From the Collection of a Prominent West Coast Collector
July 20, 09:53 PM GMT
50,000 - 70,000 USD
FROM THE COLLECTION OF A PROMINENT WEST COAST COLLECTOR
FLOWN ON APOLLO 17
COMMANDER EUGENE CERNAN'S FLOWN APOLLO 17 SILVER ROBBINS MEDALLION WITH DIAMOND
FLOWN Apollo 17 Robbins Medallion #F4, NGC MS 63 (certificate number: 2602255-001), sterling silver, 35 mm in diameter. Obverse features the mission insignia with the Greek sun god Apollo foregrounding an American eagle and three stars, one of which is a set diamond, the reverse is engraved with launch, landing, and return dates ("Dec. 6, 1972 | Dec. 11, 1972 | Dec. 19, 1972.") With an Autograph Letter Signed by EUGENE CERNAN on his letterhead.
ONE OF ONLY 80 FLOWN OF 300 MINTED — SET WITH A DIAMOND IN PLACE OF ONE OF THE STARS — ORIGINALLY FROM THE COLLECTION OF GENE CERNAN, THE LAST MAN TO WALK ON THE MOON
Nestled within the most prominent features of the Apollo 17 mission insignia, (the Greek god Apollo on the left, and the American eagle at center right) an abstracted stars and stripes motif is featured on the eagle's wing with three stars. These stars represent the seating configuration of the three crewmembers — Commander Gene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ron Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt. Designed by Robert McCall with input from the crew, the Apollo 17 insignia was meant to be reflective of an anticipated "golden age" of spaceflight. This optimism proved short lived, as Apollo 17 marked the end of NASA's efforts to undertake manned lunar landings — making Cernan the last human to step foot on the Moon's surface.
Robbins medallions with inset diamonds were produced as decorative gifts for close family members — typically mothers, sisters, or wives — and were commonly referred to as "Wives' Pins." These medallions were converted into by the Robbins Company after the mission, a process which entailed setting a small diamond into the face of the medallion, and adding a pinback mechanism to the reverse. These diamond medallions are quite scarce and desirable within the market for flown commemoratives. We can locate only 9 other examples with diamond inserts at auction since 1991, but NO OTHER EXAMPLES OF APOLLO 17 ROBBINS MEDALLIONS SET WITH A DIAMOND INSERT. The placement of the diamond in the present example corresponds with the seating configuration on the spacecraft, demarcating where Commander Cernan would have sat.
Gene Cernan's provenance letter reads: "I hereby confirm and certify that Apollo XVII Silver Robbins Medallion serial number F4, is one that was flown to the moon with me aboard the mission December 7-19, 1972. Furthermore, it has been in our family's possession since the mission."