Michigan Man Discovers the 30-Year-Old Doorstop Is Meteorite Worth $100,000

Friday, 05 October 2018 - 12:54PM
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Friday, 05 October 2018 - 12:54PM
Michigan Man Discovers the 30-Year-Old Doorstop Is Meteorite Worth $100,000
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Composite from Pixabay
The most exciting part of any Antiques Roadshow is the part where some nice old couple finds out the worn rocking chair they kept in their living room for decades is actually some masterpiece hand-carved by an obscure Swiss woodworker from the 1800s, worth $50,000 at auction. Well, one anonymous Michigan man recently had one of those moments, only it wasn't a piece of furniture—it was a 22-pound meteorite he (and the previous owner) had been using to prop open doors for 30 years. It's estimated worth? About $100,000.

The owner (who asked not to be named) brought the rock to Mona Sirbescu, a geology professor at Central Michigan University, after hearing stories of other Michigan residents turning over their meteorites for some cash. According to him: "I said, 'Wait a minute. I wonder how much mine is worth.'" A lot, it turned out—Sirbescu called it "the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically." After sending a small sample to the Smithsonian Institute, it was confirmed to be genuine.

The rock itself is 88.5% iron and 11.5% nickel, and apparently crashed-landed in a farm in Edmore, Michigan during the 1930s. When buying the property years later, the Michigan man spotted the rock holding open a door and was told by the property's owner that it was a genuine meteorite, and that it came with the farm. Eventually, the rock became a kind of family oddity—though it mainly served as a doorstop, it made a trip to school with the man's daughter as the subject of a show-and-tell.

At this point, the Smithsonian and a museum in Maine are considering bidding on the meteorite and displaying it in their collections. Either way, the unnamed owner will donate a portion of the money raised to the University.

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