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    Description

    Perhaps the rarest and most desirable of all flown commemorative artifacts

    Neil Armstrong's One and Only Apollo 11 Lunar Module Flown MS67 NGC 14K Gold Robbins Medal Directly From The Armstrong Family Collection™, CAG Certified. This 28mm medal was one of only three specially-minted gold medals flown aboard Apollo 11, one for each member of the crew: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin. The obverse depicts Collins' early and original concept for the mission insignia with the eagle carrying an olive branch in its mouth. NASA thought the sharp, open talons of the eagle looked too "warlike" and the olive branch, representing peace, was moved to the claws. This is one of, if not the only, major official items that renders the insignia as it was meant to be by the astronaut designer. The reverse has the dates of the mission, surnames of the crew, and the gold hallmark. Just think the cachet owning this medal would lend to a collection- the ultra-desirable, never-before-offered Gold Robbins Medal of Neil Armstrong's. Yes, there were three flown on Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing, but only one belonged to the First Man to Walk on the Moon- this one. It will enter the (likely permanent) collection of some astute private individual, museum, or institution. That lucky bidder could be you, an opportunity not to be passed up. Not only is it unique but it is a terrific Superb Gem Uncirculated example. Sealed in a numbered archival holder, CAG 1000011-001. This lot will include a Statement of Provenance signed by Neil Armstrong's sons, Rick and Mark.

    The history of the Robbins Medal tradition is fascinating. It all began with Walt Cunningham of Apollo 7 who has stated: "In 1968, I initiated a relationship with the Robbins Company that specialized in products such as medallions. My order for the Apollo 7 commemorative medallions established a long-term relationship between Robbins and future mission crews. Medallions have since become ideal souvenirs and the ultimate collectibles from our manned space program." To quote from Howard Weinberger's excellent reference work The Robbins Medallions, Flown Treasure from the Apollo Space Program: "It began with Walt Cunningham and Apollo 7. Cunningham wanted a special commemorative memento made to take with him on his flight into space... He then began working with a jeweler in Cocoa Beach, Florida to have a commemorative medallion made for himself with the emblem and details of the Apollo 7 mission. As the jeweler began the task, a number of the other astronauts heard about Cunningham's idea and also wanted to order one or more of the medallions. As the requests increased, the jeweler put Cunningham in contact with The Robbins Company of Attleboro, Massachusetts, a manufacturing company that specializes in casting and stamping. Cunningham worked with Robert Sweet, then the president of The Robbins Company, and George Ryan, the sales development manager, to produce these first astronaut Robbins Medallions." Walt Cunningham continues the story: "Although I am now very much aware of the historical significance of Apollo and of our mission, at the time we just took it all for granted. It never entered our minds that... artifacts, especially flown ones, would become so significant and desirable to an emerging group of enthusiasts- The Space Collectors. We are gratified that a whole new generation, not even alive to experience the excitement of the Apollo era, are now drawn to its focus and purpose. It is also interesting that many older witnesses to 'man's greatest adventure' and the space race are finding the desire to obtain an artifact that was flown into space. The realization that they will not likely make the journey into space themselves seems to be comforted by the ownership of an artifact that did. We are beginning to realize how few flown artifacts there are to commemorate the great Apollo missions. The Robbins Medallions are certainly among the most beautiful, and I am proud to have been the one that began a great tradition that continues today." (Walt Cunningham's Foreword to The Robbins Medallions, Flown Treasure from the Apollo Space Program by Howard Weinberger)

    Heritage has offered silver Robbins Medals from Apollo 11 since our first Space Exploration auction in 2007 where they sold in the $15,000 to $20,000 price range. Since that time, their desirability, and the addition of more collectors who realize their significance as beautiful relics of such an important event in human history, has driven the prices up to as much as $112,500. This was an MS66 NGC example in our November 1, 2018, auction of The Armstrong Family Collection Part I. For reference, there were 450 silver medallions flown in the Command Module Columbia, but only three gold examples were taken and they actually went to the surface of the moon in the Lunar Module Eagle. We have it on good authority that the other two Apollo 11 Gold Robbins medals (originally belonging to Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins) are firmly ensconced in private collections as we expect this one to be. This may be the only chance you'll ever have to own such an important piece of history!

    Learn more about Collectibles Authentication Guaranty (CAG).




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2019
    16th-18th Tuesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 11,441

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