Meteorite used as doorstop for 30 years found to be valued at $100k
A man who used a meteorite as a doorstop for 30 years got a huge surprise when he discovered it was potentially worth $100,000 (around P5.4 million).
Central Michigan University (CMU) Geology faculty member Monica Sirbescu shared that an unidentified man from Grand Rapids, Michigan, approached her to check out his 22.5-pound meteorite. This was revealed by the CMU on Wednesday.
“Within seconds, I knew it was a real one,” Sirbescu said when she saw the meteorite. “It’s the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically.”
The man had the meteorite with him since 1988 when he bought a farm in Edmore. The farmer then told him that he and his father saw it fall at night during the 1930s, adding that since the meteorite was part of the property, the man could have it.
He then kept the meteorite with him for the next years, and even allowed his children to bring it to school for show and tell. The man then got curious if the large rock had worth as he read accounts of people buying and selling small pieces of meteorites.
Upon receiving the meteorite, Sirbescu evaluated it and discovered it was an iron-nickel meteorite, composed of 8 to 8.5 percent iron and 11.5 percent nickel.
She then cut off a slice and sent it to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., to confirm her findings. The Smithsonian considered buying the meteorite for display. If it cannot purchase it, the slice will stay in the collection.
The owner promised to give 10 percent of the sale value to CMU. It will be used as funding for students of earth and atmospheric sciences.
“Just think, what I was holding is a piece of the early solar system that literally fell into our hands,” Sirbescu said of the meteorite. /ra
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.