The United States Mint pulled back the curtains today to unveil information and final designs for the curved Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coins that launch on Jan. 24, 2019.
An event revealing the designs kicked off minutes ago at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., featuring guest speaker Apollo 7 astronaut Walt Cunningham.
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the Moon, the U.S. Mint is striking $5 gold coins, 5-ounce silver dollars, 1-ounce silver dollars, and clad half-dollars. All of them will share common designs and a curved shape.
The U.S. Mint produced its first curved coins four years ago in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. They were enormously popular.
Apollo 11 Coin Designs
Gary Cooper’s artwork won among candidates for the coins’ obverse (heads side) design. Engraved by Joseph Menna, it features the inscriptions "MERCURY," "GEMINI," and "APOLLO," separated by phases of the Moon, and a footprint on the lunar surface, which together represent the efforts of the United States space program leading up to the first manned Moon landing. Additional inscriptions include "2019," "IN GOD WE TRUST," and "LIBERTY."
Designed and engraved by Phebe Hemphill, reverses depict a representation of a close-up of the famous ‘Buzz Aldrin on the Moon’ photograph taken July 20, 1969, that shows just the visor and part of the helmet of astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
The reflection in Buzz Aldrin’s helmet includes astronaut Neil Armstrong, the United States flag, and the lunar module. Inscriptions include "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," the denomination, and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."
Product Options and Limits
The U.S. Mint will produce 7 coins in total, making them available in varying mintages, collector finishes, denominations, and compositions. It will also strike a unique Kennedy 50c as a part of the 50th anniversary celebrations.
Available U.S. Mint specifications for the Apollo 11 coins follow.
Seven Different Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Coins
|$5 Gold||1oz Silver Dollar||5oz Silver Dollar||50c|
|Finish||Proof and Uncirculated||Proof and Uncirculated||Proof||Proof and Uncirculated|
|Composition||90% Gold, 6% Silver, Balance Copper||90% Silver, 10% Copper||99.9% Silver||8.33% Nickel, Balance Copper|
|Overall Height||0.141 Inches||0.243 Inches||–||–|
|Weight||8.359 Grams||26.730 Grams||5 Ounces||11.34 Grams|
|Diameter||0.850 Inches||1.500 Inches||3 Inches||1.205 Inches|
|Mint Mark||W for West Point||P for Philadelphia||P for Philadelphia||‘D’ for Denver Mint, Uncirculated;
‘S’ for San Francisco Mint, Proof
The 3-inch 2019-P Proof Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Five-Ounce Silver Dollar marks several firsts for the U.S. Mint. It will be the agency’s first 5-ounce piece that has a proof finish, a reeded edge and a curved shape. The Mint’s existing lineup of 5-ounce products includes bullion and uncirculated coins having America the Beautiful quarter dollar designs and flat edges.
Special Half Dollar Set
Additionally, look forward to a half dollar set with coins from the San Francisco Mint that celebrate the correlation between President Kennedy and the American space program. This set will contain one 2019-S Proof Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Half Dollar and one 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof Kennedy Half Dollar.
It will be limited to 100,000 units and have a household order limit of 5.
Discounted Pricing Period and Coin Surcharges
Coin prices are yet to be announced. The U.S. Mint did say that it will offer discounted pricing during an introductory period from Jan. 24 to Feb. 25.
Prices will include surcharges of $50 per 5-ounce silver dollar, $35 per gold coin, $10 per silver dollar, and $5 per half-dollar. Provided the coins turn a profit, the collected funds will be shared between the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum’s Destination Moon exhibition; the Astronauts Memorial Foundation; and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program is authorized by law only for calendar year 2019, meaning the U.S. Mint cannot issue or sell the 7 coins in any other year.
They will be sold via the United States Mint’s online store, catalog.usmint.gov, toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468), and over-the-counter at various United States Mint sales centers.