Video of the week... The impact of Apollo 11 on the collectibles market

Newcomers to the collectibles arena are often taken aback when first confronted with space memorabilia.

It is an area of collecting few people immediately think of, but it meets all the criteria of what collecting can, at its best, be about. And Apollo 11, the first moon mission, is at the forefront of space collecting.

Memorabilia connected with the mission is a tantalising, unique insight into a world few of us can understand, and a superb documentation of a unique piece of history.

Space flown items that were integral to the mission's success are particularly popular with collectors, and sales can reach vast sums.  

Auction house Bonhams has been at the centre of Apollo 11 memorabilia sales in recent years.

It sold what is currently the world record-holder for an Apollo 11 item, a navigational chart used on board the Eagle landing capsule, for $218,000 in New York in 2009.

It was also behind the 2010 sale of Apollo 11's flight plan, which achieved $152,000.

Then there is the control handle used to control Apollo 11's rotation, which achieved $79,750 at an Aurora auction in 2004.

Or how about the space flown, but thankfully never used, slide rule taken to the moon by Buzz Aldrin, which sold for $77,675 at a Heritage in 2007? The computing tool would have come into play had Apollo 11 suffered a malfunction.

Not all items are with collectors. Some are available on the private markets, such as Aldrin's training suit for the Apollo 11 mission, signed by the astronaut.

Goldberg Coins and Collectibles recently sold three portions of the US flag planted on the moon for $45,000 at a private sale.

The three scraps never made it to the moon, having been trimmed by a NASA engineer prior to the mission.

Despite their earthly status, the sale is evidence of the interest that surrounds items connected with the mission, even if they never made it to the moon.

And we haven't even mentioned autographs. The value of Armstrong's average signature increased from £550 in 2000 to £5,950 in 2011, a rise of 981.8%.

And let us not forget that as we steadily approach the 50th anniversary of the first moon landings, interest in Apollo 11 collectibles could easily surpass current levels, ensuring that collectibles you purchase now could be significantly more valuable in 2019.


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