World Coins

Pobjoy Mint creates silver Apollo 13 anniversary coin for Ascension Island

The Pobjoy Mint’s 2020 Ascension Island Ultra High Relief dished Proof 2-ounce silver crown commemorates the safe return of the Apollo 13 mission 50 years ago.

Images courtesy of the Pobjoy Mint

Apollo 11 in 1969 made history as the first mission to land man on the moon, but Apollo 13 made its own kind of history the following year.

The Pobjoy Mint honors the historic mission (which was ultimately aborted to save the crew) with a new Ultra High Relief “dished” piedfort (double thick) coin. The “dished” feature is created with relief that is below the surface and slightly concave.

The coin was struck April 17, 2020, the 50th anniversary of when the Lunar Module splashed down, but is just now released for sale because of the global pandemic.

Apollo 13 was the seventh crewed mission in the Apollo space program and the third mission meant to land on the moon. However, two days into the mission, the goal quickly changed to making sure the crew was brought home alive.

A mission to the moon

Launched on April 11, 1970, the Apollo spacecraft consisted of two independent crafts — the orbiter Odyssey and the lander Aquarius — joined by a tunnel.

The lunar module was designed to support only two men on the lunar surface for two days, but following an explosion in the oxygen tank in the service module, mission control had to determine new procedures to support all three men for four days, while the spacecraft looped around the moon before making its way back to Earth.

During this time, the three astronauts experienced harsh conditions, with cold temperatures and limited water and power, but despite the less than ideal situation, Apollo 13 was brought home safely, and millions watched the Pacific Ocean splashdown on television.

The Proof .999 fine silver crown was struck for Ascension Island (which is in the South Atlantic Ocean, nowhere near where the splashdown occurred).

The reverse of the coin features the module splashing down in the South Pacific, its parachutes falling behind it. A helicopter hovers over the module, with the USS Iwo Jima on the horizon. The NASA logo and the Apollo 13 crew patch are also featured in the design.

The coin measures 38.6 millimeters in diameter and weighs 62.21 grams. It has a mintage limit of 650 pieces and costs $199.

To order, or to learn more, visit the Pobjoy Mint website, www.pobjoy.com.

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