Not strictly a moon landing celebration, Numiscollects latest entry in its ‘Meteorites’ series commemorates the Apollo 8 mission, without which Apollo 11 would not have been possible. Crewed by Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders, the mission was the first time that human beings had travelled beyond Earth’s orbit.
The coin is a higher-end item than most and the fifth in this Dutch producers range of three-ounce silver designs. Campo del Cielo debuted in 2016 and there have been two issues per year since. Ironically, the first coin differs from the following coins in basic design, having a concave reverse face instead of the convex strike of the next four. There are two signature features that have remained, however.
Firstly, there’s the piece of meteorite. That isn’t exclusive to this series of course, but something we like to see on this type of coin. A piece of actual moon meteorite is affixed to the reverse face of this one. Secondly, the coloured glass inlay in the middle, and the Apollo 8 coin depicts an image of the capsule in orbit around the moon. The high-relief strike textures the coin to simulate the lunar surface and it’s fully antiqued. Inscriptions are neat and unobtrusive, and the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t infringe on the design too much.
We’ve been admirers of this series since its launch and this is a great addition. While previous coins have had a tight mintage of just 333, the Apollo 8 coin tops out at a positively miniscule 99 pieces. It’s sold out at the mint, so tracking one down will be a task in itself, but a cool and rare addition to the whole moon exploration genre. Hopefully, we’ll see some new additions to the series through 2019.