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Apollo 11 Coin Lands Top COTY Honors

Moon Landing Silver Dollar is Coin of the Year
The United States' 2019 1-Dollar 5-Ounce Silver "50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing" coin has been named the Coin of the Year.

The United States' 2019 1-Dollar 5-Ounce Silver "50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing" coin has been named the Coin of the Year.

"The Eagle has landed." The now-famous phrase spoken by United States astronaut Neil Armstrong was a victory cry heard across the globe when he and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to land on the moon on July 20, 1969. 

The monumental feat was celebrated worldwide, and now the international coin community is celebrating the United States as its 2019-dated silver coin commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing is named the winner of the 2021 Coin of the Year awards.

2021 marks the 38th year of the Coin of the Year awards program.

2021 marks the 38th year of the Coin of the Year awards program.

The Coin of the Year program, now in its 38th year, is an internationally conducted competition presented by World Coin News to recognize outstanding coin design and innovation worldwide. The 2021 program – sponsored by The Journal of East Asian Numismatics, NumisCollect and China Gold Coin Incorporation – honors coins dated 2019 in 10 categories of competition as decided by an international panel of judges.

The 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing coin is a 5-ounce, 3-inch-diameter proof silver dollar with a curved shape. It won two COTY category awards.

“In the first round of COTY voting by category, the United States Mint 5-ounce Apollo 11 dollar received twice as many votes in Best Contemporary Event as its closest competitor," said Tom Michael, COTY coordinator, World Coin News contributor and market analyst. "It was nominated again in the Best Silver Coin category, where the voting was much more competitive, so I think the event itself was the most significant factor in early voting. However, I am sure that theme, design and challenging production must all have factored into the judges' decisions on the final vote for overall Coin of the Year, where voting was quite competitive."

The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 5-ounce proof silver dollar is the first United States coin of this size and weigh with a proof finish, reeded edge and curved shape. The concave obverse and convex reverse enhance the aesthetic of the design.

The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 5-ounce proof silver dollar is the first United States coin of this size and weigh with a proof finish, reeded edge and curved shape. The concave obverse and convex reverse enhance the aesthetic of the design.

The obverse, concave side of the coin depicts a footprint on the lunar surface. Inscriptions “MERCURY,” “GEMINI” and “APOLLO" are separated by phases of the moon. Together, these design elements represent the efforts of the United States space program leading up to the first manned moon landing.

The Mint invited American artists to design a common obverse image that is emblematic of the United States Space Program leading up to the first manned moon landing. The Secretary of the Treasury selected the design from a juried competition. Gary Cooper of Belfast, Maine, created the winning design that adapts the well-known photograph of an astronaut's boot-print taken by Aldrin. Cooper's concept was adapted by Joseph F. Menna, who is now chief engraver at the U.S. Mint.

The coin's reverse design is based on Neil Armstrong's photograph, "Buzz Aldrin on the Moon."

The coin's reverse design is based on Neil Armstrong's photograph, "Buzz Aldrin on the Moon."

The reverse, convex 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 Aldrin. The reflection in the helmet includes Armstrong, the United States flag and the lunar lander, "Eagle." It was created by Phebe Hemphill, U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver.

"Our team was proud to be a part of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon by NASA’s Apollo 11 crew," the U.S. Mint said in an acceptance statement for the two category awards. "Produced in 2019, the [coin] was the United States Mint’s first curved 5 ounce silver coin and represented a special achievement in the Mint’s technical capabilities."

Sales surcharges of this coin and others in the series benefited the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum’s “Destination Moon” exhibit, the Astronauts Memorial Foundation and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

A virtual ceremony to honor all 2021 COTY winners will air mid-March. Watch for details here.

Following is a list of the 2021 Coin of the Year category winners.

1_historical-austria

MOST HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT COIN

Austrian Mint

100 Euro, Gold

Magic of Gold: The Gold of Mesopotamia

2_contemporary-us

BEST CONTEMPORARY EVENT COIN

United States Mint

1 Dollar, 5-Ounce Silver

50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

3_Contemporary

BEST GOLD COIN

China Gold Coin Incorporation

100 Yuan, Gold

Art of Chinese Calligraphy

2_contemporary-us

BEST SILVER COIN

United States Mint

1 Dollar, 5-Ounce Silver

50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

5_Crown

BEST CROWN COIN

Monnaie de Paris

10 Euro; Silver, Gilt, Rhodium

Paris’ Treasures, City of Lights: Eiffel Tower

6_Circulating

BEST CIRCULATING COIN

German Mints

2 Euro, Bi-Metallic

30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

7_Bimetallic

BEST BI-METALLIC COIN

Austrian Mint

25 Euro, Bi-Metallic (Silver, Niobium)

Artificial Intelligence

8_artistic-france

MOST ARTISTIC COIN

Monnaie de Paris

10 Euro, Silver

Fall of the Berlin Wall

9_Innovative

MOST INNOVATIVE COIN

NumisCollect, Cook Islands

20 Dollar, Silver

Meteorites: Chicxulub Crater

10_Inspirational

MOST INSPIRATIONAL COIN

Royal Mint, Great Britain

50 Pence, Silver

Innovation in Science: Stephen Hawking

A special thank you to the 2021 Coin of the Year award sponsors:

Logo-JEAN
Logo-NumisCollect
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