The public got its first look at designs for the common concave
obverse for the four-coin 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary
commemorative coin program during the Oct. 18 meeting of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
The Apollo 11 coins are authorized under Public Law 114-292. The proposed common obverse
for the gold $5 half eagle, silver dollar, copper-nickel clad half
dollar and 5-ounce silver bullion coin was to be selected from among
18 proposed designs submitted during the second phase of a public design competition.
Designer abandoned original reverse design late
in the process
Also in our Oct. 30 issue, Mike Diamond presents an interesting
question in his Collectors’ Clearinghouse column: How many errors
can one coin have?
When given final approval by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin or
his designate, the adopted obverse will be paired with the common
The Commission of Fine
Arts was slated to review the same 18 designs Oct. 19.
About the designs
The law states, “The design on the common reverse of the coins
minted under this Act shall be 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 astronaut Buzz Aldrin,
in which the visor has a mirrored finish and reflects the image of the
United States flag and the lunar lander and the remainder of the
helmet has a frosted finish.”
Fellow astronaut and moonwalker Neil Armstrong shot the photograph.
The design for the common reverse mandated under the enabling
legislation was not part of the public design competition, but was executed by
artists at the U.S. Mint.
The enabling act calls for:
➤ A gold $5 half eagle of otherwise standard specifications, with a
mintage limit of 50,000 coins.
➤ A silver dollar of standard specifications, limited to a mintage
of 400,000 coins.
➤ A copper-nickel clad half dollar of standard specifications,
limited to a mintage of 750,000.
➤ A silver dollar of the same specifications as the current America
the Beautiful 3-inch 5-ounce .999 fine silver bullion coins, limited
to a maximum of 100,000 pieces.
The three standard coins are to be issued in both Proof and
Uncirculated versions, while the 5-ounce silver dollar is to be struck
only with a Proof finish.
During the Oct. 18 meeting, the CCAC was also to recommend a revised
version of a proposed design for the reverse of the 2019 American
Memorial Park quarter dollar for the Commonweath of the Northern
Mariana Islands and discuss design concepts and themes for the five
2020 America the Beautiful quarter dollars and the lone 2021 coin
reflecting the 56th and final coin in the 11-year series.
The 2020 designs will represent National
Park of American Samoa, Weir Farm
National Historic Site in Connecticut, Salt River
Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve in the U.S.
Virgin Islands, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical
Park in Vermont, and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas.
The final coin, dated 2021, honors Tuskeegee
Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama.