Skip to main content

Apollo 11 coins near blast-off


The Apollo 11 moon mission patch was used as the basis for the reverse design of the Eisenhower dollar and the Susan B. Anthony dollar.

Apollo 11 soared in the House of Representatives Dec. 5.

Legislation was approved there calling for commemorative coins in 2019 to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing July 20, 1969.

The Senate approved it Dec. 10. The President must sign it for it to become law.

H.R. 2726 calls for cupped-shaped 2019 coins as the National Baseball Hall of Fame coins were in 2014.

A common reverse design would be of an astronaut’s helmet specifically based on a July 20, 1969, photograph of Buzz Aldrin.

Reflected on his visor were the American flag and the lunar lander.

To achieve this effect on the coins, the visor portion of the image would have a mirror-like surface while the rest of the helmet would be frosted.

Such a design would work especially well on the largest coin authorized by the legislation, a 5-ounce silver coin.

This piece specified to be a proof, has a face value of $1 and a mintage no higher than 100,000 pieces.

There are three other standard commemoratives also called for in both proof and uncirculated.

Up to 50,000 $5 gold pieces can be struck, 400,000 silver dollars and 750,000 clad half dollars.

The 5-ounce coin has a diameter of three inches, which is double that of the silver dollar.

For the obverse designs, the legislation calls for an artistic competition with a prize of not less than $5,000.

Surcharges will apply, as they do to all commemoratives, when they go on the market in 2019.

The surcharge amounts are $35 for the gold $5, $10 for the silver dollar and $5 for the clad half dollar.

For the huge silver 5-ounce coin, the surcharge would be $50.

The office of Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., the originator of the legislation in the House, enjoyed the moment by issuing a press release to announce the win.

“I would like to thank all of our cosponsors who worked to make this possible,” he said.

The press release was also a reminder of the good causes to which the surcharge income will be directed.

“Proceeds from the coin will support college scholarships for students pursuing science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) degrees, educational initiatives that promote space exploration, the Astronauts Memorial that honors the astronauts whom have fallen in the line of duty, and the National Air and Space Museum’s new ‘Destination Moon’ exhibit – all at no cost to taxpayers.”

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today

More Collecting Resources

• If you enjoy reading about what inspires coin designs, you'll want to check out Fascinating Facts, Mysteries & Myths about U.S. Coins.

• The Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money is the only annual guide that provides complete coverage of U.S. currency with today’s market prices.