Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
Science | By

Doorstop turns out to be meteorite worth $100K

Doorstop turns out to be meteorite worth $100K

Then, in January, when a meteor struck southeast Michigan, Mazurek got curious after seeing reports of meteorite pieces being worth thousands of dollars.

He asked the then homeowner about it and was told it was a meteorite found on the property in the 1930s.

Central Michigan University geology professor Mona Sibescu said that of all her time at the university, this is the first "rock" she's tested that actually turned out to be a meteorite.

He was inspired to have it checked out by the university after a rise in meteorite discoveries in MI.

The chunk of iron-which was confirmed as a space rock by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. -is the sixth-largest meteorite ever found in MI, according to the museum.

Central Michigan University The meteorite was reportedly found on a farm in Edmore, Michigan, in the 1930s. The farmer told Mazurek that he and his father watched the chunk of rock slam into their property one night and picked it up the next day, when it was still warm to the touch.

The man contacted Sirbescu, who identified the rock as a meteorite composed of about 88 percent iron and 12 percent nickel.


But that all changed when she was asked to examine an oddly shaped large rock that a MI man, who didn't want to be named, had had in his possession for the last 30 years.

Like the farmer, he just thought it was "cool to look at", and let his children take it to school for show and tell.

"It's the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically", Sibescu said.

A man from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who told the university he wanted to remain anonymous, brought the rock to Sirbescu for examination earlier this year. They say it's worth around $100,000, and is the sixth largest meteorite found in MI.

The meteorite hasn't sold yet, but the Smithsonian Museum is considering buying it, as well as another collector. The Smithsonian is considering purchasing the meteorite. If it doesn't buy the entire rock, the slice will stay in its collection. It will be used as funding for students of earth and atmospheric sciences. They all have agreed to name it the Edmore meteorite, she said. He is considered the guru of iron meteorites, Sirbescu said, and is doing a neutron activation analysis to determine its chemical composition.

A mineral museum in ME also was considering buying it, and the owner herself - a collector - said she might purchase it.

Mazurek says that when he sells the meteorite, he'll donate some of the money to the university.

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