The latest heavenly body to feature on a coin is the earth’s very own satellite: the moon. Deservedly it does so on an impressive 65.00 mm, 93.3 g (3 oz) .999 fine silver $20 struck for the Cook Islands. Mintage is 333.
To quote the media release, “the coin has it all”: ultra-high relief, colored glass inlay, antiqued finish, and a piece of a moon meteorite. The obverse with the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II shows the back or dark side of the Moon. The reverse shows the face visible from earth and bears the embedded fragment of a meteorite considered to have come from the moon.
The moon is the fifth-largest and the second densest natural satellite in the solar system. Its average distance from earth is 238,900 miles or 1.28 light-seconds.
One of the more remarkable aspects of the moon is that its apparent size in the sky is almost the same as that of the sun. This allows the moon to cover the sun almost exactly during a total solar eclipse. No other natural satellite in the solar system is able to do this.
The moon is thought to have formed soon after earth, about 4.51 billion years ago. There are several hypotheses for its origin. One of the more popular considers it to be built of debris left over from a massive impact when earth collided head-on with a Mars-sized body called Theia.
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More Collecting Resources
• Check out the newly-updated Standard Catalog of World Coins, 2001-Date that provides accurate identification, listing and pricing information for the latest coin releases.
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