Bronze duplicates of a congressional gold medal honoring former
astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Michael Collins
and John H. Glenn Jr. were placed on sale Nov. 16 by the United States
Mint soon after the gold versions were presented to the recipients in
a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
The individual gold medals for the four former astronauts were
authorized under provisions of the New Frontier Congressional Gold
Medal Act, Public Law 111-44, signed into law Aug. 7, 2009, by
The medals were presented by the congressional leadership headed
by Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Each .9995 fine gold medal is 3 inches in diameter and weighs
between 15.5 to 16.5 troy ounces, according to U.S. Mint spokesman
With a spot price of gold of roughly $1,750 per troy ounce, each
medal’s current precious metal value is between $27,125 and $28,875.
The gold medals, along with the bronze duplicates, are without
Mint mark from the Philadelphia Mint.
The enabling act for the medal honors Glenn as the first American
astronaut to orbit Earth, aboard Friendship 7 in February 1962.
The other three astronauts were honored as members of the Apollo
11 crew — mission commander Armstrong and Aldrin being the first and
second humans, respectively, to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969.
Collins piloted the Apollo 11 command module and remained in lunar
orbit during the surface mission.
The medal’s obverse, designed by Joel Iskowitz, a U.S. Mint
Artistic Infusion master designer, and sculptured by U.S. Mint
Medallic Sculptor Phebe Hemphill, depicts all four medal recipients in
The reverse, also designed by Iskowitz, but sculptured by U.S.
Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donald Everhart II, depicts Apollo 11’s Lunar
Excursion Module Eagle orbiting the moon and Glenn’s Friendship 7
Mercury capsule orbiting the Earth. The reverse bears the inscription
we came in peace for all mankind.
The 3-inch bronze medal is offered at $44.95 and the 1.5-inch
medal for $7.95 at the Mint’s website www.usmint.gov. Check the site for
information concerning shipping and handling charges. ■