This 2 Riyals from the Yemen Arabic Republic is a commemorative issue, and concerns the regular variant which was minted in a quantity of 7538 pieces. The subject is the launch of the Apollo XI space flight on the 16th of July 1969.
The 2 Riyals coin which highlights the launch is actually part of a set of coins in which the other 2 Riyals celebrates the Apollo XI moonlanding.
The make up of both coins is 0.925 Fine Silver, also known as Sterling Silver, and they weigh 25 grams each in total. The actual silver content per coin is 23.125 grams / 0.7435 ozt, giving us a melt value around the $18 with today’s spot price (21 October 2020).
Like mentioned the commemorative subject is about the Apollo XI mission, which was the first spaceflight to put humans on the moon.
The launch of the Apollo XI was on the 16th of July 1969, and after eight days on the 24th of July, the crew safely returned to planet Earth.
Race to the Moon
The moon landing was the result of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, where the latter were the first to launch an artificial satellite called Sputnik 1.
The Soviet Union was also the first country to launch a human into space orbit, which was done on the 12th of April 1961 and this 1st man in space was Yuri Gagarin.
The first woman in space b.t.w. was also a Russian citizen by the name of Valentina Tereshkova, and this achievement took place on the 16th of June 1963.
The Americans were lagging at this point, but mostly thanks to German scientists who were assembled, and shipped over to the U.S. as part of “Operation Paperclip”, would eventually be the first to land a human on the moon.
The most notorious of them being Werner von Braun.
Apollo XI launch & moonlanding
The first 2 Rials coin celebrates the launch itself which is visible on the reverse with the depiction of the Apollo XI ready to go, and in the lettering the date is mentioned.
The obverse shows the stylized Coat of Arms of the Yemen Arabic Republic.
The crew consisted of three persons which were : Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin Jr.
Michael Collins would stay behind in the command module which was codenamed “Columbia”, and Neil Armstrong and Buz Aldrin made the descent to the moon in the landing module nicknamed “Eagle”.
The price range off the coins lies between the $30 – $50 each depending on condition and seller. On the second 2 Rials the actual Moon landing is depicted which was on the 20th of July 1969, and when the landing was completed Armstrong would signal back to the earth that the “The Eagle Has Landed”.
Neil Armstrong would also be the first to leave the landing module on the 21st of July thereby quoting : That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
The event itself was witnessed by about 700 million around the world, and the next day the departed from the moon, linking up with the command module again.
The crew returned safely on the 24th of July and were hauled in as the heroes they were, and the United States under the leadership of John F. Kennedy had won the race to the moon.
Will the spot price of silver ever shoot to the moon ? I hope so in a few years, so we still can stock up on some silver.
Check out the Yemen Arabic 2 Riyals commemorating the Apollo XI launch on my Youtube channel :