Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kazakhstan Issues Latest In "Space" Commemorative Coin Program

The National Bank of Kazakhstan has released the latest in their popular and unique series of commemorative coins dedicated to the exploration of Space. This 2009 issue celebrates the 1975 joint venture between the United States and the former Soviet Union known as the Soyuz-Apollo test program. This is the 4th in the increasingly sought-after series of coins issued under the "Space" heading, which started in 2006 with the inaugural "Space" issue, following in 2007 with "First Space Satellite" and 2008 with "Vostok". Each of the coins is released in both a bi-metallic proof version and a cupro-nickel uncirculated edition.

Kazakhstan 2009 500 Tenge Soyuz-Apollo Bimetal Proof

The Soyuz-Apollo test program was the first joint venture between the Soviet Union and United States. It involved the US Apollo rocket (it was the last Apollo mission and the last US manned space flight prior to the Space Shuttle being introduced in 1981) and the Soviet's Soyuz spacecraft docking together in space. The mission was a complete success and saw the first international handshake in space, when Tom Stafford and Alexey Leonov, lead astronaut and cosmonaut upon their respective crafts met in the middle.

The 500 Tenge proof edition of this 2009 "Space" series issue features an outer ring made from 14.60 grams of 92.5% silver, with an inner disc made from 26.80 grams of tantalum; a rare blue-grey metal of the same refractory metals group as niobium, which it always found with. Tantalum is primarily used in various components such as capacitors, but due to it's inertness it is also used in laboratory equipment and as a substitute for platinum. The total weight of the coin is therefore 41.40 grams and measures 38.61mm.

The 50 Tenge brilliant uncirculated version of the coin is made from 11.17 grams of cupro-nickel, also known as German white silver, and measures 31.00mm with a corrugated edge.

The reverse design is taken from the official patch created for the program, and features an image of both the Soyuz and Apollo spacecrafts docked together in space. A portion of the Earth is shown in the upport part of the disc. At the top of the outer ring is a representation of the Soviet crew patch worn during the mission, while the inscription reads "Soyuz-Apollo" in both Kazakh (left) and English (right). The year of issue is at the bottom. The uncirculated version has the same design without an inner disc and outer ring.

The obverse design is common to all coins issued in the "Space" series. It features a composite image meant to represent mankind's unity with the universe. The nominal face value and coin specifications are to the right of the design, with the mintmark below. The inscription "Republic of Kazakhstan" is in both Kazakh (top) and English (bottom).

Kazakhstan 2009 50 Tenge Soyuz-Apollo UNC

The proof edition is presented in an official jewel case accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity confirming the issue of just 4000 coins worldwide, while the uncirculated version is supplied in a protective plastic flip.

Euro Collections International currently has stock available of the Kazakhstan 2009 500 Tenge Soyuz-Apollo Bimetal Proof and Kazakhstan 2009 50 Tenge Soyuz-Apollo UNC, as well as limited quantities of other issues from the "Space" series. See our Kazakhstan Commemorative coins listing for other releases available through our website.

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