US Coins

Christa McAuliffe silver dollars now available

Collectors are opting for the Proof 2021-P Christa McAuliffe silver dollar (shown) over the Uncirculated version.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint

Pre-order sales kicked off Jan. 28 for the 2021-P Christa McAuliffe silver dollar, honoring the teacher-astronaut killed Jan. 28, 1986, with the rest of the crew when the space shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight.

First-day Proof sales reached 10,250 coins, and Uncirculated, 3,717 coins.

The coin’s maximum mintage is 350,000 pieces combined in Proof and Uncirculated versions, respectively priced at $73 and $69 each. Shipping begins March 17.

The obverse was created by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Laurie J. Musser and sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Sculptor Phebe Hemphill.

The reverse, designed by AIP artist Emily S. Damstra and sculpted by U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Joseph F. Menna, depicts McAuliffe “as a teacher, smiling as she points forward and upward, symbolizing the future. Three high school-age students look on with wonder. The seven stars pay tribute to those who perished in the Challenger tragedy. Around the border are the inscriptions I TOUCH THE FUTURE. / I TEACH. and E PLURIBUS UNUM, ONE DOLLAR, and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

The FIRST logo in the design is for the New Hampshire based organization named from the acronym “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” founded in 1989 to promote interest in science and technology among youth.

McAuliffe was a social studies teacher at Concord High School in Concord, New Hampshire. In 1985, she was selected to be the first participant in NASA’s Teacher in Space program.

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