Obverse Design The legend "ENRIQUE HALPHEN & CO. JNC" curves along the top. The legend "* PALO ALTO *" curves along the bottom. The middle is blank. The token has a circle of small beads along the edge and a smooth plain raised edge.
Reverse Design The legend "1 LATA" goes across the middle of the token in large letters. The token has a circle of small beads along the edge and a smooth plain raised edge.
Metal Aluminum. Weight Unknown. Size and Shape Round, 26 mm in diameter.
Dates Issued Unknown, but probably sometime between 1918 and 1929.
Issurer Enrique Halphen and Company.
Mintage Unknown.
Rarity Very Rare. Manufacturer Unknown. Other Catalog Numbers Asociación Numismático's F-138, Henkle's Locality Unknown#28, Plumer page #3.
Varieties None known.
Function Coffee plantation token. The token would be given a worker for filling a "lata" with raw green coffee beans. A "lata" was a metal box about one cubic foot in size. On payday the tokens would be turned in for money. In many cases the tokens could also be redeemed at the plantation general store.
Population Count One specimen of this token in collector hands is known to me. No recent sales.

Enrique Halphen and Company owned a number of properties including a store in David, Panama in 1911. Sometime during the years of the worldwide depression (1920's and 1930's), the company fell on financial hard times and sold most of their chain of stores to Aristides Romero. Palo Alto was a coffee finca located in Los Naranjos in the prime Boquete coffee region. It was founded by the American James Denham in 1898. He named it Palo Alto after his hometown in California. Palo Alto was about 750 acres in extent. It was known for producing a high quality coffee, and included the Panama Canal Company among its customers. James Denham died in an accident in March, 1918.

Enrique Halphen and Company is mostly known for its chain of stores, but obviously entered the coffee business at some point and issued this token. Apparently they purchased James Denham's Palo Alto finca after his death in 1918 and ran it for a while, perhaps until their financial debacle in the mid to late 1920's.

This token is somewhat similar to the Enrique Vazquez token, so it may have been manufactured by the same company.