United States Mint Launches Public Design Competition for Program Marking 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11

May 2, 2017

WASHINGTON – The United States Mint today announced a call for artists to design the obverse (heads side) of the commemorative coin honoring the first manned moon landing. Authorized by law, the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program celebrates the innovation and bravery of the successful mission and the fallen astronauts who preceded that endeavor.

The competition invites artists to design a common obverse image that is emblematic of the United States Space Program leading up to the first manned Moon landing. The winning artist will receive $5,000 and have his or her initials included on the coins. Competition details and entry can be accessed on our website.

“The success of the crew and the team behind Apollo 11 nearly 50 years ago holds special meaning to Americans,” said David Motl, Acting Principal Deputy Director of the United States Mint. “The Apollo 11 Commemorative Coin Design Competition presents a unique way for artists to capture the sense of pride for such an enormous accomplishment, while also memorializing fallen astronauts.”

Phase One of the competition, which is open through June 29, 2017, or until 1,000 entries are received, calls for artists age 18 and older to submit portfolios of their prior work. From these entries, an expert jury will select no more than 20 applicants to participate in Phase Two. During Phase Two, artists will create an original design for the common obverse of the coin, which shall be submitted as a digital file. The final winner will be announced in 2018. As authorized by law, the common reverse (tails side) will depict a representation of a close-up of the famous ”Buzz Aldrin on the Moon” photograph taken July 20, 1969, which shows the visor and part of the helmet of the famed astronaut.

An expert jury composed of members of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee will review and score design submissions. Both groups provide experienced and impartial expertise in advancing the state of public art and the interests of American citizens and coin collectors. The jury will choose a winning design to recommend the Secretary of the Treasury for selection. With the winning design selected, the United States Mint will begin issuing curved gold, silver, clad, and five ounce silver commemorative coins in 2019. Surcharges for this program are authorized to be paid in various denominations to three recipient organizations: the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum’s ”Destination Moon” exhibit, the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

For the first time in recent history, this commemorative coin program will be composed of four coins instead of three, including $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, half-dollar clad coins, and five ounce silver proof coins. This will be the first time that a curved version of a five ounce silver coin is produced and offered by the United States Mint.

“The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program represents a meaningful and exciting undertaking for the United States Mint,” said Motl. “We look forward to the public’s participation in creating the final obverse design.”

About the United States Mint
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792 and became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873.  It is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce.  The United States Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver and gold bullion coins.  Its numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to taxpayers. The Mint is celebrating its 225th anniversary in 2017 (#USMint225).


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