Apollo 11 autographs
The signatures of first astronauts on the moon continue to be coveted by collectors everywhere
It's round and pale with a pitted surface, and was the star of the show at a recent auction with space memorabilia up for grabs. Some readers may be astonished to hear it sold for $1,800.
After all, very few golf balls sell for that much. But then not many golf balls have been signed by Neil Armstrong. This one wasn't struck whilst on the moon (Apollo 14's Alan Shepard was the first person to play golf there, though sadly there are no water hazards) but could hardly be more desirable if it was.
Armstrong famously refuses to sign autographs any more, which is why his signature is so especially prized by space enthusiasts and autograph hunters in general. Of course, items signed by all three Apollo 11 astronauts go for even more.
In December 2008, a first day cover signed by all three astronauts whilst they were waiting to go into space sold for $4,500. It had been intended even then as a form of grim insurance for the families: to be sold if the astronauts didn't return. Its collectability was increased by the use of an Apollo 18 commemorative stamp.
Even more valuable, mainly because it was actually flown, was a Beta Cloth Emblem depicting an eagle landing on the moon with an olive branch, signed by all three. This sold for $61,000 this July in the 40th anniversary year of the moon landings.
Armstrong has refused to sign autographs for most of those 40 years. The result is that some items which do have his tall, flourishing signature have increased in value by over 1,000%.