Apollo-Flown Robbins Medallions From Buzz Aldrin Family Offered at Heritage Auctions

Gold and silver medallions, made specifically by the Robbins Company for flight missions in space, started all the way back on Apollo 7. Created as a commemorative gift for the astronauts, as well as for friends and family, somewhere between 255 and 450 were made for each Apollo mission.

The finest Apollo 11 example ever offered by Heritage Auctions will cross the block in HA’s Space Exploration Signature Auction November 12-13.

Coming directly from the Potter-Aldrin Family Collection, this MS69 NGC Sterling Silver Robbins Medallion, Serial Number 52 (estimate: $40,000+) was aboard the famed Apollo 11 in mid-July 1969. This medal once belonged to Fay Ann Aldrin Potter, an older sister of astronaut Buzz Aldrin who gave her brother his iconic nickname (which he eventually legally changed from his given name, Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr.). When she had difficulty saying the word “brother”, she called him “Buzzer”, which eventually was shortened to “Buzz”.

On the obverse is a depiction of Michael Collins’ early and original concept for the mission insignia, with the eagle carrying an olive branch in its mouth. NASA officials thought the sharp, open talons of the eagle looked too “warlike”, so the olive branch, representing peace, was moved from the eagle’s mouth, where it appears on this medallion, to the claws.

This is one of the major official items that depict 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 serial number.

Carrying the same $40,000+ pre-auction estimate is another version of the same medallion, with the slightest difference in grade: an Apollo 11 Flown MS67 NGC Sterling Silver Robbins Medallion, Serial Number 429, Directly from The Armstrong Family Collection, CAG Certified. This version is accompanied by a Statement of Provenance signed by Neil Armstrong’s sons, Rick and Mark.

“In all my years with Heritage, I’ve never seen a single group of higher-quality medallions from the Apollo missions,” Heritage Auctions Space Exploration Director Michael Riley said. “This is such an incredible collection. I’m so happy we have the opportunity to find new homes for them.”

Other top medallions in the auction include, but are not limited to:

 

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