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The STS-8 crew wore the standard AB Emblem embroidered mission emblems on their flight suits and on their in-flight clothing, thus there is no rare 'crew patch' version of the mission insignia. However, the crew did produce a joke patch for the mission known generally as the 'eyes' patch.

The patch was designed by Dan Brandenstein. One explanation for the design is that the eyes on the right are those of mission Commander Richard Truly, whose experience leaves him calm whilst the rookie crew members on the left look out of the window with wide eyes. The other version is that the eyes on the right are those of Dr Bill Thornton whose investigation into space sickness required him to draw blood from the other crew members, whose frightened eyes are shown on the left.

The Crew Patches

Patch id:

STS-8 "Eyes" patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? Unknown.
Manufacturer: AB Emblem.
Distribution: Unknown.
Dimensions: Approx. 4" / 104mm
Type: Partially embroidered on black twill. Merrowed border with tail.
Scarcity: Rare.
Value: An example sold in 2013 for $343[1]
Notes: The original version of the STS-8 "Eyes" patch produced for the crew was probably a limited run. It can be differentiated from the more common commercial version (detailed in the section below) by the black fill thread used in the two window areas where the commercial version has exposed black twill, however this is not easy to make out in most photos.
There are numerous small differences in the design that allow the originals to be identified. The original patch has bolder text than the commercial version. The dash and "8" of the mission identifier are separate elements in the original but joined by white stitches in the commercial version. The hands gripping the window frame have fingers separated by distinct black threads in the original. The eyes in the window on the right are narrower in the original. In the commercial version they are thicker with the pupils outlined above by white thread.

Embroidered Mission Patches

Patch id:

STS-8 AB Emblem patch

Worn by crew? Yes.
Flown? Yes.
Manufacturer: AB Emblem
Distribution: Sold as souvenirs.
Dimensions: 4" / 103mm across
Type: Fully embroidered. Partially merrowed edge.
Scarcity: Common.
Value: Minimal value.
Notes: The AB Emblem patch was the version used by the crew.
Patch id:

STS-8 Lion Brothers patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Lion Brothers
Distribution: Was available commercially.
Dimensions: 4" / 101mm across
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge with tail.
Scarcity: Scarce.
Value: Examples sell for around $15-$30.
Notes: The Lion Brothers STS-8 mission patch has a complete merrowed edge around the outside and the right booster pointing to the "U" of "TRULY". The "CHALLENGER" text on this patch has a distinctive black outline. The patch only exists with a plastic coating on the reverse.
Patch id:

STS-8 Swissartex patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Swissartex Emblem inc.
Distribution: Sold as souvenirs.
Dimensions: 4⅛" / 105mm across
Type: Fully embroidered. Merowed border with tail.
Scarcity: Uncommon.
Value: Vintage examples sell for $10-$15.
Notes: The vintage version of the Swissartex STS-8 mission patch exists both with a waxy plastic backing and with a vacuum sealed clear plastic coating on the reverse. The fronts of the two versions are virtually identical.
The patch has an unbroken merrowed edge around the outside, like the Lion Brothers version, but has the right booster pointing to the "R" of "TRULY".
Patch id:

STS-8 Cape Kennedy Medals patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Cape Kennedy Medals
Distribution: Unknown.
Dimensions: 4⅛" / 106mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Partially merrowed edge.
Scarcity: Uncommon.
Value: Unknown.
Notes: Like the Swissartex design, the Cape Kennedy Medals patch has the right booster pointing to the "R" of "TRULY" but it has a partially merrowed edge that does not extend around the top of the EFT. It also has distinctive twin tails on the reverse held in place by small strips of tape.
Patch id:

STS-8 yellow border patch [STS8UNK3]

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: likely Cape Kennedy Medals
Distribution: Sample only
Dimensions: 4⅛" / 106mm
Type: Fully embroidered. Merrowed edge.
Scarcity: Rare.
Value: An example sold for $46[1]
Notes: This yellow-bordered patch was listed on eBay as a rejected sample from "Best Emblem". However, the details of the patch - including the color scheme and cloud pattern, and on the reverse the anchor thread pattern, and the strip of tape holding the tail in place - all seem a good match with the Cape Kennedy Medals version, so this was most likely an early sample from them.

Embroidered commercial or replica "Eyes" Patches

Patch id:

STS-8 "Eyes" Stewart Aviation patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Stewart Aviation?
Distribution: Commercially available
Dimensions: Approx. 4" / 100mm across
Type: Partially embroidered on black twill. Merrowed edge.
Scarcity: Uncommon.
Value: Unknown.
Notes: This is a commercial version of the joke STS-8 "eyes" patch sold by Stewart Aviation. Notes on how to differentiate this patch from the more valuable original can be found in the section above.
Patch id:

STS-8 "Eyes" UNK1 patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Unknown
Dimensions: Approx. 4" / 100mm across
Type: Partially embroidered on black twill. Merrowed edge.
Scarcity: Unknown
Value: Unknown.
Notes: Another version of the STS-8 "Eyes" patch. This one is maybe the closest to the crew version as it has separated fingers, disconnected "STS - 8" elements, and the narrow eyes in the right hand window. It does not have the filled windows, and probably the most notable difference to the crew version is that the window and glasses frame ] are formed of single chains of stitches rather than the thick borders of the original patch.
Patch id:

STS-8 "Eyes" Randy Hunt replica patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Randy Hunt (4gator)
Distribution: Unknown
Dimensions: Approx. 4" / 100mm across
Type: Partially embroidered on black twill. Merrowed edge.
Scarcity: Unknown
Value: Unknown.
Notes: This replica of the STS-8 "Eyes" patch was produced by Randy Hunt (4gator). It has distinctive narrow windows and small eyes with tiny pupils.
Patch id:

STS-8 "Eyes" UNK2 patch

Worn by crew? No.
Flown? No.
Manufacturer: Unknown
Distribution: Unknown
Dimensions: Approx. 4" / 101mm across
Type: Partially embroidered on black twill. Merrowed edge.
Scarcity: Unknown
Value: An example, presumably mistaken for a crew version, sold in 2012 for $280[2]
Notes: Another version of the STS-8 "Eyes" patch. This one is has the eyes int he left window connected to the corners, very crude hands at the bottom of the window and the right half of the glasses in the right hand window running down into the frame.
The tape strip on the reverse makes me suspect Cape Kennedy Medals as the manufacturer. A 3" version also exists.
Footnotes

[1] Example sales of STS-8 yellow border STS8UNK3 patches:
     eBay item no. 162533931220 Jun 5, 2017, sold at $46.45

[2] Example sales of STS-8 "Eyes" patches:
     eBay item no. 200642983808 Aug 8, 2011, sold at $305 [AB Emblem presentation]
     Goldberg Space Auction lot 1449 Jul 10, 2011, sold at $312 (inc fees)
     eBay item no. 251223458902 Feb 10, 2013, sold at $342.75

[3] Example sales of STS-8 "Eyes" STS8UNK2 patches:
     eBay item no. 140857306165 Oct 3, 2012, sold at $280 [described as an original]

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