US Coins

Inside Coin World: Coins and medals recall Apollo 11 mission

Fifty years ago this summer, the Apollo 11 mission took men to the surface of the moon and returned them to Earth safely. Here’s a look at the mission and some of the coins and medals celebrating the historic event.

Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions and NASA.

Cover Feature: Apollo 11 at 50

Fifty years ago, mankind took its first steps on the moon as Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin completed a mission articulated by President Kennedy in 1962. In the July monthly issue of Coin World, I examine this mission and the many coins and medals issued after the Apollo 11 crew returned to Earth.

Officials began preparing for the first coin with an Apollo 11 theme, the Eisenhower dollar, months before the mission itself. Fifty years later, four different commemorative coins would be issued to celebrate the mission’s anniversary.

To learn more about the mission and its coinage (and medals that were flown aboard the Apollo 11 spacecraft on its historic journey), see my feature, exclusive to the print and digital edition of Coin World.

Under the Loupe: 1798 Draped Bust cents

In my “Under the Loupe” column in the same issue of Coin World, I examine the 1798 Draped Bust cent, which famously depicts Liberty wearing two slightly different hairstyles.

Mint officials used two different Liberty portrait punches in making dies for the 1798 Draped Bust cents, one of the kind used in 1797 and the other of the kind used exclusively starting in 1799.

To learn how to distinguish between the two portraits, see my column in the July issue of Coin World.

Anthony dollar: Controversial coin turns 40

The Anthony dollar was introduced in 1979 as a smaller replacement for the cumbersome and heavy Eisenhower dollar, which made its debut in 1971. In his feature, Chris Bulfinch examines how the new coin to be and the controversy behind the selection of Susan B. Anthony to appear on the coin.

When the idea of a small-sized dollar coin was first announced, many collectors hoped for a traditional Liberty portrait. Some in Congress, however, believed it was time that a prominent American woman be depicted on a circulating coin alongside all of the men who had been depicted for years.

To learn more, see the feature in the digital and print editions of Coin World.


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