The 1-cent stamp of the Panama-Pacific Exposition Issue was produced in two varieties — the first, issued in 1913, has perforations 12. The second, issued in 1914, has perforations 10. The first denomination of the Issue features a portrait of Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1475–1517), the Spanish explorer who, at the age of thirty-eight, 'discovered' the Pacific Ocean and claimed it for Spain. He called the ocean 'Mar del Sur'. Balboa, accused of numerous crimes by his competitor Pedro Arias Dávila, suffered a tragic death by beheading.
The 1-cent Balboa paid the one-cent card rate. Patrons also commonly combined it with other denominations to fulfill large weight and foreign destination rates. An estimated total of over 330 million 1-cent stamps were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and issued to the public.
Alexander T. Haimann, National Postal Museum
February 24, 2008
Scott Catalogue USA: 401
mint; perf 10
Museum ID: 1980.2493.2200