Look to 2019 for coins shaped like the faceplate of an astronaut’s helmet. As expected Friday, President Obama signed the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act.
It directs the Treasury Secretary, and thereby the United States Mint, to produce and sell dome-shaped coins to celebrate the semicentennial of the first manned landing on the Moon.
The commemoratives will be exceptionally popular with collectors and space enthusiasts alike, bearing unique designs and features that include:
a curved shape that is similar to the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Baseball Coins (concave obverse with convex reverse)
a common obverse (heads side) design, which is emblematic of the United States space program leading up to the first manned Moon landing, selected by a public competition, and
- a shared reverse (tails side) depiction of the visor and part of the helmet from the famous photo of Buzz Aldrin on the moon.
In addition, if it is possible without greatly adding to coin prices, reverse designs will flow around to touch their obverse designs. Typical commemorative coins have reeded edges like on dimes and quarters.
The U.S. Mint will produce 7 coins in total, offering them in varying mintages, collector finishes, denominations, and compositions.
Seven Different Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Coins
|$5 Gold||Silver Dollar||50c||$1 Silver|
|Finish||Proof and Uncirculated||Proof and Uncirculated||Proof and Uncirculated||Proof|
|Composition||Not Less Than 90% Gold||Not Less Than 90% Silver||8.33% Nickel, Balance Copper||0.999 Fine Silver, Balance Copper|
|Weight||8.359 Grams||26.73 Grams||11.34 Grams||5 Ounces|
|Diameter||0.850 Inches||1.500 Inches||1.205 Inches||3 Inches|
All 7 coins will bear typical inscriptions of LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, as well as their denomination and the year 2019.
Provided they turn a profit, coin sales prices will include surcharges of $50 per 5-ounce $1 silver coin, $35 per gold coin, $10 per silver dollar, and $5 per half-dollar. Collected funds will be shared between the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum’s "Destination Moon" exhibit; the Astronauts Memorial Foundation; and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program is authorized only for calendar year 2019, meaning the U.S. Mint cannot produce or sell the 7 coins in any other year.
On July 16, 1969, the Apollo 11 spacecraft launched from Launch Complex 39A at the John F. Kennedy Space Center carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, who on July 20, 2019 become the first humans to land on the Moon.
During the time period from 1969 through 1972, NASA completed eight Apollo missions and landed 12 men on the Moon.
Rep. Bill Posey, who was a part of the Apollo program, introduced the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act (H.R.2727) on June 10, 2015.
"Passage of this bill honors that great feat and recognizes astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins, who made the historic journey," Rep. Posey said. "I would like to thank all of our cosponsors who worked to make this possible."