Obverse. Photo © NumisCorner.com
  • 1/2 Balboa 1973-1993, KM# 12b, Panama
  • 1/2 Balboa 1973-1993, KM# 12b, Panama

Armoured bust of Vasco Núñez de Balboa facing left with wreath below and denomination above.

Vasco Núñez de Balboa (c. 1475 – 1519) was a Spanish explorer, governor, and conquistador. He is best known for having crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean in 1513, becoming the first European to lead an expedition to have seen or reached the Pacific from the New World.

He traveled to the New World in 1500 and, after some exploration, settled on the island of Hispaniola. He founded the settlement of Santa María la Antigua del Darién in present-day Panama in 1510, which was the first permanent European settlement on the mainland of the Americas.



Coat of arms with 9 stars above. Name of the country above, date below.

The center section of the coat of arms contains the Isthmus of Panama with its seas and sky, in which the moon begins to rise above the waves and the sun begins to hide behind the mountain. The head is divided in two quarters: in the one of the right hand, a sword and a gun are hung; in the one of the left-hand side, a crossed shovel and a grub hoe. The end of the coat of arms also is divided in two quarters: the one of the right-hand side, shows a cornucopia, emblem of the wealth; and the one of the left-hand side, the winged wheel, symbol of the progress. Behind the shield and covering it with his opened wings, is the eagle, emblem of the sovereignty. On the tape the following motto is printed in Latin: 'For the benefit of the World'. On the eagle, in arc form, nine gold stars go in representation of the provinces in which the Republic is divided. Like decorative accessories, to each side of the coat of arms two gathered national flags go on the other hand below.



1/2 Balboa (Medio)

KM# 12b
Material Copper Nickel Clad Copper
Weight 11.34 g
Diameter 30.61 mm
Thickness 2 mm
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Royal Canadian Mint (RCM)

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