The Mireya Moscoso Coin (1991)

10_Balboas_F 10_Balboas_B

The Mireya Moscoso coin was made in 1999 in honor of important events

of the time in Panama.

  The Mireya Moscoso coin from Panama is measured 1.7 inches across and made of silver. This coin is the equivalent to the United States ten dollar bill. The coin has a picture of Mireya Panama, the President of Panama in the front. In the back of the coin, is a partial picture of a ship on the bottom of the coin with the flag of Panama being the centered image. Note that this coin is not the only coin in the Panama region that is valued at ten dollars. Another coin previously made was produced in 1978 in honor of the Panama Canal Zone.

 The Mireya Moscoso coin honored three significant events in the Panama region: the Panama Canal, the new century, and the first female president elected from Panama. The Panama Canal was a symbol of foreign countries, mainly the United States, interfering with the affairs of the Americas. By 1881, The United States gave permission to Ferdinand de Lesseps to build a canal like the Suez Canal across Panama, but the project was eventually stopped due to the spread of diseases. Later, the Panama Canal project was picked up once again. This time, the project took ten years and 40,000 labor workers. The project was eventually finished in 1992. By 1993, the United States granted the Panama region for their independence by sealing the support with a treaty. At first, the Panama Canal was at a loss because of the lack of traffic, dealing with dangerous groups, and little rain water to keep the flow of the Canal. However, the significance of the Panama Canal in 2002 drastically increased when it brought 106 million dollars worth of revenue for the government.

 Mireya Moscoso became the first elected female president in Panama. She considered herself one of the people and promised that she would never forget where she came from.  Moscoso consistently worked on decreasing the rate of poverty and unemployment.  As a writer stated after attending one of her rallies, “the hope is that someone who came from below will help more”. However, her lack of education (attending community college for designing) and being a woman had been a disadvantage to her presidency.  She left her office in 2004.

The main controversies behind the coin were because the Panama Canal was not willingly transferred to the Americas willingly by the United States. Even though the United States supported their independence, giving up the canal was a loss economically after funding for the project of ten years. Another controversy is that the coin was not very popular by many Panama officials and was labeled as illegal because in the constitution it states that presidents “cannot pay homage to living government officials while serving their terms”.  Mireya Moscoso was obviously still alive during the production of the coins. Another reason was Mireya Moscoso was not very popular as the president because she ended up stealing public funds from the people. This was highly frowned upon and Moscoso ended up leaving office in 2004 when Martin Torrijos was elected. The coin still was circulated throughout the Panama region and was the first to feature a living person.


Blake, Javier. “Mireya Moscoso Coin.” N.p.. Web. <;.

Knight, Judson. “Panama Canal .” Espionage Encyclopedia . N.p.. Web. <;.

Navarro, Mireya. “Woman in the News: Mireya Elisa Moscoso; Earnest Icon For Panama.” The New York Times. The New York Times. Web. < Topics/People/M/Moscoso, Mireya>.

Paitilla, Estafeta. “Business.” The Panama News. N.p.. Web. <;.

Ruiz, Bruce. “Coins Greater Than 1 Balboa.” . N.p., 21 Jun 2001. Web. <;.


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