CAG Certifies Apollo 11-Flown Gold Robbins Medal from the Armstrong Family Collection™

Posted on 7/23/2018

Collectibles Authentication Guaranty™ (CAG™) has certified an extremely rare gold Robbins Medal that flew into space as part of the Apollo 11 mission, which made history when it landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969.

Only three gold Robbins Medals were struck, one for each of the astronauts who flew on Apollo 11: Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins. The astronauts took these gold medals on the mission along with 440 silver Robbins Medals. (An additional 10 silver medals were struck but not sent into space.)

The gold medal certified by CAG is pedigreed to the Armstrong Family Collection™, which contains several thousand items from Neil Armstrong and his immediate family members. Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®), an affiliate of CAG, graded it MS 67, and CAG encapsulated it in a secure, tamper-evident holder designed for long-term preservation and protection.

Apollo 11 Gold Robbins Medal, graded NGC MS 67 and certified by CAG as part of the Armstrong Family Collection™. Click images to enlarge.

This stunning medal features Command Module Pilot Collins’ original design for the Apollo 11 insignia: an American Bald Eagle flying toward the lunar surface with the Earth in the background. Collins’ design was revised for the official mission insignia because the eagle’s open talons were deemed to be too war-like. The official Apollo 11 insignia design features an olive branch in the eagle’s talons and was ultimately adapted for the Eisenhower and Susan B. Anthony dollar coins.

The reverse of the medal features the names of the three astronauts and the dates of the mission’s launch (July 16, 1969), moon landing (July 20, 1969) and return (July 24, 1969), which were engraved upon the astronauts’ return to Earth.

Robbins Medals were the brainchild of astronaut Walt Cunningham, who flew on the Apollo 7 mission. Cunningham wanted to bring a medal with him to commemorate the mission, so he contracted with the Robbins Company of Attleboro, Massachusetts, to strike silver medals with the mission insignia.

Other astronauts liked the idea and contracted with the Robbins Company to create medals for all subsequent Apollo missions as well as the Skylab I, II and III programs and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. These medals were paid for by the astronauts and most were individually numbered. Many were flown in space, but some specimens were not.

Robbins Medals are extremely popular among space collectors and enthusiasts today. The most significant of these medals is undoubtedly the CAG-certified Armstrong Family Collection™ Apollo 11 Gold Robbins Medal, NGC MS 67, due to its rarity and its personal connection to Neil Armstrong, the Apollo 11 mission commander and the first man to walk on the moon.

In addition to this Gold Robbins Medal, the Armstrong Family Collection™ contains a number of space-flown Apollo 11 Silver Robbins Medals as well as medals from other missions. All of these will be certified by CAG and graded by NGC. High-resolution images will be posted to an image gallery on the CAG website, CAGcertified.com, in the near future.

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