Apollo 11 Coin Design Competition Begins May 1

Mint Site - Apollo 11 Coin Design Competition
A screenshot of the U.S. Mint webpage promoting the upcoming design competition

On May 1, the United States Mint will open a public contest to design curved Apollo 11 Commemorative Coins.

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the Moon, the U.S. Mint in 2019 will produce and issue $5 gold coins, silver dollars, clad half-dollars, and 5 ounce $1 silver coins.

The collection of coins will share the same obverse (heads) and reverse (tails) designs, and will be curved in shape similar to the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Baseball Coins.

Buzz Aldrin on moon
Buzz Aldrin walking on the surface of the moon. His helmet visor shows a reflection of the U.S. flag and the lunar lander, features that will be depicted in 2019 on U.S. Mint commemorative coins.

Artists from the Mint will design the reverse. The authorizing law for the coins (Public Law 114-282) calls for a close-up depiction of the famous 1969 "Buzz Aldrin on the Moon" photograph, showing just a part of Aldrin’s helmet to include his visor and its reflection of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the United States flag, and the lunar lander.

Artists who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States will be asked to design the coins’ common obverse design, which must be emblematic of the U.S. space program leading up to the first manned Moon landing. The winning artist, with their design selected by the Secretary of the Treasury from the juried competition, will receive $5,000 and have their initials appear on the coins.

Key dates for the design competition include:

  • Applications Open: May 1, 2017
  • Application Deadline: June 29, 2017
  • Artists Notified if Selected to Submit a Design: July 31, 2017
  • Submissions Must Be Received By: September 8, 2017
  • Winner Announced: 2018

2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coins will be issued in collector qualities of both proof and uncirculated, with exception of the 5 ounce $1 silver coin which will be issued in proof only. Maximum mintages are established at:

  • 50,000 for the $5 gold coins,
  • 400,000 silver dollars,
  • 750,000 clad half-dollars, and
  • 100,000 for the 5 ounce $1 silver proof coin.

For more information, official rules and FAQ’s, the United States Mint has a webpage devoted to the design competition.

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It bothers me that the 2019 Apollo 11 Commemorative program will include a 5 ounce silver coin. Because this may mean that the 5 ounce ATB silver coins will now be considered commemoratives. If that’s the case, I’ll have to re-evaluate continuing my commemorative coin collection, because I do not plan on going back to purchase all those so-called pucks I’ve been ignoring.


Interesting, though technically the Ike and Anthony dollars already commemorated the landing with the Apollo 11 on the reverse of each series. Guess Buzz will join the select group of living people who have been on U.S. commemorative coins, mostly in the 1920s and ’30s, though Eunice Shriver made it in ’95.


This should be the last commemorative I buy, not that I’m buying any in between now and then … and if all the coins carry the same obverse/reverse then I’ll just buy a proof dollar. I was thinking of the 5 oz puck but I read somewhere that it will have a $35 or $50 surcharge .. so not for me

a Bob

Not excited about this program either. They blew it with the consistent design across all coins.