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All eyes ready to turn to Apollo 11 coin program

Yesterday, the Mint began a countdown to the Apollo 11 commemorative coin program.

It sent out an email that said, “T-Minus 8 days until lift off.”

Sales begin Jan. 24.

Collectors will have the opportunity to purchase cupped coins.

There is a $5 gold piece, a silver dollar, and a clad 50 cents.

As an exciting addition to the set, there will be a cupped 5-ounce silver dollar coin.

Also, a special two-coin half dollar set will feature a cupped clad half with a Kennedy proof.

President John F. Kennedy committed the nation to landing on the moon before the end of the 1960s.

His goal was met.

The nation was riveted by the July 20, 1969, moon landing.

Here we are 50 years later.

Pricing has not been posted yet by the Mint for the West Point uncirculated and proof $5 gold coins.

Combined maximum mintage is 50,000.

Both silver dollars will come from Philadelphia.

Price of the proof is $54.95. The uncirculated is $51.95.

Combined maximum mintage is 400,000.

The 5-ounce proof silver dollar will come from Philadelphia also, and its price is $224.95.

Maximum mintage is 100,000.

Both the silver dollar and the larger 5-ounce silver dollar version will be struck in .999 fine silver.

A standard silver dollar is .900 fine.

The proof clad half from Philadelphia is $27.95.

The uncirculated half from Denver is $25.95.

Combined mintage is 750,000.

This number will include the cupped halves included in the two-coin half dollar set.

Price of the set is $53.95. Maximum number of these sets that will be sold is 100,000.

Are these new commemoratives a big deal?

I think so, but don’t take my word for it.

Coin grading services think so, too.

The Professional Coin Grading Service has partnered with the Astronauts Memorial Foundation to create a special label for the Apollo 11 coins.

PCGS will donate 50 percent of the label fee to the foundation.

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation is working with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) to create its new label.

NGC notes that this is the first time that a U.S. commemorative silver dollar has been struck in .999 fineness.

It will note this historical fact on the new NGC label.

Surcharges applied to each coin sold by the Mint will raise money.

The ASF, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, and the AMF will split the proceeds.

Sellouts will make them happy.

Will sellouts be achieved? Perhaps not for the 750,000 clad half dollars, but for the gold and silver pieces I think sellouts are likely.

It is going to be quite a first day Jan. 24 for the Apollo 11 coin program.

I hope you have a blast.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017. He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."