We’ve all seen those television programs that show some average-Joe making a fortune off of an obscure garage-sale find that he paid $1 for years ago, right? You know the ones – Joe Schmoe was perusing the aisles of a flea market and came across some piece of artwork that turned out to be a long-lost Rembrandt, or a Michelangelo sculpture. You may have even fantasized about checking the stock of your attic just in case you have some hidden treasures of your own up there. If you’ve never had the urge, you may just change your mind after reading this.
Not Just a Rock. According to the New York Post, one man recently discovered a seemingly “normal” rock that he had kept in his home as a doorstop for years, was quite a bit more than it appeared. In fact, it had a history so out-of-this-world that it raked in a small fortune for him.
The Story. The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he’s had the rock since 1988. At that time, he acquired the rock as part of a property purchase he made on a family farm in Michigan. The rock, he said, came with the property, along with an amazing story.
Doorstop. “A Michigan man discovered that the 22-pound rock that he has used to prop open his door for the last 30 years is a meteorite… (he) said he noticed the rock holding a door open at a farm he was about to buy in Edmore in 1988,” reports the NY Post.
Intrigued Him. The rock, which the previous owner of the property gifted him with the home purchase, came with an extra-terrestrial story. According to his accounts, the man who originally owned the rock had told him that the rock was actually part of a meteorite.
The Original Story. “He said the farmer told him it was a meterorite that plunged to Earth in the 1930s – making ‘a heck of a noise when it hit’ – and that he and his dad dug out the still-warm rock from a crater they found the next morning,” explains the Post.
Put It to Use. The new owner found the story interesting and decided to keep the rock. He continued to use it as a doorstop in his home and even took it with him when he moved again a few years later. He also said he continued to share the unusual story with others who asked about it over the years.
Show and Tell. “When the new owner moved after a few years, he took the mystery rock, which he has kept as a doorstop and a show-and-tell item for his kids in school. But he was unaware of how much the celestial relic was worth,” the Post writes.
Similar Rocks. After hearing about a few others in the area who also had recovered meteorite rocks of their own, the man decided to have his tested. He did some research and discovered there was actually a rather large market for those who did have original space rocks.
Opportunity. “Opportunity came knocking this year when he learned about Michigan residents finding and selling pieces of meteorites,” reports the Post. “I said, ‘wait a minute. I wonder how much mine is worth?’” the man said during a private interview with CNN recently.
Central Michigan University. In order to test its authenticity, the owner decided to reach out to the geology department at Central Michigan University. Professor Mona Sirbescu headed up the testing and authenticating of the specimen brought in to the University.
Something Special. “I could tell right away that this was something special. It’s the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically,” Sirbescu said after examining the rock. According to reports, it’s the sixth largest meteorite ever discovered in Michigan.
Its Size. After studying the meteorite, researchers reported it weighed-in at 22 pounds and was a composite of two metals. The Post states the meteorite was made up of “88.5 percent iron and 11.5 percent nickel” making it worth a whopping $100,000.00.
Examination. “He reached out to Mona Sirbescu, a geology professor at Central Michigan University, to examine the oddly shaped rock. Weighing 22 pounds, it’s also the sixth-largest recorded find in Michigan – and is belieed to be worth $100,000,” the Post reports.
More Testing. Just to be thorough, Sirbescu and the Central Michigan University professors working alongside the project, sent particles of the rock to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. for further verification. All tests came back conclusive.
The Smithsonian. “For additional verification, a piece of the rock was sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., which backed up the finding. The Smithsonian and mineral museum in Maine are considering buying the meteorite – now called ‘Edmore’ – for display,” reports the Post.