Apollo 15 Robbins medal made from the storied ‘1715 Spanish Plate Fleet’ silver

08 Dec

Apollo 15 Robbins Medal, approximately 1.5″ diameter, with a raised design on the face of the Apollo 15 mission insignia. The reverse of the sterling silver medal is engraved “Man’s Flight Through Life Is Sustained by the Power of His Knowledge” along with the July 26, 1971, launch date; July 30, 1971, moon landing date; and August 7, 1971, return date. This medal is serial numbered “144” along the rim and was not flown. Medal comes in its original case, also numbered “144.” Condition is mint state. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Dave Scott stating, in part: “I hereby certify that approximately 20% of the silver contained in the Apollo 15 silver medallion number ‘144’ included with this letter was part of a [1 kg] silver ingot salvaged from the famous ‘1715 Spanish Plate Fleet’ that was destroyed by a hurricane almost 300 years ago. This ingot was carried in my Personal Preference Kit (PPK) during Apollo 15, July 26-August 7, 1971. Upon return to Earth, the Spanish silver was mixed with silver from certain Apollo 15 medallions that had been stored on Earth prior to launch to form the combined-silver Apollo 15 medallions such as #144…Prior to the mission, 304 medallions were struck [but due to weight limitations only 127 were carried on the flight]…After the mission the Robbins Company restruck the 177 medallions that had not flown and included the flown Spanish silver bar in the mix…This Apollo 15 medallion serial number ‘144’ has been in my personal collection since the mission.” Prior to Apollo 15, the entire run of medallions had been carried on each flight; but because of spacecraft weight limitations resulting from additional payload on Apollo 15 (the first extended scientific exploration of the Moon), this mission could only carry 127 on board. Though unflown in their final format, these post-mission medallions (as noted by the correct spelling of ‘Apennine’) do contain flown silver from the Spanish Plate Fleet ingot—which clocked twice as much lunar flight time as any complete medallions carried on any flight before Apollo 15—combining 300 years of adventure, from Old World sea exploration to the modern world of space exploration. RR Auction COA.

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Posted by on December 8, 2014 in Apollo 15


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