Belfast artist Gary Cooper new exactly the design he wanted to submit when he heard the U.S. Mint was running a competition to design a commemorative coin marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. He can still remember watching the moon landing when he was a teenager.

The Bangor Daily News reports that, last week, officials at the Mint announced that his lifelike 3D sculpted design of the photograph of Armstrong’s footprint in the lunar dust was chosen as the winner and will be featured on the special coins. The coins also  have the words “Mercury,” “Gemini” and “Apollo,” separated by drawings of the different phases of the moon.

30th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Mission
Getty Images

For Gary, who has collected coins since he was 11 years old according to the article in BDN, this isn’t just an ordinary commission, but an honor and a lifelong dream come true.

Gary's artwork will be featured on four U.S. coins. A 5 ounce $1 silver proof coin, a standard-size $1 silver coin, a half dollar clad coin and a $5 gold coin. The article says Gary will also receive $5,500 for his artwork being chosen, but the money isn't the grand prize for Gary, it's getting on the coins after years of trying.



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