NGC Attends 'First Strike' at Mint for Apollo 11 Coins

Posted on 12/14/2018

The coins will be released in January to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

David J. Camire, NCS President and NGC Finalizer, was among the dignitaries to attend the “First Strike” ceremony for the 2019 Apollo 11 commemorative coins. The ceremony was held at the US Mint in Philadelphia on December 13, 2018.

NCS President and NGC Finalizer David J. Camire displays a 2019 Apollo 11 5oz Silver Dollar that he struck at the event.
Click image to enlarge

The coins are being released January 24, 2019 as the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing mission approaches. All coins in the new program will be curved – that is, domed on one side and bowl-shaped on the other. This is only the second time that the US Mint has made curved coins; the first was in 2014 for the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemoratives.

All coins feature the same design. The obverse, which is concave, features the iconic image of a footprint on the lunar surface. Also included are the names of the NASA programs that led to the moon landing: Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. The reverse is a re-creation of an iconic photograph showing Neil Armstrong, the Apollo 11 lander and the US flag, all reflected in the visor of Buzz Aldrin’s helmet.

The obverse and reverse designs of the Apollo 11 coins
Click images to enlarge. (Images courtesy of the US Mint)

Denomination $5 $1 (5 oz) $1 50 Cent
90% gold
99.9% silver
99.9% silver
Proof, MS
Proof, MS
Proof, MS
21.59 mm
76.2 mm
38.1 mm
30.6 mm
3.86 g
155.52 g
26.73 g
11.34 g
3.58 mm
11.2 mm
6.7 mm
3.12 mm
50,000 Total
100,000 Total
400,000 Total
750,000 Total

Children of the three Apollo 11 astronauts (Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins) were also present at the First Strike ceremony. Other VIPs included David Ryder, US Mint Director; Jeff DeWit, NASA Chief Financial Officer; Christopher Browne, Deputy Director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; Sheryl Chaffee, Vice Chair of the Astronauts Memorial Foundation; Curtis Brown, Chairman of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors; and Ron Harringal, manager of the US Mint’s Design and Engravers division.

Click the video below to see one of the Apollo 11 coins being struck.

Here are additional photos from the First Strike event:

US Mint Director David Ryder speaks during the First Strike event.
Click image to enlarge

A row of silver dollar planchets ready for striking.
Click image to enlarge

The domed surface of the obverse die is apparent in this close-up.
Click image to enlarge

A view of the reverse die (bottom) with obverse die above.
Click image to enlarge

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