$100,000 me­te­orite used as door stop for decades

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - History -

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (AP)

>> A Michi­gan man cu­ri­ous about a rock he’d used for decades as a doorstop now knows its se­cret: it’s a me­te­orite worth $100,000.

In fact, the nearly 23-pound hunk of iron and nickel is the sixth largest me­te­orite found in Michi­gan, ac­cord­ing to the Smith­so­nian Mu­seum and Cen­tral Michi­gan Uni­ver­sity.

David Mazurek said he took his doorstop to the uni­ver­sity for ex­am­i­na­tion af­ter see­ing re­ports in Jan­uary of me­te­orite pieces sell­ing for thou­sands of dol­lars.

“I said, ‘ Wait a minute. I won­der how much mine is worth,’” Mazurek said.

Uni­ver­sity Ge­ol­ogy Pro­fes­sor Mona Sirbescu first iden­ti­fied the piece as more than just a rock. She then sent two small slices of the rock to the Smith­so­nian for con­fir­ma­tion.

“I could tell right away that this was some­thing spe­cial,” she said. “It’s the most valu­able spec­i­men I have ever held in my life, mon­e­tar­ily and sci­en­tif­i­cally.”

Mazurek said the me­te­orite came with a barn he bought in 1988 in Ed­more. He said the farmer who sold him the prop­erty told him it landed in his back­yard in the 1930s.

“The story goes that it was col­lected im­me­di­ately af­ter they wit­nessed the big boom and the ac­tual me­te­orite was dug out from a crater,” Sirbescu said.

More tests are be­ing con­ducted to see if the me­te­orite con­tains rare el­e­ments.

“What typ­i­cally hap­pens with these at this point is that me­te­orites can ei­ther be sold and shown in a mu­seum or sold to col­lec­tors and sell­ers look­ing to make a profit,” Sirbescu said.

The Smith­so­nian and a min­eral mu­seum in Maine are con­sid­er­ing pur­chas­ing the spec­i­men.

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

“I’m done us­ing it as a doorstop. Let’s get a buyer!” Mazurek said.

MACKEN­ZIE BROCKMAN/CEN­TRAL MICHI­GAN UNI­VER­SITY—AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In this Sept. 14, 2018photo pro­vided by Cen­tral Michi­gan Uni­ver­sity, Mon­al­iza Sirbescu, a ge­ol­ogy fac­ulty mem­ber in earth and at­mo­spheric sciences shows off a 22-plus pound me­te­orite that was be­ing used as a doorstop on a farm in Ed­more, Mich. The iron and nickel me­te­orite is the sixth largest me­te­orite found in Michi­gan, ac­cord­ing to the Smith­so­nian Mu­seum and Cen­tral Michi­gan Uni­ver­sity. Owner David Mazurek said the me­te­orite came with a barn he bought in 1988in Ed­more. He says the farmer who sold him the prop­erty told him it landed in his back­yard in the 1930s.

MACKEN­ZIE BROCKMAN/CEN­TRAL MICHI­GAN UNI­VER­SITY—AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In this Sept. 14, 2018 photo pro­vided by Cen­tral Michi­gan Uni­ver­sity, a 22-plus pound me­te­orite that was be­ing used as a doorstop on a farm in Ed­more, Mich., is shown.

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