do so was the Banco Central Emision de la Republica de Panama. The bank received the authority to circulate up to
six million Balboas in banknote form, although a little less than half that number was released on October 2, 1941.
The most fascinating aspect of this series was the incredibly short period of circulation, lasting over a week. This short stint was due
to Dr. Ricardo Adolfo de la Guardia Arango becoming president in a cooperative with the United States. The new leadership quickly closed
the bank and withdrew the notes from circulation, at the same time destroying the remaining stocks. The short circulation period resulted
in the high rarity of the notes today, especially the higher denominations.
To read the complete article, see:
Panama 1941 “Arias” Currency Issue (www.stacksbowers.com/NewsMedia/Blogs/TabId/780/ArtMID/
Wayne Homren, Editor
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