The coins commemorating the epic 1969 moon landing continue to flow and they represent a great reminder that this wasn’t just a US endeavour.Much of the science and technology behind this ground-breaking mission originated in other countries, and as the Swiss Mint is gently reminding us, Switzerland was one of those. The University of Bern developed an experiment to test the existence of the solar wind – something it did successfully.
The coin design makes a nice change from the very popular footprint motif that has been used many times by other mints. Indeed, the back view of the capsule and Buzz Aldrin unfurling the solar sail are refreshingly different and give a new take on what was achieved by the Apollo mission. A fine example of a coin release expanding the general knowledge of an event – bringing to light details not widely known.
It’s a Swiss Mint release, so the use of the unusual 0.835 fineness silver is not unexpected. Pretty rare these days, we’re quite surprised they haven’t moved over to 999 silver by now, but tradition trumps fitting in, of course. As usual, two finishes with the same size and weight are available. A boxed version with a proof finish has a mintage of 5,000 pieces, with 250 of them available with a signed certificate (by the artist). Selling for 60 CHF (70 CHF signed), it’s considerably more expensive than the uncirculated coin, despite the identical metal weight and fineness. That variant, with its 20,000 mintage, sells for just 30 CHF – a significant saving. A version mounted into a gatefold folder is 10 CHF more, but there are only 1,000 of those.
We like this one. It’s a new take on the event and deserves consideration for that alone, but the design is a good one as well. Available now, the signed proof and carded uncirculated coins are already sold out, sadly typical of Swiss Mint issues where theose variants go out of stock incredibly quickly.