Legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks coins in 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon.
Proposed gold, silver and clad coins would be curved similar to the popular 2014 Baseball Commemorative Coins, bear a common obverse design selected by competition, share a reverse depiction of the famed photo of Buzz Aldrin on the moon, and feature very unique edges.
Entitled the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act and numbered H.R.2726, the legislation calls for up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, a maximum of 400,000 silver dollars, and up to 750,000 clad half-dollars in collector qualities of proof and uncirculated. Additionally, there would be up to 100,000 $1 five-ounce silver coins struck only in proof. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) on June 10, 2015.
"The United States remains the only country to have ever landed humans on a celestial body off the Earth and brought them home safely," said Rep. Posey who worked on the Apollo program as a young man. "Honoring that great feat and recognizing astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins, who made this historic journey, is what our bipartisan legislation is all about."
July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission moon landing.
According to the language in H.R.2726, the shared obverse or heads side design must be concave in shape and emblematic of the United States space program leading up to the first manned moon landing. To get a design, the Secretary of the Treasury would hold a juried and public competition with the winner receiving at least $5,000.
Each coin would share a common convex-shape reverse or tails side design that is:
"Representation of a close-up of the famous ‘Buzz Aldrin on the Moon’ photograph taken July 20, 1969, showing just the visor and part of the helmet of astronaut Edwin Eugene ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Jr., in which the visor reflects the image of the United States flag and the lunar lander."
Additionally, H.R.2726 offers the following guidance for coin edges:
"To the extent possible without significantly adding to the purchase price of the coins, the coins minted under this Act should be produced with the design of the reverse of the coins continuing over what would otherwise be the edge of the coins, such that the reverse design extends all the way to the obverse design."
Surcharges of $35 for every $5 coin, $10 per silver dollar and $5 for every half-dollar would be collected and funds split with:
one half to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum’s "Destination Moon" exhibit, for design, education, and installation costs related to establishing and maintaining the exhibit, and for costs related to creating a traveling version of the exhibition;
one quarter to the Astronauts Memorial Foundation (astronautsmemorial.org), for costs related to the preservation, maintenance, and enhancement of the Astronauts Memorial and for promotion of space exploration through educational initiatives; and
one quarter to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (astronautscholarship.org), to aid its missions of promoting the importance of science and technology to the general public and of aiding the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing college scholarships for the very best and brightest students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).
The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) has been recommending Apollo 11 50th anniversary commemorative coins since at least 2014, voting unanimously to include their suggestion for them in their annual report for two straight years.
For H.R.2726 to become law, it must pass in the House, the Senate and get signed by the President. The legislation currently has 7 cosponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services and Committee on the Budget.