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Launching from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin first orbited around the Earth before continuing to the moon. After nearly 76 hours into the flight, the spacecraft composed of the command module Columbia and landing module Eagle entered orbit around the moon. 23 hours later Eagle separated from Columbia and made for the moon’s surface.
About 109 hours and 42 minutes after being launched into space via the Saturn V rocket, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon. Aldrin followed about 20 minutes later. The pair would spend 21 hours, 36 minutes on the lunar surface before ascending into lunar orbit, docking with Columbia and heading home, where they splashed down in the Pacific Ocean and picked up by the crew of recovery ship USS Hornet.
When the astronauts were recovered, so were a number of Robbins Medals -- specially struck medallions that traveled with the Apollo 11 crew to the moon and back. Now, on the 50th anniversary of this history-changing event, you can celebrate the Apollo 11 mission with a commemorative medal crafted from digital scans of the original Apollo 11 Robbins Medal dies. Best of all, each medal contains real space-flown alloy take from an Apollo mission!
Since Apollo 7, Robbins Medals (so named for the company that mints them -- Robbins Company of Attleboro, MA) have journeyed into space along with every manned U.S. mission. Up to 450 medals were minted for each mission and given almost exclusively to the astronauts, their families, and the crew that made the mission possible.
On the obverse of the medals is an image taken from the mission patch, its design created or directed by the astronaut crew of the mission. The reverse of the medals was initially left blank, with the launch and return dates added once the mission was complete and the medals had returned to Earth.
For the Apollo 11 mission, three gold medals went aboard the spacecraft -- one for each astronaut. In addition, 440 silver Robbins Medals were stowed in the spacecraft. An additional 10 were struck but did not travel into space. As part of Neil Armstrong's Private Collection, his personal gold Robbins Medal, as well as additional silver medallions, will be sold at an auction to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.
Robbins Medals’ scarcity, history of having flown in space and place in American history make them highly sought-after collectibles.
Above is an Apollo 11 Gold Robbins Medal, graded NGC MS 67 and certified by CAG as part of the Armstrong Family Collection™. Image Credit: www.cagcertified.com
Designed by Command Module Pilot Michael Collins with input from Armstrong, Aldrin and others, the Apollo 11 mission patch depicts an American Bald Eagle landing on the surface of the moon, an olive branch clutched in its beak. This design was eventually adopted for the reverse of the Eisenhower and Susan B. Anthony Dollar coins.
The dies used to strike the original Apollo 11 Robbins Medals were a part of the Armstrong Family Collection. In honor of the upcoming 50th anniversary, these original dies, owned by the Armstrong family, were digitally scanned and used as the model for new dies. These new dies were used to mint special 50th-anniversary commemoratives. Struck in a whopping 50 Troy ounces of 99.9% fine silver, these medals feature the original Mission Patch design of an eagle landing on the moon, an olive branch clutched in its beak. The reverse features the names of the three astronauts, launch, landing and return dates for their mission, dual dates of 1969 and 2019 and the words “50th Anniversary.”
As part of the antiquing process, these 50-ounce silver commemoratives have been layered with real space-flown material that accompanied one of the Apollo missions! When you hold this massive 1,555-gram commemorative in your hand, you'll be holding a genuine piece of Apollo space flight history.
Selectively Plated with Space-Flown Gold
In addition to the historic Apollo-flown alloy, this commemorative also features selective gold plating on the planet Earth. This is no ordinary gold, but authentic space-flown material taken from a medallion that went up on an Apollo mission. That's two Apollo-flown materials in one incredible commemorative!
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) is one of the leading third-party grading services in the world. A select number of Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Robbins Medal Commemoratives will come certified by NGC as either First Day of Production (FDP) or First Day of Issue (FDI). Both designations are coveted among collectors, as coins struck with fresher dies are believed to have the sharpest details.
Labels Hand-Signed by Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins
In addition to an FDP or FDI designation, a number of coins will also be sealed with labels bearing the hand-signed autograph of Michael Collins, Command Module Pilot for the Apollo 11 mission and designer of the Apollo 11 mission patch that served as the basis for the Apollo 11 Robbins Medal design.
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