It was introduced only last month but The NASA 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act passed the House and is now in the Senate’s hands for likely approval.
The Act authorizes the United States Mint to produce a $50 gold coin and nine; yes, that’s nine $1 silver coins. It also allows for a bronze duplicate of the gold coin.
The timeline? NASA started on October 1, 1958 so the commemorative coins would have to be released next year.
These new coins would be Proof quality only. They certainly have the potential to be intriguing and popular coins for collectors. The $50 coin is set to contain 1 troy ounce of fine gold and limited to only 50,000. Its Obverse would have an image of the sun and the Reverse "shall bear a design emblematic of the sacrifice of the United States astronauts who lost their lives in the line of duty…"
The nine $1 silver commemorative coins would contain 90 percent silver, 10 percent copper and limited to 300,000 each. Here’s where it gets interesting. The Act states that the Obverse of the coins "shall bear 9 different designs each of which shall consist of an image of 1 of the 9 planets of the solar system, including Earth".
The Act outlines some specific requirements for the Reverse of the $1 coins. And these are interesting too. As exactly copied from the bill [H.R.2750.EH]:
(I) EARTH COIN – The reverse of the $1 coins issued under this Act which bear an image of the Earth on the obverse shall bear images emblematic of, and honoring, the discoveries and missions of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Mercury, Gemini and Space Shuttle missions and other manned Earth-orbiting missions, and the Apollo missions to the Moon.
(II) JUPITER COIN – The reverse of the $1 coins issued under this Act which bear an image of the planet Jupiter on the obverse shall include a scientifically accurate depiction of the Galilean moon Europa and depict both a past and future mission to Europa.
(III) SATURN COIN – The reverse of the $1 coins issued under this Act which bear an image of the planet Saturn on the obverse shall include a scientifically accurate depiction of the moon Titan and depict both a past and a future mission to Titan.
(IV) PLUTO (AND OTHER DWARF PLANETS) COIN – The reverse of the $1 coins issued under this Act which bear an image of the planet Pluto on the obverse shall include a design that is emblematic of telescopic exploration of deep space by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the ongoing search for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars.
According to the Act, the silver $1 coins can be distributed separately but the $50 gold coin would only be sold as part of the compete set, containing the nine $1 silver commemorative coins.
We’ll track the progression of the Bill through the Senate and keep you updated!