On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human being to travel more then 250,000 miles from earth and set foot on the moon. The event was watched by over half a billion people around the world. Everyone I know was glued to the TV set for this most historical and significant event, most likely the greatest achievement mankind has ever accomplished.
I was just 12 then, but I was fascinated by what was happening and what mankind was doing, sending a man to the moon. How in the world could this be possible I pondered? I am still intrigued even 39 years later that we had managed to do this unbelievable thing! The adventure, the thrill the amazing feat, this real life story had it all.
I am still reading about what it took to accomplish this, and in some ways it fascinates me more now knowing that we are so much more technically advanced than we were in 1969. I am still in awe and still look up from time to time at that bright object in the sky, and wonder how we ever got there.
Next year is the 40th anniversary of one of man’s greatest achievement, at least in my eyes, and I am sure in many others. We, as citizens of America, the government and the U.S. Mint have to commemorate that historical event with a beautiful commemorative coin, one that is original and awe inspiring as the moon landing itself! One that is as artistic, new and different. One that will capture the wonder, beauty and meaning of man’s most outstanding accomplishment. This, in my opinion, has to be done, no questions asked.
I know that recently a new bill was passed that will picture the sun in gold and the nine planets in silver to be issued next year. Frankly, I was surprised that we would even consider such coins, as the U.S. has not done so before. I think it is fine, but this coin, the 40th anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon, should be individual and different, separate from the planet’s bill.
This commemorative coin should be totally different than any other U.S. coin ever minted. It should be done with the newest technology and minting processes available to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Just like the great minds who put together the Apollo project and figured out how to get three men off this planet, up threw the heavens, fly hundreds and thousands of miles, land them safely on another heavenly body, and then bring them back alive, the people of this country, the Mint and its advisers should figure out how to make the most beautiful collectible coin in history to honor this event! We have to produce a coin that is as grand as the moon landing was.
As an artist and photographer, and one who loves coins fand is fascinated by the space program and the moon landing, I would want to see something really special, exciting and interesting. As innovative as our country was in getting to the moon, this coin on the 40th anniversary should have the same level of amazement and innovation.
Other countries have already minted coins that are unique. Many coins are colored, partly colored, contain holograms and moving images, and have all sorts of new and fascinating technology and minting techniques, as well as odd shapes and the use of unique and different metals. There are all sorts of full color coins made of new metals previously not or hardly used in coinage before that are just beautiful a creative. The use of these different metals, such as titanium, makes for lightweight and wonderful, colorful coins, different from anything I have ever seen. I give these countries a lot of credit on being so bold as to try different ideas for their commemorative coins. I have seen wonderful black, red and aqua coins made from this titanium that are stunning to look at. Still other countries have minted bi-metal coins, some even tri-metal coins. There are coins out there that have “windows” so that you can see semi-precious stones inside, and other coins with other marvelous features, so many that I can’t name them all here. The point is, we should do something really unique and different for the 40th anniversary of the moon landing and honor Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, who flew above in the command module, as well as all the great minds of NASA.
Take it up a notch and produce a limited edition commemorative unlike anything we have ever seen. The U.S. Mint is a little lackluster with creativity and using new concepts for coin design. Don’t you as a collector and space buff think it is time for us to come up with something in the coin word that is just as amazing and beautiful as other countries’ coins?
We need to ask Congress, the Mint and anyone else to get this done. Maybe we can contact the president. Mr. Bush, if you are listening, and before you leave office, please think about commemorating this event with such a coin. We cannot and should not let the 40th anniversary go by without doing something, and without doing it on a grand level. I do not want to wait until the 50th anniversary.
I have quite a few ideas myself for such a coin, but would like other people to get involved as well. Think “outside the box” for this coin. Use your mind for out of this world ideas! What could we picture on such a coin? The moon itself? Our planet seen from the moon? Buzz Aldrin or by Neil Armstrong on the surface of the moon? Maybe a combination of all of these elements put together! Should we use a super high relief coin design, like the new gold coin that is going to come out next year, but with colorful highlights coming from the relief somehow? The ideas are limitless if we use our imagination like the pioneers of the space program did.
How do we let the people who are in charge of such things know that this is something we are interested in, and something we want, and also something that has to be done. Could this article be faxed or e-mailed to congress or the director of the Mint, or maybe President Bush himself? Hopefully, with all that is on our President’s mind he could give this some thought. Maybe he is a coin collector himself, or just believes that the moon landing should be commemorated.
I would love some help with this from whoever is interested. Even if you are not a numismatist you would have to agree that this celebration should be commemorated in some way.
I not only want to see this done, but want to help in any way I can if possible. Artistically, or in the creative process of producing this coin, I know I can help. I am sure many others have great ideas and would I would love to hear from you in further details in Numismatic News.
We have so many new issues, commemorating so many different things year after year, how can we overlook this day in history? I personally feel this is one of the most important
I am curious to see what others think, and hope I have your support! Give us your thoughts and write us back!
Philip Lo Presti is a hobbyist from East Meadow, N.Y.
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