Panama, Simon Bolivar, Large Silver 20 Balboas, 1974, Obv: a three quarter portrait of Simon Bolivar, the legendary political and military leader who helped Panama to establish itself as a sovereign state, independent of Spanish rule, the coin bears the inscription "SIMON BOLIVAR 1783 - 1830" and the date 1974, Rev: coat of arms of Panama with the inscription "REPUBLICA DE PANAMA LEY 0.925 20 BALBOAS", 129.5g, 61mm, (KM # 31), Proof.
Between 1971 and 1985, Panama issued large silver 20 Balboa coins. When they were released they were one of the largest coins produced. These coins were issued in both proof and uncirculated finishes. The mintage of the proof versions is higher than that of the uncirculated coins. Therefore, occasionally the premium for the the uncirculated version may be priced slightly higher than the proof.
Panama was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502, and explored by Vasco Nunez de Balboa in 1513. It became independent of Spanish rule in 1821and joined the Confederation of Greater Columbia. In 1903 with US encouragement and support it broke away to become a fully independent republic.
Panama started issuing its own coins after independence from Columbia in 1903. In the days of Spanish control, Panama City was a main shipping centre for plundered gold and silver from Latin America, and is seems appropriate therefore that Panama has produced a number of attractive, often very large, silver coins.