Arguably one of the most anticipated coin programs of the decade debuts today, Jan. 24, with the launching of the 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coins.
Interest in the coins stem not only from their subject matter, but also their unique design features and specifications. Seven different Apollo 11 coins and one special Kennedy half-dollar have been minted. They launch at noon EST.
Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coins include proof and uncirculated $5 gold coins, silver dollars, clad half dollars and a first for the U.S. Mint — a proof five-ounce silver dollar with a reeded edge and a curved shape. In fact, the dome shape carries through to the other six Apollo 11 coins as does basic design elements.
Of note, the silver dollars are struck from 99.9% pure silver. This is a change from previous silver commemoratives which were produced from 90% silver.
As an added incentive for collectors, also available at noon is a limited-edition 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Half Dollar Set containing a 2019-S Proof Apollo 11 Half Dollar and a 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof Kennedy Half Dollar that recognizes the relationship between President Kennedy and the American space program.
Both of the set’s 50-cent pieces were minted at the U.S. Mint’s facility in San Francisco.
Apollo 11 Commemorative Coin Law and Coin Designs
Congress authorized the coins with the passage of the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act. The Act became Public Law 114–282 when it was signed by President Obama on Dec. 16, 2016.
As part of the law, Congress dictated the coins be issued "in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the Moon" and to have a unique curved shape similar to the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemoratives.
Also, Congress required a competition to come up with the coins’ shared obverse (heads side) design. Belfast, Maine artist Gary Cooper won from among candidates unveiled in October 2017. Cooper’s design features a booted footprint on the lunar surface. Surrounding the image are phases of the Moon which separate the inscriptions of MERCURY, GEMINI, and APOLLO — all NASA space exploration projects.
IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY and 2019 are also inscribed along with the appropriate mintmark, Cooper’s initials, and the initials of U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver Joseph Menna.
Each coin also has a common reverse. The general design was outlined in Public Law 114-282 with candidates reviewed in June 2017.
Engraved by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill, the design depicts a representation of a close-up of the famous ‘Buzz Aldrin on the Moon’ photograph taken July 20, 1969. It shows part of Aldrin’s helmet with its reflection of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the United States flag, and the lunar lander on the surface of the moon.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM and the denomination of the coin appear around the scene.
Apollo 11 Coin Specifications
Specifications for the coins issued in the Apollo 11 series are as follows:
|$5 Gold Coin||Silver Dollar||50c Clad||$1 Silver Five Ounce|
|Finish||Proof and Uncirculated||Proof and Uncirculated||Proof and Uncirculated||Proof|
|Composition||90% Gold, 6% Silver, Balance Copper||99.9% Silver||8.33% Nickel, Balance Copper||99.9% Silver|
|Weight||8.359 Grams||26.73 Grams||11.34 Grams||5 Ounces|
|Diameter||0.850 Inches||1.500 Inches||1.205 Inches||3 Inches|
In related products, the U.S. Mint is offering the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 2019 Engraved Three-Print Collection from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing — the agency responsible for printing U.S. currency. As part of the collection, the print entitled Mission launches today for $20.
Buyers may also subscribe to the complete three-print collection which includes Mission and the upcoming prints of The Eagle Has Landed and Giant Leap.
In addition, a joint United States Mint and Royal Australian Mint Apollo 11 set will include a U.S. Apollo 11 half-dollar and an Australian Moon Landing $5 silver coin. The set’s details and release date are yet to be announced.
Apollo 11 Commemorative Coin Pricing and Limits
Pricing of the Apollo 11 products are presented in the chart below:
|Introductory Price||Regular Prices**||Mintage Limit||Product Limit||Household Order Limit|
|2019-W Proof $5 Gold Coin||$418.75*||*||50,000||None||1|
|2019-W Uncirculated $5 Gold Coin||$408.75*||1|
|2019-P Proof Silver Dollar||$54.95||$59.95||400,000||100|
|2019-P Uncirculated Silver Dollar||$51.95||$56.95||100|
|2019-S Proof Clad Half Dollar||$27.95||$32.95||750,000||None|
|2019-D Uncirculated Clad Half Dollar||$25.95||$30.95||None|
|2019-S Proof Half Dollar Set||N/A||$53.95||100,000||5|
|2019-P Proof $1 Five Ounce Silver Coin||$224.95||$229.95||100,000||None||5|
*Gold coin prices are set according to the U.S. Mint’s pricing matrix and they can change weekly. **Regular pricing goes into effect on Feb. 25, 2019 at 3 p.m. EST.
As outlined by their authorizing law, Apollo 11 product prices includes surcharges of $35 per gold coin, $10 per silver dollar, $5 for each half-dollar, and $50 for each five-ounce silver coin.
The collected funds, as long as the coins turn a profit, will be distributed between the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum’s Destination Moon exhibition; the Astronauts Memorial Foundation; and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
Beginning at Noon ET, the U.S. Mint will accept orders at catalog.usmint.gov and 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order at 1-888-321-MINT.