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  Apollo 12 Robbins medals: history and mintage

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Author Topic:   Apollo 12 Robbins medals: history and mintage
Larry McGlynn

Posts: 805
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 02-10-2008 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have posted a new article about the Apollo 12 Robbins medals made of silver from the 1715 Spanish Plate Fleet that was wrecked off the Cape Canaveral coastline during a hurricane.


Posts: 805
Registered: Jan 2002

posted 02-10-2008 09:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What an awesome historic record of these amazing medallions — surely, perhaps one of the most unique set of Robbins medallions to have made the journey on Apollo. But even more so Larry, I really appreciate the excellent job you did of researching and wrapping the history around these pieces. A truly great piece of work. Kudos and thanks for sharing!


Posts: 715
From: NJ
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 02-11-2008 07:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 4allmankind   Click Here to Email 4allmankind     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Larry, a great blog. Thanks for putting it together and sharing your knowledge with us on the topic.

My overwhelming feeling when reading it was how glad I was that Conrad went out of his way to make some of the Robbins that were to fly on his mission a little "special". With all of the things on his mind at that time, he still had the foresight to acquire some of that silver and make the whole thing happen. Kudos to Conrard.

I own one of the Apollo 12 Robbins made from the standard silver. It is one of my favorite pieces even without the special silver because it flew, but if you ever wanted to swap, give me a call

New Member

Posts: 4
Registered: Apr 2010

posted 04-13-2013 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KasDal21     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Quote from the upcoming Heritage auction regarding an Apollo 12 flown silver Robbins medal from the family collection of Alan Bean (Lot #40423). Does anyone know details on this?
There is no serial number, though. Robbins medallion expert Howard Weinberger has noted that several medals from this mission have turned up without numbers. He is certain that they flew and believes that the problem originated in the hand-finishing area at the factory.


Posts: 216
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Mar 2011

posted 04-14-2013 09:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for YankeeClipper   Click Here to Email YankeeClipper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alan Bean confirmed to me in 2011 that he still had a couple of unnumbered Apollo 12 Robbins medallions which he believes were flown on the mission. I saw another one on eBay about a year ago from an eBayer in the Cape Canaveral area which I don't think sold. If I recall correctly, the seller said it was originally acquired at an Aurora Auction in 2003. So there are at least three, if not more, of these unnumbered Apollo 12 medallions in existence.

If you look at Lot 40079 in the April 2013 Heritage Auction, an Apollo 11 medallion stolen pre-flight from Mike Collins, you will see it is serial numbered but not dated. This would be logical in case of launch delays changing the flight dates. The actual dates could then be engraved post-flight at the Robbins facility.

I suspect the unnumbered Apollo 12 medallions might have flown as spares in case of post-flight date engraving accidents. It would be logical to have flown unnumbered blank backups ready to substitute for any flown numbered medallion that suffered an engraving mistake.

In the absence of any definitive documentation as to what was done by Robbins, there are other possibilities. The unnumbered medallions might just have been an oversight and were supposed to have been numbered pre-flight. There is also the possibility that the unnumbered medallions were production surplus and never flew.

Alan and Howard both believe, however, that they were flown and they certainly are rare.


Posts: 66
From: Fl, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 04-14-2013 10:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for riolag   Click Here to Email riolag     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yup, I was trying to sell it last year and didn't — there were questions on the opinions board over whether it flew as it didn't have a number with one suggestion that although the person believed it was flown to discount it. I did email Captain Bean and he confirmed that all Apollo 12 Robbins flew, even those without numbers.

All times are CT (US)

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