Gagarin Space Coin Launched from The Perth Mint of Australia

by on July 15, 2008 · 0 comments

2008 Yuri Gagarin silver proof coinThe Perth Mint of Australia has launched an innovative rotating coin commemorating the first man in space. The legal-tender, 1 oz silver coin celebrates the journey of Yuri Gagarin, who became the first person to enter space and orbit Earth for 1 hour 48 minutes aboard Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961.

The limited minted coin marks the second release in the Perth Mint’s successful Orbit and Beyond Coin Series.

Gagarin’s flight ushered in a new era of manned space exploration that the 2008 Yuri Gagarin silver proof coin memorializes in a most unique way.

The .999 fine silver coin is constructed to rotate or "orbit" around a central brass representation of a colorful earth.

Equally colorful is the outer reverse or tails design bearing a "montage of images" symbolizing Gagarin’s journey and the border inscriptions "1961 FIRST MAN IN SPACE – YURI GAGARIN."

The coin’s obverse of heads side features Raphael Maklouf effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The silver coin is coated with a transparent wear-resistant finish, enabling owners to handle and rotate the coin without contaminating its proof surface.

Yuri Gagarin flew only one space mission. His orbit around earth reach a speed of 27,400 kilometers per hour and an altitude of 327 kilometers. Gagarin died on March 27, 1968 while flying a MiG-15 outside of Moscow. At the request of his wife, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin left one of Gagarin’s medals on the moon as a tribute to the world’s first man in space.

The first Orbit and Beyond Series coin was released in 2007. The orbital 50th Anniversary of Sputnik silver coin celebrated the launch of Sputnik on October 4, 2057. There are three coin additions in the series scheduled for future release.

Gagarin Space Coin specifications, price and order information

The following are the coin specifications, as provided by The Perth Mint:

  • Proof Quality 99.9% Pure Silver, 1oz
  • Revolutionary Reverse – the outer rim of the coin revolves around the coin’s center
  • Issued as Legal Tender
  • Weight is 31.135 g
  • Diameter of 38.74 mm
  • Thickness of 3.05 mm
  • Elliptical-Shaped Display Case
  • Numbered Certificate of Authenticity
  • Limited Mintage – 25,000

The commemorative silver coin is currently priced at:

  • $88.64 (AUS)
  • $86.22 (US)

For more information or to place orders, visit the The Perth Mint product page:

First Man In Space – Yuri Gagarin 2008 Silver Proof Orbital Coin


About the Perth Mint

The Perth Mint, wholly-owned by the State Government of Western Australia, is the official issuer of the Australian Federal Government’s Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Program. The Mint opened in 1899 in response to the discovery of rich gold deposits in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie.  It was Australia’s third branch of Britain’s Royal Mint – the others being the Sydney Mint and the Melbourne Mint (both closed).

The Perth Mint remained under Britain’s jurisdiction until 1 July 1970, when ownership transferred to the State Government of Western Australia. 

In 2003, The Perth Mint officially opened an 8,400 square metre state-of-the-art manufacturing facility next door to its original limestone building.  Dominating the Mint’s heritage precinct, these two important buildings are powerful symbols of more than 100 years of minting excellence in Western Australia.

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