Moon Shot: Neil Armstrong Autograph Sells for $27k at Auction

Moon Shot: Neil Armstrong Autograph Sells for $27k at Auction

Take a near perfect autograph from a man who is one of the true pioneers of his field, signed on a date of historical significance. Offer that same autograph for auction near the 40th anniversary of that date and you've got the recipe for one eye-popping sale.

RR Auctions, a New Hampshire-based company that has been in the autographed memorabilia business for almost 30 years and has been running auctions since 1995, recently put those ingredients together to help a Neil Armstrong autographed check close for over $27,000. The man who became the first person to walk on the moon four decades ago is thought to have the most valuable autograph of anyone alive today, and had a previous item sell for $19,000.

armstrong_check_closeupWhat made this particular autograph so unique is that it was signed on July 16, 2009, the same day that Apollo 11 took flight. According to the text piece matted with the check, Armstrong filled it out to repay a debt he owed to Hal Collins for $10.50. But legend also has that Armstrong told Collins not to cash it "because I will be coming back."

Aside from the obvious historical context and the clear and full "Neil A. Armstrong" signature on the check, part of its value stems from the scarcity of any Armstrong autographs. Fearing forgers and unscrupulous types cashing in on his fame, the famous astronaut stopped inking up 15 years ago.

"He's the most sought-after human being for an autograph," said Anthony Pizzitola, vice-president of the Universal Autograph Collectors Club, to the Boston Globe. "That's based on the fact that he just stopped signing in 1994. It's just like a stock; that's basically what it is."

The form of the signature also contributes to its rarity. The check represents one of only three known examples of Armstrong signing using his middle initial during the Apollo 11 mission.

Noah Bradley, a space memorabilia collector from Virginia, offered the check to RR Auctions for consignment. He obtained the check in 2002, buying it from Collins' son.

Top eBay Listings

SIGNED. First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, by James R. Hansen, 2005, 1st


*HISTORIC* NEIL ARMSTRONG Autograph Signed when Apollo 11 Landed July 24, 1969

Neil Armstrong with signed reproduction Armstrong check.

Richard Nixon "First Man on the Moon" Stamp Presentation Signed. Neil Armstrong


Neil Armstrong Signed 8'' x 10'' Photo, Uninscribed -- With PSA DNA COA Lot 185

Neil Armstrong 8'' x 10'' Signed Photo -- Near Fine Lot 186
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Nick has been collecting sports cards and memorabilia, especially football, basketball, boxing and MMA, for over 25 years. He's been writing about the hobby for a while too, most recently for When cards and collectibles give him writer's block, Nick spends time editing and writing for, contributing to SLAM! Wrestling and reviewing music for He lives outside of Hershey, PA (a.k.a. Chocolatetown, USA) with his wife Diane, daughter Beth and son J.T.

User Comments

  1. Hi- I just received a Topps “Heros of Spaceflight Cut Signature” of Neil Armstrong. It is a 2009 signed card- sports card sized 3×5 or so I would imagine- It is a redemption card from Topps Trading Card Company. They did this via redemption so that they could help in tracking the cards for original ownership of the cards produced. In the Beckett it says it is likely a 1-1 item as most of these signed cards were in the set, which includes; Abe Lincohn, Babe Ruth, John F. Kennedy. and ALL cards to scarce for pricing. The Abe is on ebay currently and is priced at $15K. The Ruth is as well and priced at $10K. Not sure if you know of anyone interested in it, or maybe you may be interested in it yourself. You can let me know. Thanks.

  2. I have a signed photo of neil armstrong with some other pamplets I would like to find. Out how much they are worth

  3. @john: The best way with something like that is to see what similar items are going for on eBay, unfortunately that’s about the only way of determining how much. Another way would be to go to Pawn Shop and whatever they offer you, double or triple that and that would be roughly how much it’s worth.

  4. my sister has a scrap book that is from dec 1969 with all the news paper clipings from when neil armstrong went to the moon trying to find out what its worth

  5. michael (ID 37479) » Hi Michael – VERY cool piece, although I’m not entirely sure what it might be worth. You may want to check with Collect Space. Here is their contact page.

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