Mercury 7 signed stamp sheet set to star at Washington rare coin auction

Tomorrow, March 6, a rare coin auctioneer is offering an impressive auction in Washington and online. But the star lot isn't coin related at all.

Instead it's a sheet of Project Mercury stamps which has been signed by the whole Mercury 7 crew… twice.

Seasoned space collectors will be aware that their field often trickles into that of philately. Usually this is the in the form of flown first day covers with stamps issued for important space missions used immediately on covers signed by the crew. These can be very valuable.

This is a slightly less standardised collectible, and a centrepiece for either a fine stamp collection or a space memorabilia hoard.

Mercury 7 signed stamp sheet Alan Shepard John Glenn
The Mercury 7 astronauts signed the stamp sheet in the margin...

The Mercury 7 astronauts were Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper and Deke Slayton.

Alan Shepard was the first American in space before later setting foot on the moon. John Glenn was the first American in orbit - in fact he recently became the first astronaut to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his first spaceflight.

The sheet was brought to the sale by a man from a Navy family.

Mercury 7 signed stamps Alan Shepard John Glenn
...and then signed the stamps as well

The Mercury Seven, also known as the Original Seven, were seven astronauts picked on April 9, 1959 by NASA. Between them their members flew on every kind of NASA manned orbital spacecraft of the 20th century: Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and the Space Shuttle.

Expected to sell for $6,000-10,000, bids on the signed sheet close at 8am Pacific Time tomorrow.


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