The 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Dollar and 5-Ounce silver coins won the Coin of the Year (COTY) Award, an international prize honoring innovation and artistry in coin design. The recipient of the 38th Annual COTY Award was determined by a global panel of judges and the award was presented by World Coin News and sponsored by The Journal of East Asian Numismatics.
Whittling the pool of competing coins from 100 nominees down to 10 COTY Award category winners, the judges initially chose the 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Dollar and 5-ounce silver coin of identical design as the winner of the “Best Contemporary Event Coin” and also “Best Silver Coin.” The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Dollar and its accompanying 5-Ounce silver coin along with the eight other COTY Award finalists vied for the coveted title of “Coin of the Year.” After final voting was complete, the Coin of the Year winner was announced in a virtual awards ceremony on March 1.
“What a prestigious honor for the United States Mint to win a COTY Award,” says PCGS President Brett Charville. “Such kudos speak volumes about the world-class artistry and numismatic innovation by the U.S. Mint team. We hope this recognition by the renowned organizations that present and sponsor the COTY Awards helps shine an even brighter light on the many wonderful coin programs offered by the U.S. Mint.”
All the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coins share a common obverse and common reverse. The obverse was created by artist Gary Cooper and features a boot print on the Lunar surface with inscriptions “MERCURY,” “GEMINI,” and “APOLLO” separated by depictions of various Lunar phases. The reverse by Phebe Hemphill represents the famous “Buzz Aldrin on the Moon” photograph that was taken on July 20, 1969 during the Apollo 11 mission that brought humans to the Moon for the first time.
The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Dollar was released on January 24, 2019 by the United States Mint in uncirculated and proof formats, along with the aforementioned 5-ounce silver coin, $5 gold coin, and clad half dollar. The 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Dollar was originally offered by the U.S. Mint for $51.95 in uncirculated and $54.95 in proof, with regular issue prices of $56.95 and $59.95, respectively. Meanwhile, the 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 5-Ounce Silver was offered only in proof and was sold with a pre-issue price of $224.95 and a regular-issue price of $229.95.
The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Dollar is one of several space-themed coins being encapsulated by PCGS with special labels featuring the Astronaut Memorial Foundation (AMF) logo. Founded in the wake of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy, the AMF is an organization partnered with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to remember the lives of astronauts who sacrificed all during space exploration. Part of the AMF’s mission is to educate and inspire the next generation of astronauts through the Center for Space Education, and approximately 50% of the fees for these AMF-emblazoned PCGS Special Labels will be donated to the organization.