It’s been almost half a century since Apollo 11 landed on the moon. To commemorate the giant leap of mankind, the Royal Australian Mint has released a three-coin collectable series.
The minutely crafted coin set depicts the iconic scene of the pioneer astronaut – Neil Armstrong being the first human to walk on the moon. It also celebrates Australia’s role in capturing the famous footage by featuring an image of the dish at the Parkes Observatory, which was one of several antennae used to receive live televised images of the Apollo 11 landing in 1969.
The coins, released purely for collection only, will be dome-shaped to resemble the famous observatory in New South Wales. Three versions of the coins are now available to order, which includes a five and a half dollar coin, a $5 coin and a $100 coin.
The three-coin series consist of the world’s first dome-shaped coloured nickel plated coin, a domed gold coin and a coloured silver domed coin.
These collectibles are made in collaboration with the mint’s US counterpart.
Royal Australian Mint chief executive Ross MacDiarmid said the coins celebrated a triumph of science and human endeavour across the world.
“We are honoured to share these unique coloured domed coins, including the magnificent collaborative set with the United States Mint, to mark 50 years since Australia shared the first human perspective of the Moon’s surface with the world,” he said.
One face of the coin depicts the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope pointed towards the moon as it accepted signals of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The same side of the coin has excerpts from Mr. Armstrong’s journal of the lunar landing.
The coin’s other side shows one of the Apollo 11 astronaut standing on the surface of the Moon, with the lunar module Eagle in the background. The earth is pictured in colour behind the astronaut with Australia pointed directly at the landing to symbolise its role in the groundbreaking event.
Former Parkes radio telescope site electrician and driver Ben Lam said the coins recognised their contribution to sharing the landing to 600 million people globally.
The Parkes Observatory and NASA’s Honeysuckle Creek tracking station near Canberra made it possible for millions of people around the world to watch the iconic event from their loungerooms.
“Australia and CSIRO are world-leaders in radio astronomy and antenna design,” said Mr Sarkissian, Operations Scientist at CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope.
“This is why NASA came to Australia and the CSIRO Parkes telescope, for our support and geographic location.“It’s also the reason why we continue to play a role in NASA space missions.” He further added.
The Lunar Landing two coin set — 2019 $5 and half dollar proof domed coin has a mintage of 10,000 and retails at $195.00.
The Lunar Landing — 2019 $5 nickel plated fine silver proof domed coin has a mintage of 10,000 and retails $150.00.
The Lunar Landing — 2019 $100 gold proof domed coin has a mintage of 750 and retails at $2795.00.
For those with less coin to spend, there is a six-coin uncirculated set for $25.