By Christopher Dahncke – Currency Auction Associate, Stack’s Bowers Galleries ……
The June World Paper Money sale from Stack’s Bowers Galleries is shaping up, with the highlights of the sale being a set of four 1941 Panama notes. The star of the set is a P-25a 20 Balboas banknote in PMG Very Fine 25.
The rarity of these 20 Balboas has made them highly collectible in the numismatic community. The 20 Balboas was the highest denomination for the series and is the most difficult to obtain today due to the limited number of survivors. At the time of cataloging, just 10 examples have been encapsulated by PMG for the variety. The example in our June auction has a low serial number of “000059”. The central design is of oxen pulling a cart, with the surrounding guilloché and underprint of purple and orange ink. On the back of the note, arms are at the center, with six “20” counters. PMG comments “Rust”.
These notes have garnered the nickname of the “Arias Issue“, which takes its name from Dr. Arnulfo Arias, who was elected president of Panama in 1940.
In 1941, Arias was ousted as president in a coup by the police, which would indirectly affect the rarity of this note. Arias reformed the banking system as president, allowing official and private banks to issue currency, although the Banco Central Emision de la Republica de Panama was the only bank to do so. The notes were issued on October 2, 1941, and Arias was ousted on October 9, 1941. The bank was immediately closed under new President Dr. Ricardo Adolfo de la Guardia Arango, which meant that the 1941 series of currency was in circulation for less than a week. The notes were quickly removed from circulation and destroyed, which is why so few are available to collectors today.
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Stack’s Bowers is currently taking consignments for our monthly auctions. To consign your U.S. paper money and or world paper money to a future sale, contact a consignment specialist at 800-458-4646 or visit StacksBowers.com. For more information on viewing lots or for assistance in registering to bid, email your inquiry to: [email protected].