Stunning CAG-certified Space Artifacts Belonging to Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins in Heritage Auction

Posted on 5/20/2022

A star chart, medals and flags are among the historical items from the triumphant moon mission.

A star chart and other items flown on the Apollo 11 moon mission are among several dozen historic artifacts from the Personal Collection of Michael Collins being offered to the public. The items, which were carefully authenticated and attributed by Collectibles Authentication Guaranty® (CAG®), are part of the Heritage Auctions Space Exploration Signature Auction being held June 2-3, 2022.

One of the highlights is a star chart that was used by Collins, the Command Module Pilot, to enter data about the spacecraft's position into its computer. Collins piloted the Apollo 11 Command Module in orbit of the moon while fellow crew members Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the surface in the Lunar Module on July 20, 1969.

Apollo 11 Flown Star Chart certified by CAG as part of the Personal Collection of Michael Collins.
Click images to enlarge.

The chart has handwritten annotations and is signed by Collins, along with the note "During the flight of Apollo Eleven, I used this chart to help me locate the stars. (The numbers were entered into the Command Module Computer)". This extraordinary piece of space exploration history has an opening bid of $20,000 (lot 50058).

The Apollo 11 astronauts were permitted to bring along small keepsakes on the mission that to this day remains synonymous with humanity's ultimate achievement. Among the items that Collins brought was a silk American flag measuring 11 by 15 inches. Signed by Collins, it has an opening bid of $20,000 (lot 50054).

Apollo 11 Flown Flag - United States of America certified by CAG as part of the Personal Collection of Michael Collins
Click images to enlarge.

Several smaller flags taken along on the Apollo 11 mission are also being offered, including ones representing Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nevada, Texas, Italy, the United States and the United Nations. The auction also includes a Florida and an American flag that were flown on the Gemini 10 mission in July 1966, Collins' only other spaceflight.

On their journeys into space, the Apollo astronauts also brought Robbins Medals, which included the mission insignia on the obverse and the mission dates on the reverse. It was Collins who developed the idea for the Apollo 11 mission insignia showing an eagle landing on the moon's surface, with the Earth in the background. This design was later adapted for the reverse of the Eisenhower and Susan B. Anthony Dollars.

1969 Flown Apollo 11 Robbins Medal graded NGC MS 67 and certified by CAG as part of the Personal Collection of Michael Collins
Click images to enlarge.

Two Apollo 11 Flown Robbins Medals are included in the auction, ones numbered 300 and 357 (lots 50090 and 50089), which each have a starting bid of $20,000. Like the other medals in the collection, both were certified by Numismatic Guaranty Company™ (NGC®), the CAG affiliate that authenticates and grades coins, tokens and medals.

The auction also includes Robbins Medals that were flown on Apollo 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15 and Apollo-Soyuz, as well as unflown medals from Apollo 16 and 17. With these missions, which included six manned lunar landings, the US definitively won the Space Race.

Another impressive keepsake flown on Apollo 11 is a piece of Beta cloth, fireproof material that was used on the missions. This particular piece, which includes the mission insignia, is signed by all three crew members and has a starting price of $20,000 (lot 50059).

Apollo 11 Flown Crew Signed Beta Cloth certified by CAG as part of the Personal Collection of Michael Collins
Click images to enlarge.

While the insignia on the Robbins Medals shows the eagle landing with open talons, this was later deemed too aggressive. The insignia on the Beta cloth shows the modified version, in which the eagle is holding an olive branch.

To call attention to their important pedigree, the items in the Personal Collection of Michael Collins were encapsulated with a special CAG label that includes the mission insignias from Gemini 10 and Apollo 11.

CAG is an expert and impartial certification service that authenticates and preserves the provenance of collectibles, memorabilia and estate items at the source. CAG is an independent member of the Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®), which includes the leading certification services for coins, paper money, comic books, stamps, trading cards and other collectibles. Together, the CCG companies have certified more than 70 million collectibles since 1987.

Other highlights from the CAG-certified Personal Collection of Michael Collins being offered in this auction include:

  • an Apollo 11 Crew Signed Flown Quarantine Cover - Type One (lot 50040), with a starting bid of $20,000
  • a Switzerland (1977) Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Gold Medal graded NGC MS 66 (lot 50066), with a starting bid of $15,000
  • an Apollo 11 Crew Signed Presidential Dinner Plaque mounted on cardstock (lot 50038), with a starting bid of $10,000
  • a NASA Photograph - Michael Collins Inscribed "Neil & Buzz Returning" showing the Lunar Module above the moon (lot 50073), with an opening bid of $1,000
  • a Brant Parker Original Sketch - Inscribed to and Signed by Michael Collins (lot 50065), with an opening bid of $500

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