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  Franklin Mint Apollo 14 flown coins

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Author Topic:   Franklin Mint Apollo 14 flown coins

Posts: 861
From: Virginia
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 08-08-2005 05:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apollo 14 took coins to the Moon that were made by the Franklin Mint. Upon their return from the Moon, Alan Shepard gave all his coins back to the Franklin Mint, and Edgar Mitchell gave some unknown amount of his back, and kept the rest for himself. These returned coins were melted down and added to a bigger mix and were then made into the popular mini-coins that we frequently see for sale on eBay.

I recall seeing one of the original coins from Edgar Mitchell at the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation auction a couple years ago. I can't find an image of this coin... does anyone have a photo or scan?

Did the Franklin Mint ever keep or sell any of these original flown coins?

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27808
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-08-2005 07:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the 2003 Astronaut Scholarship Foundation auction:


Posts: 604
From: Highlands Ranch, CO USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 06-05-2010 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for randyc   Click Here to Email randyc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Apollo 14, 195-200 silver coins made by the Franklin Mint were flown. These coins had the Apollo 14 crew patch on the front, and the Fra Mauro area of the Moon on the back with the words "Spacecraft Kitty Hawk & Antares Destination Fra Mauro-1971".

Some of these coins were returned to the Franklin Mint and were used to make the mini-coins that were given to members of the Franklin Mint. The remaining coins were kept by the astronauts.

The coins that were retained by the astronauts had serial numbers engraved on the edge. I'm looking for photos of the area on the edge of the coin where the serial number is engraved.

If you have a photo, or know where I can find one, please let me know. My e-mail is: Thanks.

Editor's note: Threads merged.


Posts: 1559
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 07-06-2010 04:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was reported in 1972 that the Apollo 14 crew had received a mild reprimand from NASA for minting some medallions from metal carried to the Moon on that flight. Since there was no monetary gain the matter was not pursued.

Does anyone know anything more about these medallions?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27808
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-06-2010 04:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The following is excerpted from the Sept. 21, 1971 issue of the Numismatic:
A complaint was lodged with the Federal Trade Commission on August 31 by Congresswoman Leonor K. Sullivan, chairman of the subcommittee on consumer affairs of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, over the terminology carried in an advertisement of the Franklin Mint. The grounds for the complaint is an Apollo "mini-coin" issued by the firm...

In her complaint to the FTC with respect to terminology, Congresswoman Sullivan also noted that she questions "the propriety of a government agency providing the means by which a private commercial firm could have extraneous material transported to the moon for the purpose of reconstituting it later in order to offer unique numismatic pieces to its customers and soliciting new subscribers.

It was on this point that there was a misunderstanding between The Franklin Mint and Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, which [Franklin Mint president Joseph M.] Segel attributes as follows: "It is apparent that two major contributing factors were (a) the arrangements were made through an independent representative, and (b) the agreement was principally verbal and did not cover all points."

In answer to an August 3 inquiry from Congresswoman Sullivan, NASA on August 23 informed that Astronaut Shepard had delineated "three breaches of the pre-flight understanding" by the Franklin Mint. Shepard stated he was "informed specifically that they (the medals) returned to the FM would be melted, reconstituted and distributed as a bonus to existing coin collector club members at the time of the flight." The breaches listed by Shepard were that the pieces "were being peddled in New York," that the original pieces were represented as having "landing on the moon," and that they were used to "promote coin club memberships."

The article goes on to report that it was a "complete surprise" to the Franklin Mint that the medals stayed in the command module,* and that it was a surprise to the astronauts that contrary to their belief they had returned 50 medals to the Mint, FM only received 24. It was later determined that a 25th specimen remained in Houston and that the other 25 were retained by the "independent representative."
It is most unfortunate that the astronauts, NASA and the Franklin Mint were all cast in a bad light in this situation," Segel concluded.
* It was Franklin Mint's advertising that the medals included silver that landed on the Moon that originally led to the complaint being filed with the FTC.

Space Shuttle Endeavour

Posts: 62
Registered: Aug 2013

posted 09-29-2013 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Space Shuttle Endeavour     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Were the coins used in the silver mini coins flown on the lunar module and command module or just the command module? Does it at least contain a smaller amount? Thanks.

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