Obverse Design The legend "BOQUETE COFFEE & COMMERCIAL CO." starts near the bottom left and curves along the top until reaching the bottom right. Along the bottom between the beginning and ending of the legend are four ornamental dots. In the center, on three separate lines, are the legends "FINCA", "-: SANTA :-" and "MARIA". Below that in larger font is the date "1903". Above the word finca is an ornament consisting of a dash cross dash ("- + -"). This small cross has four equal length arms with arrowheads at the end of each arm. The token has denticles along the edge and a smooth plain raised edge.
Reverse Design

The legend "BOQUETE," curves along the top. The legend "REPUBLIC" goes across the upper middle with an upward curve. The word "OF" is in the center of the token. The legend "COLUMBIA" goes across the lower middle with a downward curve. The legend "S.A." curves along the bottom.

Below "BOQUETE," and above "REPUBLIC" are three ornamental dots next to each other. On either side of the "OF" are dashes (or possibly three dots merged into each other that look like a dash). Below "COLUMBIA" and above "S.A." is another set of three ornamental dots. On either side on the "S.A." are ornamental four-leaf clovers (or possibly crosses).

The token has denticles along the edge and a smooth plain raised edge.

Metal Aluminum. Weight 4.0 grams. Size and Shape Round, 34 mm in diameter.
Dates Issued 1903.
Issurer BOQUETE COFFEE & COMMERCIAL CO.
Mintage Unknown.
Rarity Rare. Manufacturer Unknown, probably a United States firm. Other Catalog Numbers Asociación Numismático's F-65.
Varieties Boquete Coffee and Commercial Company issued two different tokens. This variety is slightly larger and does not have any denomination. The other, smaller variety has the denomination of 1 Lata.
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 Four specimens of this token in collector hands are known to me. Recent sales include:
  1. Auction sale on ebay on June 3, 2003 for $187.50.
Notes

In 1894, J.R. Thomas was contracted by a Chicago firm (Boquete Coffee and Commercial Company) to administer their coffee finca in Boquete. J.R. Thomas and his wife Sarah moved from California to Boquete. J.R. Thomas managed Finca Santa Maria (in the Alto Lino region) from 1894 until 1916. Under his management the finca prospered. In 1907 it had 75,000 coffee trees, and continued to do well until J.R. Thomas died unexpectedly in 1916. With his passing, the Boquete Coffee and Commercial Company choose to discontinue its coffee business.

The finca was purchased by a Swiss family, A.O. (Albert Oscar) Sandberg and his wife Olga. They renamed the finca "La Bonita". A.O. Sandberg died in 1945, but his son A.O. "Buster" Sandberg continued to operate the finca as a family business. In 2000 Buster Sandberg was 80 years old but still going strong.

The Finca Santa Maria tokens are the earliest known coffee finca tokens from Boquete.

The town of Boquete is in the mountains of Chiriqui province, where the climate is cooler than at sea-level. Coffee, oranges, flowers and other agricultural products are grown in the region surrounding Boquete.