Apollo 11 design introduced
Leaving a footprint on the Moon was a major achievement 50 years ago when Neil Armstrong became the first person to do so after he stepped off the lunar lander.
The Apollo 11 commemorative coin designs for 2019 were officially unveiled Oct. 11 at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Neil Armstrong’s first footprint on the moon is the major design device on the obverse, while the reverse shows Buzz Aldrin’s helmet visor with the reflection of Armstrong, the flag, and the lunar lander on it.
All four coins will be curved like the 2014 baseball coins. They were introduced by David Ryder, director, United States Mint; Dr. Ellen Stofan, director, National Air & Space Museum; Gabe Sherman, Deputy Chief of Staff NASA; and Walt Cunningham, Apollo 7 Astronaut.
The four coins are a $5 gold piece, a silver dollar, a clad half dollar, and a silver five-ounce proof dollar. This is the first five-ounce coin that will have a proof finish, reeded edge, and be curved, according to the Mint. Surcharges on each piece will be $35, $10, $5, and $50, respectively.
To help boost sales, the Mint plans to issue a special two-piece half dollar set. Mintage will be limited to 100,000. Featured in it will be a 2019 commemorative half dollar and a 2019 John F. Kennedy enhanced reverse proof half dollar. A household order limit of five will be in effect for this special set.
The Apollo 11 coin program will begin at noon Eastern Time on Jan. 24, 2019.
Artist Gary Cooper designed the common obverse of the commemoratives. The Mint describes it this way:
The obverse design 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.”
The reverse design features 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.”
The obverse was engraved by Joseph Menna. The reverse was designed and engraved by Phebe Hemphill.
Half of the total surcharge income is authorized to be paid to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s “Destination Moon” exhibit; one quarter will go to the Astronauts Memorial Foundation and one quarter to the Astronauts Scholarship Foundation.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.