Numismatic Treasures from Space
Heritage has been fortunate enough to offer several space-flown
Apollo Robbins medals in our last few Space Signature Auctions, and
the prices these medals have realized have proven the popularity of
these items. Our current Space
Auction #6082 on November 2 has an abundance of these and quite
a few other lots of potential interest to medal, coin, currency,
and stamp collectors.
17 Flown Silver Robbins Medallion
Directly from the Collection
of Astronaut William Pogue, Serial Number F19, with Signed LOA.
This 35mm sterling silver medal was one of only eighty flown aboard
Apollo 17, December 7-19, 1972, with crewmembers Gene Cernan, Ron
Evans, and Harrison Schmitt. A total of 300 were minted to
commemorate this sixth and final lunar landing of the NASA program.
The obverse features the mission insignia depicting the head of the
Greek god Apollo, a U.S. flag and eagle, the moon, and the surnames
of crewmembers. This is the rarest of all Apollo silver Robbins
medallions and this one comes in its original case with pad and
numbered sticker. Estimated at $25,000-30,000
11 Flown MS68 NGC Silver Robbins Medallion
. Originally from the
Collection of Mission CapCom Charlie Duke, Serial Number 189, with
Handwritten LOA. This 28mm sterling silver medal was one of 450
flown aboard Apollo 11, the first manned moon landing, July 16-24,
1969, with crewmembers 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. A wonderful Superb Gem Uncirculated example from a
moonwalker, worthy of the most advanced collection and estimated at
3 (Freedom 7) Flown One Dollar Bill
(One of only Four), Signed
by Alan Shepard and others, with Signed LOA from NASA. A Series
1957A $1 Silver Certificate, serial number A52804224A, which flew
with Alan Shepard on his historic sub-orbital flight, May 5, 1961.
It has been signed by: "A B Shepard Jr", "John H. Glenn Jr",
"Leroy G. Cooper Jr
", and others. At the bottom margin is
written: "FREEDOM #7 - MR-3 - 5-5-61
". Included with this
lot is an original 8.5" x 11" letter on NASA Space Task Group,
Langley Field, Virginia, letterhead, dated May 31, 1961, verifying
its' authenticity. Estimated at $10,000-15,000
16 Flown Silver Robbins Medallion Presented to Astronaut Tom
by Mission Commander John Young, Serial Number 89,
with Stafford LOA. This 35mm diameter sterling silver medal is one
of only ninety-eight (of a total mintage of 300) flown aboard
Apollo 16, April 16-27, 1972, the fifth manned mission to land on
the moon, along with crewmembers Young, Mattingly, and Duke. The
obverse features the mission insignia, an eagle and shield above
the moon with the surnames of the crewmembers. Particularly
desirable as it originated from the commander of the mission who
presented it to his Apollo 10 crewmate, Tom Stafford. Estimated at
15 Flown MS63 NGC Silver Robbins Medallion
Originally from the
Collection of Astronaut Jerry Carr, Serial Number 115 with
Handwritten LOA. This 35mm sterling silver medal is one of only 127
flown to the moon aboard Apollo 15, July 26-August 7, 1971, with
crewmembers Dave Scott, Al Worden, and Jim Irwin. There were 304 of
these originally struck for the 1971 mission. Due to a spelling
error on the landing site (Appennines instead of Apennines), only
127 were actually flown. The obverse features the mission insignia
depicting three stylized birds flying above the Hadley Rille area
of the moon with craters spelling out "XV" to the right. A Select
Uncirculated example, estimated at $12,000-15,000.
Armstrong Autograph Quote Signed beneath Mounted Sheet of "First
Man on the Moon" Stamps
, with Typed Letter Signed. A 10.5" x
13.5" sheet bearing a sheet of thirty-two 10¢ airmail stamps (Scott
#C76) celebrating the Apollo 11 mission; Armstrong has signed
beneath: "That's one small step for a man/ & one giant leap
for mankind-/ Neil Armstrong/ -Apollo 11-
". Note that this is
the quote as Armstrong intended it to be, with the "a" before
"man". This was reproduced as the front cover for the Peoria
Journal Star Weekender Magazine
, June 6, 1970, issue
(included). The editor who requested this quote be written for the
cover apparently mounted a copy of it and sent it to Armstrong for
his collection. Also included in this lot is Armstrong's reply in
the form of a signed typed letter, one page, dated January 22,
1971, on NASA letterhead, Washington, D.C. One of the most unique
Space collectibles we've ever offered, estimated at $8,000-12,000
These fine lots and the rest of the 2012 November 2 Space
Exploration Signature Auction are open for bidding now at HA.com/Historical.
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Seldom Seen Selections: The Return of an Old
Regardless of grade, the ownership of a 1792 half disme clearly
indicates that the numismatist is a serious student of American
coinage. Despite opinions to the contrary, this issue is the first
circulating American coin struck under authority of the Mint Act of
We are pleased to be able to again offer the Starr specimen of
Half Disme in our upcoming 2013
January 9-13 US Coin FUN Signature Auction; this is the same
coin that we sold in 2006 for $1,322,500. This is only Specimen
certified by PCGS. It is tied numerically with a PCGS MS67, and
only exceeded by an NGC MS68. A roster of more than two dozen high
quality pieces shows the position of the Starr coin as the only
Specimen strike, and the probable finest known.
It is a
spectacular, fully struck coin. All of Liberty's hair details
are fully defined, and the eagle's plumage is equally well brought
up. From the details on this piece, it is obvious that special care
was taken to strike this coin at least twice. The design features
on both sides are nicely centered with full obverse and reverse
border details. Care was also taken to polish the surfaces as each
side displays light die striations in the fields and across the
central device on the obverse. Both obverse and reverse display a
multitude of speckled colors with bright reflectivity around the
peripheral lettering on the obverse. The toning has been variously
described as orange-crimson and lilac, and as blue, gray, and light
gold. There is only one surface flaw that we see: a shallow,
vertical scratch in the left obverse field. The reverse has two
faint vertical die cracks, approximately parallel, through the
right field. One extends from the right base of A(M) to the eagle's
wing and F in HALF. The other begins at the left base of the
adjacent M, also through the eagle's wing, and on to the right side
of E in DISME.
The consignor, who sold this coin in 2006, stated that, "This
specimen striking of the 1792 silver half disme is truly a coin
that transcends numismatics. It occupies a place in our Nation's
history unequaled by any other coin. For centuries, the coinage of
silver was a royal prerogative. For a young nation, the coining of
these half dismes was of enormous political significance and an
expression of national sovereignty understood around the world.
Numismatic scholar Walter Breen wrote, 'Their historic context has
for over 120 years made these half dismes among the most prized
American silver coins.' Today, as a unique specimen striking, this
coin must be considered America's most important numismatic coin
and a priceless historical treasure."
The cataloger for the Starr Collection noted that this was an
early strike: "Some reverse letters soft, particularly A and M in
HALF DISME and M in AMERICA, as seen on most specimens from the
earliest run struck with medal turn reverse orientation."
It is our opinion that the
coin, while certainly very special and deserving of a Specimen
designation, is not, nor could it be, the first 1792 half disme
struck. The reverse has faint but clearly visible die cracks.
Earlier die state examples are known without the die cracks,
proving that this example is a later die state and was among the
final examples produced in July 1792. However, given its obvious
specimen status, it might well have been the very first United
States coin actually released by the State Department, perhaps a
special gift to a friend of the U.S. or even to George Washington
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If you have consigned items with Heritage, you can keep up with
them at "MyConsignments."
This page can be reached from the MyHeritage tab on any Heritage
web page, or directly from "MyBids"
by clicking on the "MyConsignments"
When you first go to MyConsignments from the MyHeritage tab, you
will see a listing of all auctions you have consigned to, whether
recently closed, open for bidding, or opening for bidding soon.
Click on any of the auction listings to see which of your items are
included in the auction. You will see a listing of items broken
down by lot number, if assigned, and each item will list the number
of bidders, the number of trackers, the number of page views, and
the current bid as listed on the website.
If the auction has closed, you will see a listing of your lots,
along with your reserve, if any, and either a final hammer price or
a notation of whether the coin sold or not.
If the auction is open for bidding, you will see the current bid
level on your lots. If reserves have been entered for your lots,
they will also show on this screen. If the reserve has been
exceeded, the current bid will show in green, while if no bidders
have yet met the reserve the current bid will appear in red.
If the auction isn't open for bidding yet, you can get a
complete listing of items assigned to the auction, with links to
the descriptions of the items and images, if available.
Please note that the majority of all serious bids are made near
the close of an auction, and therefore the current bids listed may
not be a valuable gauge of how your consignment is performing. The
current bids do not reflect the actual secret maximum bid of the
bidder, but only represent the next increment over the second
highest bid. In the case of Internet only auctions, you will see
the bids come up dramatically during the last few hours of the
auction. In the case of auctions with floor components, such as
Signature auctions, the Internet bids may never approach the actual
hammer price of your lots on the auction floor.
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This Week's Top Ten
The ten most valuable four dollar gold pieces to sell in Heritage
1880 $4 Coiled Hair PR66 Cameo NGC. Sold for $977,500.
1879 $4 Coiled Hair PR67 Cameo NGC. Sold for $655,500.
1880 $4 Coiled Hair PR62 NGC. Sold for $575,000.
1880 $4 Flowing Hair PR66 Cameo NGC. Sold for $488,750.
1880 $4 Flowing Hair PR64 PCGS. Sold for $431,250.
1879 $4 Flowing Hair PR67 NGC. Sold for $402,500.
1879 $4 Coiled Hair PR63 NGC. Sold for $402,500.
1879 $4 Coiled Hair PR63 NGC. Sold for $316,250.
1880 $4 Flowing Hair PR65 NGC. Sold for $316,250.
1879 $4 Flowing Hair PR67 Cameo NGC. Sold for $310,500.
Do you have a suggestion for a future top ten list? Send
it to us!
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