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Man uses $100,000 meteorite as doorstop for decades

05 October 2018

CMU geology professor Mona Sirbescu said that this is the first time in her time at the university that a rock she has been asked to test actually turned out to be a meteorite.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, bought a farm in Edmore, Mich., in 1988.

A rock that was used as a doorstop on a MI farm for decades has been identified as a meteorite worth $100,000.

When the new owner moved after a few years, he took the rock with him and continued to use it as a doorstop.

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. The farmer claimed the rock had fallen in the 1930s and that the new owner could have it since it was "part of the property".

"It's the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically", Sirbescu said in a press statement from the university. While touring the property, the man spotted the rock propping open a door and asked the farmer what it was.

Now, the Smithsonian Institution is considering making an offer on the space rock. He and his father dug it out the next morning and it was still warm. He reportedly used the meteorite as a doorstop and sent it to school with his children for show and tell.

This year, the man was inspired by stories of MI residents finding and selling pieces of meteorites. "I wonder what mine is worth", Mazurek said in the release.

Even though Dr. Sirbescu knew exactly what it was, it had to be sent to the Smithsonian Museum for verification, it wasn't until Thursday word came back it definitively is a meteorite, the 6th largest ever found in MI. A mineral museum is also looking at buying the rock. If a sale goes through, the man has agreed to give 10% of the sale value to the university for the study 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.

Man uses $100,000 meteorite as doorstop for decades