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  Franklin Mint Apollo 14 mini coins: Other uses?

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Author Topic:   Franklin Mint Apollo 14 mini coins: Other uses?
One Big Monkey
Member

Posts: 71
From: West Yorkshire, UK
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 01-27-2015 05:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for One Big Monkey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've now collected several of the Franklin Mint Apollo 14 mini-coins, and think it's a shame to have them lying around gathering dust. I'm considering having one of them made into a sovereign type silver ring, with the the 'moon' side facing outward.

Acceptable use of a relatively common object, or shameless desecration of precious artifact? Is it possible to make something like that, or other item of jewelry, without irreparably damaging the coin?

Discuss.

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 508
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 01-27-2015 06:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a coin collector for about 25 years, the simple answer is NO, it is not possible to use a coin or a medallion for jewelry purposes without downgrading it as a numismatic piece (generally with a concomitant drop in value). Even a piece put in a bezel will show remnants of solder when/if the bezel is removed.

Having said that, what you have is a medallion, not a coin. A coin is a government issued (generally) metallic object with a listed value, e.g. it is money. A Washington quarter would be an example of a coin. Oftentimes the decline in price of a medallion used for jewelry purposes is less than the decline in value for a coin used for jewelry purposes.

Assuming your medallion was produced without any flown material, the value of it in any case would only be the precious metal content. These sort of items are relatively common at numismatic (coin) shows, and dealers buy them at their precious metal content value and sell them at that with some sort of markup. So, turning your unflown piece(s) into jewelry really doesn't have a significant monetary downside.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31503
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-27-2015 07:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
Assuming your medallion was produced without any flown material...
The Franklin Mint's Apollo 14 mini coins are inscribed on the reverse:
This mini-coin is made from a special melt containing silver that was carried to the Moon on the flight of Apollo 14.
The 129,449 mini coins were minted in part from the sterling silver content of 24 larger medallions carried to lunar orbit by Alan Shepard.

One Big Monkey
Member

Posts: 71
From: West Yorkshire, UK
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 01-27-2015 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for One Big Monkey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's not really the monetary value I'm concerned with — my most recent one cost less than £10 including postage from the US! I just like them.

I suppose the underlying question is "Why do you collect stuff?" — is it to have it locked away, to have for the sake of having it, or to get some use from it?

I'd envisage something like this

(The ring design is one I grabbed at random rather than what I'd choose!) I even have some ground lunar meteorite that could go in the silver content!

My only nagging doubt is spoiling something that could not be replaced, even if there are lots of examples of them around.

GACspaceguy
Member

Posts: 1736
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 01-27-2015 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
129,449 mini coins were minted
It's yours do as you wish, in my opinion.

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 508
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 01-27-2015 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by One Big Monkey:
My only nagging doubt is spoiling something that could not be replaced, even if there are lots of examples of them around.
Given that Robert has mentioned that there are over 100,000 of them, I wouldn't worry too much about it. The likelihood is you'd be creating an object that at least one other space junkie would enjoy owning after you've decided to sell it or you pass on.

Larry McGlynn
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Posts: 862
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 01-27-2015 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Enjoy yourself. Those mini coins are selling on eBay for about forty bucks. There are ten of them for sale on eBay right now. It appears that you have several of them, so have fun and make one into a ring.

Alan Shepard gave Randy Lawlor 25 of the large Apollo 14 Franklin Mint medallions back in 1971. Mr. Lawlor gave several of them to Joe Segel at the Franklin Mint, but not all of them. According to NASA documents, it appears that he kept around 10 of the medallions. The mint melted down the ones in their possession and produced the 129,000 mini coins or, as Sy correctly stated, medallions. Segel was in a running battle with the U.S. Treasury about calling his company a mint and calling medallions produced by Franklin Mint by the term coin. Only the UST was allowed to mint coins by law.

Those mini coins eventually helped lead to a Congressional investigation on objects taken by NASA astronauts into space.

Go ahead and make that ring. You won't be harming the value of the medallion.

GACspaceguy
Member

Posts: 1736
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 01-30-2015 06:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They sell for even less as there are two on eBay right now for a Buy-It-Now of $19.95 and free shipping.

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