Panama's Paper Money

In 1941, Arnulfo Arias, then president of Panama, created the "Banco Central de Emision de la Republica de Panama". Decree 6 of September 30, 1941 is the law that made it possible to create paper money by a non-governmental controlled bank. This bank was publicly owned and had the power to issue paper money. Arnulfo was able to bypassed the normal governmental and fiduciary procedures to have this accomplished. 

This bank created and issued the following paper notes:

 1 Balboa   720,000  each 
 5 Balboas   100,000  each 
 10 Balboas   100,000  each 
 20 Balboas   25,000  each

Each bill measured 158 mm ( 6.22 inches) in length by 67 mm ( 2.64 inches) in width.

With the removal of Arnulfo Arias from office, this law was repealed by Decree 19, on December 30, 1941 the bill were withdrawn from circulation and burned. The US Government were instrumental in his removal from office, and the destruction of the paper currency.

It is estimated that approximately 3,000 of the one Balboa bills escaped the torch and can be found in the hands of collectors.  The bills are very rare, and hard to get.  I have seen a couple of the one Balboa bills auctioned on eBay, and going for well over $2,000, (in prime, uncirculated condition).



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