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101829 | UNITED STATES, FRANCE & PANAMA. Panama Canal silver Medal.

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    101829  |  UNITED STATES, FRANCE & PANAMA. Panama Canal Company silver Medal or Subscriber's Ticket. Issued 1880 (34mm, 20.89 g, 12h). By L.-O. Roty.

     

    PERCEMENT DE L'ISTHME DE PANAMA, America standing facing, welcoming the Atlantic and Pacific clasping hands; scroll, square, and level in exergue / CANAL / DE PANAMA / COMPAGNIE UNIVERSELLE / DU CANALINTEROCÉANIQUE / 7 8 ET 9 DÉCEMBRE 1880 / A SES SOUSCRIPTEURS / LA BANQUE / PARISIENNE in eight lines. Edge: «cornucopia» ARGENT.

     

    Lecompte 2. Choice Mint State. Alluring gray toning, with some darker iridescence highlighting the devices. A rare and desirable type, especially in this metal.

     

    Dating back to the European exploration of what is now Panama in the early 16th century, the idea was floated of a connection of the two oceans at the narrowest point, though the massive earthwerks project would need to wait a few centuries for more modern technology to play a role. This attempt was first made by France, with plans put into effect in the final quarter of the 19th century following the success of the Suez Canal not quite two decades prior. However, difficulties with the actual dig as well as exposure to local diseases that were novel to the European team doomed the project, despite the sentiments expressed on this medal. Though the company project was a failure, it would ultimately come to fruition under an American-led team a quarter of a century later, realizing the dream that had been birthed some four centuries prior.

     

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