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Panama Introduces Six Commemorative Quarters

Panama Introduces Six Commemorative Quarters
Commemorative quarters with designs marking the 100th anniversary and the expansion of the Panama Canal will enter circulation in the coming months, the Economy and Finance Ministry announced Wednesday. The same designs also appear on sets of collectible coins made of silver and gold.

Only 500 sets of the collectible coins have been minted with each set containing six 20-balboa coins made of 99.99% silver and partially plated in 24-carat gold. The set retails for 1,000 balboas (US$1,000) at the headquarters of the National Bank of Panama.

Designs of the New Quarters

The government also plans to mint 12 million quarters, 2 million for each commemorative design, the ministry said. The composition, weight, and size of the new quarters will be identical to the ones in circulation except for the addition of color.

One commemorative design features the first official transit, by SS Ancon, through the Panama Canal in 1914. Another depicts the inauguration this year of a new set locks, which can accommodate bigger ships known as “New (Neo-) Panamax.” Yet another design displays a relief map of the Americas with the text, “Uniting the World for a Century.” The other designs show the crest of Panama, the return of the canal’s control to Panama, and the construction of the canal.

Three of the designs will enter circulation by November, the ministry said. It was unclear which designs were chosen or when the other three designs would be minted.

Balboa, Panama’s official currency, has been pegged to the U.S. dollar since its independence in 1904 and carries the same value as the dollar. Panama has minted coins and paper notes in limited runs over the past century, but U.S. notes and coins make up the majority of currency in circulation.

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