US Coins

Apollo 11 half dollar set packaging contains mistake

The back of the outside sleeve for the 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Proof Half Dollar set incorrectly credits Gilroy Roberts with designing and engraving both the obverse and reverse of the Kennedy half dollar. Roberts designed the obverse while Frank Gasparro did the reverse. Images of the Enhanced Reverse Proof half dollar are superimposed over the sleeve and are not part of the actual back packaging.

Original images courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

The back of the outside packaging for the 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Half Dollar set contains a factual error crediting Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts with designing and engraving both the obverse and reverse of the Kennedy half dollar.

While Roberts, did, indeed design and engrave the obverse of the half dollar first introduced in 1964, the reverse was designed and engraved by Assistant U.S. Mint engraver and Roberts’ eventual successor as chief engraver, Frank Gasparro.

Roberts’ interlaced initials GR appear on the truncation of Kennedy’s portrait just above the letters of WE in the motto. Gasparro’s staggered FG initials appear in the field between the eagle’s tail feathers and left leg.


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“Approximately 70,000 units were shipped before the error was discovered,” according to a statement released by the U.S. Mint the afternoon of Jan. 29. “Plans to reprint sleeves with the correct information are underway. Instructions for ordering corrected sleeves will be made available at a later date. We expect a delay in the shipping of remaining Half Dollar Set orders. Those orders will begin shipping as soon as the corrected packaging is on hand.”

The numismatic product contains a Proof 2019-S Apollo 11 50th Anniversary copper-nickel clad half dollar and an Enhanced Reverse Proof 2019-S Kennedy half dollar in copper-nickel clad, both struck at the San Francisco Mint. The Enhanced Reverse Proof half dollar is only available in the set.

The set, priced at $53.95, is restricted to a product limit of 100,000 sets.

The sets went on sale Jan. 24 with all other Apollo 11 commemorative numismatic products. According to the Jan. 27 sales report, the Mint had sold 69,155 of the half dollar sets through that date.

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