coinfodder's Blog

05 Jan 2021

New Commems- Christina McAuliffe and the National Law Enforcement trio

Coins-United States | coinfodder

More ranting about the US Mint is about to begin here, everybody, with the recent release of the designs of the Christian McAuliffe and the Nation Law Enforcement museum trio of clad, silver, and gold coins...

Today, if you go onto the US Mint website, you will see the line drawings for the new McAuliffe coin. Now, if you are like me or Numimaster, you may not know much about her. But, being mostly an older crowd on this site, you may know that McAuliffe was the teacher that perished during the Challenger Disaster of 1986. Hype surrounded her as she would become one of the first citizens who would go to space, and she would teach from space in the shuttle.

January 28, 1986 should of been a day of celebration and whatnot. That day, all home TV's where on the news, waiting for the shuttle to take off. In Houston (or Kennedy Space Center, either or) family and her students waited as the shuttle prepared to take off. Fortunately, the shuttle took off smoothly, unlike Apollo 1, which blew up on the pad. Seventy-three seconds later, the shuttle blew up, sending America into shock and grief.

The intent of the coin is good. Yet, I have dirt to dish on it. Number one to me is the theme. OK, she may of been a visionary. However, what about the six others who died with her on the Challenger? Why just her? What about Scobee, Jarvis, or Onizuka, one of the first Asians in space? I feel the coin would of been more appropriate if the coin was realized with all the men and women on the Challenger, recognizing all of them together, would of been more respectful. Now, as it stands, is a slap-in-the-face to the families of the other 6 who perished with McAuliffe.

Beyond that, is the design. The design on the obverse is good with line drawings. However, the detail of the hair doesn't translate well once silver is put to die. The obverse is a bit better, with the seven stars barely respecting the others on the Challenger, and some weird shape thingy's in the field. Overall, this gets a 3.5 out of 5 for theme, and a 4 for the design. Emily Damstra, as we learn with this coin, is better at nature drawings than people. Just saying.

To the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum coins. Didn't we have one in the 1990's? Still, the time is right for another, with police FINALLY getting the credit they deserve. The designs need work. Sorry. Look copy and paste to me, especially most of the ones with people in it.

What do you think? I know I will get much flak for these thoughts. I accept that. See you folks later!



Level 5

You can add me to the list of people who didn't know about here. But now I do! I agree, I don't completely agree with the commemorative and the design, but I don't collect them so it isn't a big deal for me. Thanks for sharing!


Level 5

One of the reasons it took so long is the limit on only two Commemorative coins per year. The anniversary of Women's Suffrage Movement won out last year, Mr. Ryder went on record encouraging this coin as well as the Women of accomplishment State Quarter Program currently tied up in committee. Unfortunately this coins purpose has nothing to do with the overall Challenger Tragedy, it is a continuation of honoring women of accomplishment. I don't have a problem with that, just don't shroud it in a cover of honoring those lost in this tragedy, because it only honors one person.

I'm not sure why all of them weren't honored, and why did it take so long to make a commemorative of this?


Level 6

I have to agree with Bama. I guess she has taught us about science and space judging from these comments. So the non political part of this coin worked. Not a fan of the Law Enforcement one. Thanks.


Level 5

Like my parents generation with JFKs assassination, my generation remembers where we were when we heard about the fate of the Challenger, as well as 9-11. Having said that I agree with Bama, honor them all or none. This is a feel good PC coin, it's purpose I believe has nothing to do with space exploration, grief, it's simply a shout out to Women who have achieved great heights. While that is normally a worthy goal, this coin should represent Science, space exploration and tragic loss, not just a shout out to one woman. I am not fond of the design either, both the obverse and reverse shouts out, "It is all about her, nothing else matters", not a popular opinion I know. I'm just saying!


Level 3

Quite some interesting coins they're unveiling. I really like the fingerprint on one of the police ones - it looks REALLY good! I actually have the original law enforcement coins for the 1990's as well lol. Guess we'll see when they come out! Sincerley, CoinsInHK


Level 6

I think it is wholly appropriate that Christa McAuliffe is honored on the commemorative dollar without her fellow shuttle crew members. Ms. McAuliffe was a true civilian at the time of the launch and not a long time astronaut with previous experience, Ms. McAuLiffe was recruited for a specific reason to teach millions of school children around the U.S. and around the world, about the space program and her impressions while in orbit. In summary, she represents both the triumph and tragedy of the space program in ways that no other individual can do.


Level 5

Haha thanks for the shout out! You are only somewhat correct, seeing as how I know a few things about her, but no great deatils before this coin. Only that she was a teacher who was supposed to teach from space. Man, what a cool job that would be! (: I feel like a silver law enforcement coin would be a fantastic item to have. I will most likely purchase one. Thanks! Cheers, NM


Level 5

They look fine to me. I remember that day for sure. Is there a Challenger medal? I wonder how they made a decision on this medal after so many years. May be popular with teachers?

I. R. Bama

Level 5

No I totally agree. Its another politically correct coin. She had nothing to contribute as a scientist or as an astronaut. Her mission was to teach from space whoooh! Don't get me wrong, it was tragic that she died. Like the others. But her mission was purely public relations, not contributing to the sciences of space exploration or Astro aeronautics. It should have been a coin to commemorate all of then By the way.... WHERE IS that Apollo I coin???


Level 7

I was on the mint site I saw it . Thanks for the information . It's being released this year. It was it on the 2021 schedule. But the schedule does not have all the coins yet. So we shall see. Like every other commen they always leave something out. She does deserve to be on a coin. The first civilian a teacher someone who taught the young the truth. And maybe some will take her up on this tragedy and follow in her foot steps.

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