Think you got a Neil Armstrong autograph cheap?

This is the kind of Armstrong autograph that sells on the cheap -- a bad fake.

This is the kind of Armstrong autograph that sells on the cheap -- a bad fake.

Never say never, but the odds of winning an authentic Neil Armstrong or Apollo 11 signed item for way below market value in an auction format are exceedingly low. There are way too many collectors and dealers looking for Armstrong and Apollo 11 and trolling eBay 24/7. They are not going to miss an authentic Armstrong and let it go for way below market value.

If it is in auction format, and you got it on the cheap, chances are you didn’t outsmart everyone else. Chances are it sold on the cheap because it’s a fake.

You can get a deal on the rare occasion a seller significantly underprices an item and lists it as a Buy-It-Now. Then again… there are lots of trained eyes watching and you would have to hit it shortly after it’s listed.

If it’s a low-priced Buy-It-Now and it’s been sitting there for a while… yep…  chances are it’s a fake.

This is why you may want to avoid stickers on your treasures...

The unsightly stain on this baseball is from the adhesive from an authentication sticker. This isn't a knock on those services... but it is a good reason to avoid putting stickers on your items -- especially vintage items! 

Zarelli Space Authentication does not place stickers on items. Because all of our Letters of Authenticity feature a large photo of the signature, and we do not issue "card COAs" that don't have photos, there is no need to place a sticker on an item.

In my experience, space collectors avoid official NASA lithos and photos that have stickers on the front. So, not only can it stain an item, it kills the desirability.

Neil Armstrong signed photo sells for $38,467 at RR Auction

In the Spring 2016 RR Auction Space Auction this Neil Armstrong signed photo sold for $38,467 with buyer's premium. This is an amazing result... and to my knowledge is, by far, the most ever paid for a single signed astronaut photograph. 

Neil Armstrong signed photo that sold for over $38,000

Neil Armstrong signed photo that sold for over $38,000

So, why so much?

In my opinion, this is the quintessential image of the space program... the moment Armstrong stepped off the ladder onto the moon's surface. And, it is signed perfectly with an Apollo 11 inscription.

There are only a few images of Neil Armstrong on the moon, and most were not readily available when he was freely signing autographs. Any lunar surface photo of Armstrong is uncommon.

Lastly, this photo came directly from the family of the former head of NASA's photo division, so it has strong provenance. In fact, an original of this photo would likely have only been available to someone inside NASA in the late 60s and early 70s.

Godspeed Edgar Mitchell, 1930-2016

Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14, searching for Cone Crater on the moon.

Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14, searching for Cone Crater on the moon.

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Edgar Mitchell on February 4, 2016. 

I met Dr. Mitchell several times over the years and actually spent 2 days with him when my company retained him to appear at a trade show in 2002. He shared some fascinating insights and I felt privileged to have a drink or two with a man that walked on the moon.

Steve Zarelli with Edgar Mitchell, 2004.

Steve Zarelli with Edgar Mitchell, 2004.

He was a kind, humble and brilliant man. A very unique view and a free thinker.

Once again he is among the stars.

Edgar Mitchell, NASA portrait

Edgar Mitchell, NASA portrait

Super Bowl 50 Audi Commercial: "Commander"...The retired astronaut

This Sunday, Super Bowl 50 will have an Audi commercial featuring a fictional retired astronaut... re-living his glory days in an Audi. Space fans will like this and the David Bowie track "Starman" is an especially nice touch.

Surrounded by memories of the Space Age's golden years, a retired astronaut has lost his zeal for life. But when his son shows up and hands over the keys to the new 205-mph Audi R8 V10 plus, a rocket ride under the stars stirs newfound life within the Commander.