- Mintage Limit - 500
- 100 Years Panama Canal 1914 - 2014 50g Silver Coin
- With Digital printing and Frosted parts
- Coin in capsule+with Certificate of Authenticity+Presentation Case
The Panama Canal is a 48-mile (77.1 km) ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade.
One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the Panama Canal shortcut greatly reduced the amount of time taken for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, enabling them to avoid the lengthy, hazardous Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America via the Drake Passage or Strait of Magellan. The shorter, faster, and safer route to the U.S. West Coast and to nations in and around the Pacific Ocean allowed those places to become more integrated with the world economy.
The earliest mention of a canal across the Isthmus of Panama dates to 1534, when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, ordered a survey for a route through the Americas that would ease the voyage for ships traveling between Spain and Peru. Such a route would have given the Spanish a military advantage over the Portuguese. In 1849, the discovery of gold in California created great interest in a crossing between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In 1877 Armand Reclus, an officer with the French Navy, and Lucien Napoléon Bonaparte Wyse, two engineers, surveyed the route and published a French proposal for a canal. In 1881, the first attempt to construct a sea-level canal began under the leadership of Ferdinand de Lesseps, builder of the Suez Canal, but had to stop because of engineering problems and high mortality due to disease. The United States took over the project in 1904, and took a decade to complete the canal, which was officially opened on August 15, 1914