Will the Apollo 11 commemorative coins sell out?
- Published: Jan 4, 2019, 4 AM
Will any of the 2019 commemorative coins celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission duplicate the success of the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame coin program by selling out?
Collectors await the noon Eastern Time Jan. 24 release by the United States Mint of the four 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary commemorative coins. Many wonder if the program will experience as much interest, translating to sales, as the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame program did. It, like the Apollo 11 coins, featured coins concave on the obverse and convex on the reverse.
Two of the three Baseball coin denominations recorded sellouts of their maximum authorized mintages. Upon its release March 27, 2014, the maximum 50,000 gold National Baseball Hall of Fame $5 gold coin sold out in a matter of minutes. Sellout of the maximum available 400,000 silver dollars followed within two weeks. Of the 750,000 copper-nickel clad half dollars available, the Mint sold a total of 433,619 pieces: 257,173 Proof examples and 176,446 Uncirculated versions.
Inside Coin World: Readers report doubled die, repunched Mint mark finds: We preview content exclusive to the Jan. 21 print and digital editions of Coin World, including reader discoveries (like a Proof 1963 Roosevelt dime with a doubled die reverse) in the monthly column “Varieties Notebook.”
Since 2014, no U.S. commemorative coin has experienced sales that reached its maximum mintage.
In remarks presented Dec. 13 by U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder at the Philadelphia Mint, preceding the ceremonial striking of the two silver dollars in the series, he predicted a sellout.
Pricing not yet available
As of Jan. 3, pricing was not yet announced for any of the Apollo 11 commemorative product options. The Mint has also not disclosed any household ordering limits, if any.
The Mint usually releases its pricing for all options except the gold coins via posting on the Federal Register, with gold coin pricing announced closer to the release date. That publication’s website is not being supported currently due to lack of funding precipitated by the partial government shutdown.
The curved Apollo 11 coins’ concave obverse and convex reverse bear designs commemorating the historic Apollo 11 mission by U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin that culminated in Armstrong and Aldrin’s July 20, 1969, walk on the moon.
The enabling legislation, Public Law 114-282, authorizes the combined production in Proof and Uncirculated versions of up to 50,000 gold $5 coins, 400,000 silver dollars and 750,000 copper-nickel clad half dollars. The act also requires production of up to 100,000 3-inch 5-ounce silver dollars in a Proof-only version.
The standard 1.5-inch silver dollars, like the 5-ounce coins, are being struck in .999 fine silver. It is the first time a U.S. commemorative silver dollar is being struck in .999 fine silver instead of the standard .900 fine silver as with previous commemorative silver dollar coins.
For the Apollo 11 program, surcharges are: $35 for the gold coin, $50 for the 5-ounce silver dollar, $10 for the 1.5-inch silver dollar, and $5 for the copper-nickel clad half dollar. Should the Mint sell out the maximum mintages authorized, total surcharges of $14.5 million will have been generated. Net surcharges, after the U.S. Mint recoups all of its production and related costs, are to be divided between three beneficiaries.
Surcharges from the 2014 Baseball coin program amounting to $7,927,290 were forwarded to the legislated beneficiary, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
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