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  • Writer's pictureValerieBound

Jewelry to celebrate the Apollo Moon Landing

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

I know you probably didn’t think there would be a link between jewelry and walking on the moon, but I’m here to tell you THERE IS! If you didn’t know it yet, July 20, this coming Saturday, is the 50th anniversary of when we walked on the moon. The amazing Neil Armstrong was the first American to step onto the moon. What a huge moment! Not just for the USA as a country, but for all of us as a human race! I’ve read that 20% of the entire world’s population watched this as it was happening on live TV! How cool!

And so today I wanted to celebrate by showcasing three really important jewelry pieces. Because, honestly, the jewelry for moon landing is pretty cool too!

Van Cleef’s Moon Landing Brooch

Neil Armstrong, as the guy who walked on the moon FIRST, was given this exquisite brooch. Made by the famous luxury jewelry designer  Van Cleef & Arpels, it’s 18K gold. Because the moon has all those craters, this brooch has a textured surface. Of course, it’s not just gold. It has rubies and a diamond too. The diamond is meant to represent where the shuttle (the Eagle) landed, while the rubies show where the astronauts walked.

<img class=" wp-image-7145 lazyload" src="" alt="Moon landing brooch" width="500" height="400" srcset=" 550w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" /> Van Cleef moon landing brooch made for Neil Armstrong

Armstrong family to sell brooch

This brooch has remained in the Armstrong family ever since. But now, they’re selling it! If you’d like this amazing piece of American history, it can be yours for a starting bid of $168,500. Seriously! Go to this site (an antiques dealer in New Orleans) before July 20 and it can be yours!!!

<img class=" wp-image-7148 lazyload" src="" alt="Side view showing the textured surface of the moon landing brooch" width="500" height="400" srcset=" 550w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" /> Side view showing the textured surface of the moon landing brooch

Neil’s wife wore this moon landing brooch after her husband made it safely back. All the Apollo astronauts and their wives went on a global goodwill tour, visiting 30 different countries around the world. And of course, at each stop, they met with world leaders and royalty, like the Pope and the Queen. How exciting!!!

<img class=" wp-image-7150 lazyload" src="" alt="Here you can see the inscription on the back of the moon landing brooch" width="500" height="400" srcset=" 550w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" /> Here you can see the inscription on the back of the moon landing brooch

The brooch itself is inscribed. And if you end up being the lucky buyer, you get an official letter of provenance signed by his sons. It says, in part:

On July 20, 1969, our father—Neil Armstrong—became the first person to walk on the surface of the moon. The Apollo 11 mission to the moon was the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice, not only for our father, but also for the hundreds of thousands of people who worked together to realize this goal. Their work serves as a shining example of what we can accomplish when we dare to dream the impossible and then harness the immense power of our human potential to achieve those dreams.Our father, his parents, and our mother, Janet, routinely saved items from their years together for posterity. It was our goal not only to preserve these items, but also to enable others to share them and celebrate these historic achievements with us.

Wish I had the money…. I’d put in a bid. What about you?

An Apollo moon man brooch

Of course, Van Cleef wasn’t the only jewelry house to do their part. This amazing brooch was made by Belgian jewelers Jacques and Pierre Leysen. Like the other brooch, this one has a textured surface.  And the flagpole sits in the Sea of Tranquility, which is where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed.

It was presented to President Richard Nixon during his first year in office. It’s also 18K gold, although in two different colors, and the flag has red, white, and blue enamel. You can remove the flag (although why would you want to?). They only made 10 of these.

<img class=" wp-image-7140 lazyload" src="" alt="moon landing brooch" width="500" height="515" srcset=" 898w, 292w, 768w, 610w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" /> A limit edition brooch celebrating the moon landing, from Belgian jewelers Jacques & Pierre Leysen

This little guy is also up for auction on July 18. The estimated price is $3,000 to $5,000. A bit more economical, am I right?

Apollo moon landing earrings

Let’s move on from brooches to earrings. Far more wearable anyway, in my opinion! These dangly earrings were made especially for former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis. They were given to her as a gift on her 40th birthday, by her husband Aristotle Onassis. He had sought out the incredible Greek designer LALAoUNIS to make something special.

<img class="wp-image-7159 lazyload" src="" alt="Jackie Kennedy Onassis wearing the earrings" width="500" height="259" srcset=" 830w, 300w, 768w, 610w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" /> Jackie Kennedy Onassis wearing the earrings (image courtesy of Getty Images)

Like the other pieces in this post, these were also 18K gold, with rubies. The bottom sphere represents the moon, the dangly part represents the spacecraft, while the top loop is meant to represent the orbit.

<img class=" wp-image-7139 lazyload" src="" alt="Apollo moon landing earrings" width="502" height="500" srcset=" 670w, 150w, 300w, 610w" sizes="(max-width: 502px) 100vw, 502px" /> Gold and ruby earrings celebrating the Apollo moon landing from LALAoUNIS

“We choose to go to the Moon.” – President Kennedy, 1962

I’m sure these were sentimental for Jackie. After all, her husband John F. Kennedy was the one who started the “race to space.” She kept them until her death, and then sadly, they were sold at part of her estate auction. Someone paid $112,500 for these back in 1996. Now, never fear, gem gals! Even though you can’t buy the originals, LALAoUNIS has made some new earrings for the moon landing anniversary in an updated style (they’re on the left in the image below).

<img class=" wp-image-7155 lazyload" src="" alt="Modern day earrings to celebrate the moon landing" width="500" height="333" srcset=" 1200w, 300w, 768w, 1024w, 610w, 1080w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" /> Modern day earrings to celebrate the moon landing

If you think about it, the moon and the planets and the starts have been inspiring jewelry makers forever. I also like these double planet earrings by EYE M. They’re gold vermeil with white sapphires.

The 50th anniversary of the moon landing

What do you think? Are you excited about the anniversary of the moon landing? Can you believe it’s been 50 years?! Would you wear any of these pieces?


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