Mexico City, Mexico, cob 1 escudo, (1711-13), oXMJ, from the 1715 Fleet, professionally engraved in

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money / World Coins - World Start Price:3,000.00 USD Estimated At:3,000.00 - 10,000.00 USD
Mexico City, Mexico, cob 1 escudo, (1711-13), oXMJ, from the 1715 Fleet, professionally engraved in
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This item SOLD at 2010 Apr 08 @ 08:54UTC-4 : AST/EDT
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Mexico City, Mexico, cob 1 escudo, (1711-13), oXMJ, from the 1715 Fleet, professionally engraved in small characters with CARRIED ABOARD APOLLO 14 on one side and 31 JAN and 9 FEB 1971 on the other side. S-M30; KM-51.1. 3.5 grams. Before this coin came along, we had no idea there was ever a connection between the space program and the 1715 Fleet, apart from the obvious geographic proximity and the fact that several of the original Real Eight divers had "day jobs" at the Cape. But space-memorabilia collectors have known about the connection for years, specifically the existence of two series of silver "Robbins medallions": The first series included 82 medallions that were struck from a melted-down 1715-Fleet silver ingot and were flown to the moon on Apollo 12 in 1969, and the second series included 177 medallions struck just after the Apollo 15 mission in 1971 from silver that came from another 1715-Fleet silver ingot actually flown aboard Apollo 15. These treasure-silver medallions, which fetch upwards of 5-figure premiums today, were the brainchild of Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad and Jim Rathman, a race car driver who had won the Indianapolis 500 prior to opening a Chevrolet dealership on the space coast, where he provided the hotshot pilots (most notably the Mercury 7 men, among whom was Alan Shepherd, the commander of Apollo 14 mission) with Corvettes. Jim was also in a partnership (known as Doubloon Salvage) with Kip Wagner and the Real Eight Company, who were salvaging the 1715 Fleet at the time. Significantly, the ingot for the Apollo 15 mission (supplied by noted salvager Art Hartmann) was originally supposedly to be a gold ingot, but that was deemed too heavy for the flight. Now, for the first time, we know that Fleet gold DID go to the moon after all in the form of this one coin, which must have been carried among personal items (in a "PPK," or Personal Preference Kit, as explained to us by an expert in NASA memorabilia) by one of the astronauts on Apollo 14 (Alan Shepherd, Stuart Roosa and Ed Mitchell), on the Apollo program's third manned lunar landing (and of course the first after the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission), then engraved with the memorial and probably given to that astronaut's wife to wear in jewelry. The coin itself is a fairly typical Fleet 1E, with bold full oXMJ, nearly full but off-center shield and cross, much legend, XF or so for wear, a unique item with crossover interest in two hot and fascinating fields! From the 1715 Fleet, east coast of Florida.