November is looking set to be an historic month for space collectibles. Dmitry Kondratyev, Catherine "Cady" Coleman and Paolo Nespoli are all set to launch aboard the 25th Soyuz flight to the International Space Station.
And the anticipation for the launch, which is in just two months time, was cranked up on Saturday as collectors got a first look at the new design for the Soyux TMA-20 badge.
The piece continues the recent tradition within Russian designs to incorporate children's art. Images of the Northern Star and Big Dipper feature prominently in the badge which was originally painted by Russian school girl Marina Korolenko.
While this unique design may not represent your typical investment grade space collectible, you only need look at the history of sale prices for similar pieces at auction, to see the potential long term value.
In February 2010, an Apollo 13 badge signed by astronaut Jim Lovell sold for an impressive £14,900 ($23,000) at auction. Elsewhere, a signed Apollo 11 emblem also sold for £6,860 ($10,600) in February 2010.
The good news for collectors is that Russian space collectibles are also enjoying healthy returns at auction.
December 2009 saw the sale of an early Russian EVA space suit at a Paris auction.
Carrying a pre-sale estimate of £54,000 - £62,000 ($83,000 - 95,000), the piece sold for an astonishing £73,190 ($112,350), in what was a world record price for a Soviet space collectible.
And increasing interest in Russian space collectible could soon be coming from the growing numbers of wealthy Russians, who are looking to invest in these historic pieces.
According to statistics published in April, the number of millionaires increased by 7% in Russia over the past year to 131,000.
With greater numbers of affluent Russians looking for ways to diversity their wealth, pieces like the Soyux TMA-20 patch could be one investment for the long term.
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