US Coins

CCAC recommends designs for Apollo 11 coins obverses

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.

Behind the scenes of the WWI silver dollar”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 convex reverse.

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.

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