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  Bullion space patches: collectors' preference

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Author Topic:   Bullion space patches: collectors' preference
butch wilks

Posts: 190
From: Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 07-04-2010 04:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for butch wilks   Click Here to Email butch wilks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a number of bullion patches, most from the old days of the Soviet Union. I like them for the way they have that 3D look that now is so popular.

In the UK we use bullion patches for military and veterans uniforms or clubs, but I do not see so many of them from the U.S. and not one from the U.S. space program. I've not seen them as presentation badges too. This may be a European thing to have bullion patches?

The extremely skilled people who make the hand-stitched patches, use metal type gold and silver stitch with no limit to the number colours you can get from the gold or silver. They may not be made as quick as the computer controlled mechanised patches, but they do have a better 3D look to them.

The patches from the Soviet Union I have are from the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, some from the mission patches and some from the lapel pins, making a unusual collection. In the set too is a Jacques Tiziou kids patch, one of only two i have ever seen made up.

I had Stewart Aviation make up a set of 8" NASA manned space project bullion patches from Mercury to Constellation. I used the AB Emblem and the Lion Brothers patches for the projects as a base and adding a few more details for the size of the patches. They look fantastic.

So what do you think, do you like bullion patches or dislike them?

Harald Kraenzel

Posts: 283
From: Dinslaken,Germany
Registered: Nov 2005

posted 07-04-2010 06:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harald Kraenzel   Click Here to Email Harald Kraenzel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the past years I saw a few of them on eBay and the late Randy Hunt did offer those to me. My decision was NOT to collect them. I had to decide to enlarge my scope of collecting or not.

My personal view is somewhat neutral but what I have in mind is that they are more expensive compared to the "normal" embroidered patches. The most bullion patches I saw were related to the russian space missions -as you mention-.
From the 3D look they do have a really nice appearence but they are special.
Those patches are a section of their own and who do like them will collect them.
You can compare it with the other questions like shall I collect only those "crew patches" or shall I collect different versions of space patches?


Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 07-04-2010 07:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those who are interested, the Space Walk of Fame museum in Titusville offers bullion patches for every Apollo mission. The patches are 6" (I think).


Posts: 542
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 07-04-2010 12:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for benguttery   Click Here to Email benguttery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a number of these bullion patches in my collection. Indeed, most are Russian or Soviet. I've wondered if they were patterned after many of the Soviet era space pins or other artwork.

When I was collecting military patches, they too had bullion patches that dated back to the World War Two era. Most were post war and usually hand made either in Europe or Asia for the armies of occupation. They were made with actual gold and silver threads, mostly silver. Silver tarnishes and many of these patches that were impressive in their day are now dark in color. However, with the advent of aluminum or alloy threads, these patches will look for a long time. Do an ebay search for "bullion patch" and you will see a large variety.

I have mixed emotions about them, because they could either be from the actual period of time or not. That leads to the discussion of whether or not they are "original" or "souvenir" patches. I tend to view them as souvenir and not from the original period. If they didn't look so great, I probably would not collect them. However, they look awesome.

Alex Panchenko has been a source for some of these in my collection.

butch wilks

Posts: 190
From: Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 07-04-2010 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for butch wilks   Click Here to Email butch wilks     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, a good few bullion patches do come off eBay nowadays, but with Randy Hunt's passing a lot of the ex-USSR patches stop being available. But I keep looking out for them.

I too look at them as souvenir and that just adds to the collection. Say for one mission as I have with the patches from AB Emblem and the Lion Brothers for the Apollo-Soyuz set.

I forgot that I do have five bullion patches from the U.S. but they are ships patches from the recovery fleet:

  • USS Stormes DD-780 Mercury 5 Enos, the chimp.
  • USS NOA DD-841 Friendship 7
  • USS John R Pierce DD-753 Aurora 7 capsule only.
  • USS Leonard E Mason DD-852 Gemini 8
  • USS Ticonderoga CVS-14 tiger patch Apollo 17
This lot is part of a set of 40+ patches on the spacecraft recovery ships NASA has used from Mercury to Ares.


Posts: 733
From: The Netherlands
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 07-05-2010 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hoorenz   Click Here to Email hoorenz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The bullion Alex Panchenko patches on the Sokols of the TMA-5 crew (Flag, TMA-5 and Exp. 10) were a one-time occurance, I was told. Zvezda did not like metal wire threads on their delicate pressure suits. This is why the (red bordered) TMA-6 bullion patch was only flown on onboard clothing, and a softer (blue bordered) version was flown on the Sokols.


Posts: 147
From: Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 02-08-2012 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Besixdouze   Click Here to Email Besixdouze     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anybody know anything about Apollo mission bullion patches? There's an Apollo 1, 16 and 17 newly listed on eBay and Lunar Legacies has two listed in their next auction.

I personally don't find them very appealing but I'd be interested to know their history if anyone can help.

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