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Author Topic:   Apollo 16 Robbins medal serial numbers

Posts: 591
From: Michigan
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-16-2007 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunareagle   Click Here to Email lunareagle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am researching why the Apollo 16 silver Robbins Medals have been the only mission medals to continually show up with no serial number, and I need the help of the community.

I am not looking for names. What I would like is a report of the Apollo 16 serial numbers that are known to exist. I have not kept these records but I know some of you have. I also assume that there are some medals out there that have been acquired through private transactions and we will not have had a record of the serial number.

I have an idea of what happened but I want more evidence before I share this research, in order to be sure it is accurate.


Posts: 1075
From: Dallas
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 10-17-2007 08:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am encouraged to see some healthy Robbins talk here!

Howard, I will scope out my auction catalogs and log the numbers, if noted, that have been sold.


Posts: 591
From: Michigan
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-17-2007 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunareagle   Click Here to Email lunareagle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After studying and collecting the Robbins Medals for a decade, it sometimes takes a story, some news or just someone new getting interested in them to keep the motivation going. I still never forget how important and how special they are, but wild enthusiasm comes and goes naturally I suppose.

If you review the history of collecting American coins you will find that research has been an ongoing effort for 200 years. New information about Colonial coins still comes to light once in a while, which is amazing. I see the evolution of the research on the Robbins Medals in the same way.

As long as there continues to be interest from the collecting community, and as long as there are questions that still remain, collectors will continue to look for data, and speculate on how and why.

The last couple of years have been exciting for Robbins collectors. The second book on the medals came out, bits of new data have emerged directly from the sources, like the Apollo 11 information from Mike Collins and information on the treasure medals from Al Worden, NGC agreeing to certify the medals, the Robb Report article bringing them to the attention of people who would never have heard about them otherwise, and seeing the recent record prices realized on a few. This is all positive stuff which continues to build a very solid foundation under these medals.

And the more we can document and nail down the missing bits of information, so as to leave no question in a collectors mind, only helps the long term case. I still believe people will look back in awe of these times, at the prices and at the ease they could have acquired these great treasures. But I suppose that is true of all great rarities in retrospect.

A Superior catalogue from 1993, maybe the first space auction, had a silver Apollo 11 medal from Aldrin that sold for $500. The recent Heritage sale featured two of them, which made me think they might cannibalize from each other. Was I wrong, one sold for nearly $16,000 and the other, not even Aldrin's, sold for $19,000. Wow!

Jay, don't worry, we're here. We just have to come up for air once in a while.


Posts: 1208
From: Upcountry, Maui, Hawaii
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 10-17-2007 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rizz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Howard, you're doing a heck of a job!


Posts: 591
From: Michigan
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-20-2007 10:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunareagle   Click Here to Email lunareagle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I want to thank everyone who so far has provided me with serial numbers of known Apollo 16 Robbins Medals.

I am going around the room here just one more time. If you know of any flown or unflown Apollo 16 medals, please list them here or e-mail me at with the data.


Posts: 258
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 10-20-2007 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SRB   Click Here to Email SRB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I didn't think of it before, but some Apollo 16 Robbins medallions are on display in museums. As of a year ago, one was on display in Washington at the National Air and Space Museum. Also, one is on display now at the Space and Rocket Museum in Huntsville, AL. You can't tell what number, if any, is on either medallion.


Posts: 210
From: Rocky Point, NY, USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 12-31-2021 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tallpaul   Click Here to Email Tallpaul     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know it's been over a decade since this topic last appeared but I have always been bothered by an aspect of the Apollo 16 Robbins Medal. I know that the the collecting community now feels that any unnumbered Apollo 16 medal was not flown on the mission.

However, I am in possession of the Apollo 16 medal that belonged to Wally Schirra and that was sold by Christies a number of years ago. I have the jewel box that holds the medal and it has Christies lot #90 on it. The medal was also accompanied by a letter from Wally Schirra in which he states that all the mission commanders gave him a flown medal after each flight. The letter also notes that the Apollo 16 medal is not numbered.

To me questions are: If the medals were numbered after the flight did John Young purposely give Wally Schirra an unflown one contrary to what is written in Wally Schirra's letter? Did Wally Schirra possibly receive a medal before they were sent off to Robbins for numbering? Based upon known sales of Apollo 16 Robbins medals #98 has not appeared, I know it's imprecise but it is possible that Wally Schirra's medal was going to be number 98 and it was pulled out of the packet before it was sent to Robbins for numbering? I am sure that the community is correct in the assertion that unnumbered Apollo 16 Robbins medals were not flown, but to me, Wally Schirra's Apollo 16 Robbins medal is enigmatic.

Any thoughts out there from the cS community?


Posts: 1142
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 12-31-2021 05:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I certainly don't think Schirra's medallion is counterfeit, given the value of Robbins medallions, and the wide ranging activities of Chinese counterfeiters in coins and medallions, I would be very leery of un-numbered Robbins medallions. While most Chinese counterfeits of coins/medallions are laughably bad, there are some that are amazingly good.


Posts: 913
From: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 12-31-2021 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for davidcwagner   Click Here to Email davidcwagner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bought an Apollo 16 medallion through a cS member with a John Young COA. Still no idea how many Apollo 16 Robbins produced.

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