US Coins

U.S. 2019 Apollo 11 5-ounce coin considered ‘best’

The Proof 2019-P Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 5-ounce silver dollar was recognized as the Best Collectible Silver Coin during the 2023 Mint Directors Conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in October.

Coin images courtesy of the United States Mint.

The U.S. Mint’s Proof 2019-P Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 5-ounce .999 fine silver dollar was recognized Oct. 18 during the 2023 Mint Directors Conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, as the “Best Collectible Silver Coin.”

U.S. Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson accepted the award from Marie Lemay, president and chief executive officer of the Royal Canadian Mint, which hosted the 2023 MDC, and Ross MacDiarmid, acting executive director of the International Mint Directors Network.

The Proof 5-ounce silver commemorative coin that received the special recognition was issued in the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary commemorative coin program, which also included  Proof and Uncirculated .999 fine silver dollars, Proof and Uncirculated .900 fine gold $5 coins and Proof and Uncirculated copper-nickel clad half dollars.

The program was authorized under provisions of Public Law 114-282, signed Dec. 16, 2016, by President Barack Obama.

The obverse and reverse designs were the same for all three denominations issued.

The Proof 5-ounce silver coins were struck on a special dedicated press situated in the lowest production level of the Philadelphia Mint.

The concave obverse design features the inscriptions MERCURY, GEMINI, and APOLLO, separated by phases of the Moon, and a footprint on the lunar surface, which together represent the efforts of the United States space program leading up to the first manned Moon landing.

The common obverse design was rendered by Maine artist Gary Cooper as winner of an open design competition and sculpted by U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Joseph F. Menna.

The convex reverse design features a representation of a close-up of the famous “Buzz Aldrin on the Moon” photograph taken July 20, 1969. The close-up shows just the visor and part of the helmet of astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

The reflection in Buzz Aldrin’s helmet includes astronaut Neil Armstrong, the United States flag, and the lunar lander.

The common reverse was created and sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill.

The U.S. Mint recorded sales of 68,308 of the Proof 5-ounce silver coins, which the U.S. Mint sold for $224.95 each. The Proof 5-ounce coins had a maximum authorized mintage of 100,000 coins.

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