Happy New Year – a time of looking forward at what’s to come, while reflecting on the past year’s events. For collectors like us, that can also mean looking back at the great new designs that debuted and updating our collections while those 2019 coins are still fresh! There were a few new issues that debuted in 2019 that were really noteworthy:
- 2019-W Cents – perhaps the biggest surprise of the year came when the U.S. Mint announced that special Lincoln cents bearing the “W” mark of the West Point Mint would be issued as specially-packaged premiums with the year’s annual sets. An Uncirculated version was released with the Mint Set, a Proof “W” cent with the Proof Set, and a Reverse Proof cent with the annual Silver Proof Set. All 3 coins were released in celebration of the series’ 110th anniversary!
- Innovation Dollars – it felt like we waited all year… and really, we almost did! The first U.S. Innovation dollars of 2019 (from Delaware) were released on September 19, honoring Annie Jump Cannon’s development of a star classification system. The years’ remaining coins, from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Georgia, were released soon after – in October, November and December, respectively.
Special commemorative issues
There were plenty of 2019 coins to honor one very special milestone this year, too! It was 50 years ago, on July 24, 1969, that the U.S. first landed a man on the moon with Apollo 11. You too can recall that occasion with these special issues:
- Apollo 11 commemoratives – the U.S. Mint issued a series of “curved” commemorative coins to honor the event. They were made available as clad half dollar, 99.9% silver dollar and 90% gold $5 issues. On all three versions, the concave obverse shows a close-up of the footprint left on the lunar surface by astronaut Buzz Aldrin. The convex reverse features a view of Aldrin’s helmet reflecting Neil Armstrong, the lunar lander and the U.S. flag.
- America’s Race to Space – Early in the year, Littleton’s artists began colorizing Kennedy half dollars – creating a handsome tribute set to the first manned moon landing. The initial coin in the series shows astronaut Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon’s surface, and comes with a custom folder to hold the first 11 coins. The series is also available through our convenient subscription service!
Specially enhanced collectibles
In addition to those noteworthy pieces, we also saw a great variety of new issues colorized by our artists, like our Wildlife Series II and the Great American Landscapes $2 notes. Littleton’s artists also specially colorized 2019 Silver American Eagles with beautiful fireworks and snowflakes designs.
Of course, no review of 2019 coins would be complete without mentioning the one-year-only Native American dollar and all five 2019 National Park quarter designs. The 2019 Native American dollar had a great tie-in with the anniversary of the moon landing, too! Honoring Native American contributions to the space program, this unique reverse features Mary Golda Ross – a member of the Cherokee Nation and the first known Native American engineer.
Did any of these 2019 coins make their way in to your collection this year? Which are your favorites? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!