Moon Landing Commemorative Coin Program Proposed
On June 10 Rep. Bill Posey of Florida introduced a bill (H.R. 2726) with bipartisan support that calls for the minting in 2019 of a commemorative coin program marking the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon in 1969.
The July 20, 1969 landing on the moon by astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins was a major milestone in human and American achievement, but it has never been commemorated on a U.S. coin apart from the reverse of the Eisenhower dollar that shows an eagle on the moon.
Many coin collectors are also space and astronomy enthusiasts, but the existing coins depicting these themes have all been issued by other countries like the 2009 French coin that marked the 40th anniversary of the moon landing.
The bill has seven co-sponsors so far and has been referred to the House Budget and Financial Services Committees. Many commemorative coin program bills are introduced that never become law, but this one seems to have a better chance than most.
The proposed coins include not just the usual clad half dollar, silver dollar, and $5 gold coin, but also a $1, 5-ounce proof silver coin with a three-inch diameter, which would be a first for the U.S. Mint. And the legislation calls for the coins to be struck in the same convex/concave shape as the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame coins.
The obverse for these coins would be chosen through a design competition that would be open to the public like the one for the baseball coins, while the reverse would depict the famous photograph taken during the Apollo 11 moon landing, “Buzz Aldrin on the Moon.”
More specifically, the convex reverse would depict the faceplate of an astronaut’s helmet of the period, and the reverse design would extend to the coin’s edge so that the reverse extends all the way to the obverse.
The text of the legislation says the 5-ounce coin would be minted in proof, but does not specify the finishes for the other three coins. So these details will be worked out later.
Surcharges from the sale of the coins, once all costs have been recouped, would go towards three organizations: a moon-related exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum; the Astronauts Memorial Foundation; and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
Michael Olson, a banker from Grinnell, Iowa and former member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, told Coin World: “This is an exciting and historically significant commemorative coin program. Coin collectors and space enthusiasts should immediately contact their members of Congress to encourage them to support this legislation. This program has twice been recommended by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee for 2019 and the sponsors of the legislation should be applauded for introducing this bill.”
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