EDMORE, MI (WOOD) — A rock that served as a doorstop at a Michigan farm for decades turned out to be a meteorite possibly worth $100,000.
Central Michigan University says that when David Mazurek bought the Edmore property in 1988, the farmer told him he saw the meteorite hit the earth in the 1930s and recovered the rock while it was still warm. The farmer used the 22.5-pound hunk of iron and nickel to prop a shed door until he sold the property.
“I asked him what it was and he said, ‘A meteorite.’ I’m going, ‘Get out of here!’ So he told me the whole story about how it came down back in the early ’30s,” Mazurek told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday. “He says, ‘This is yours. It goes with the farm.’ I had it for 31 years.”
Mazurek eventually sought out an expert at Central Michigan University after seeing reports in January of meteorite shards found in Michigan selling for thousands of dollars.
Dr. Monaliza Sirbescu recently identified the rock, which turned out to be the sixth largest meteorite found in Michigan, according to CMU.
“When I showed her, when she grabbed the bag, she goes, ‘It’s heavy.’ She took it out, she says, ‘It’s a meteorite!” Mazurek recalled.
It was the first one she has identified in her 18 years at CMU, and only the 12th identified in Michigan.
Sirbescu sent off a slice of the meteorite to the Smithsonian Institution, which verified the meteorite and estimated its value at $100,000. The rock’s worth could increase; an iron meteorite expert at the University of California, Los Angeles is testing a sample of the rock to determine if it contains rare elements.
The Smithsonian is now considering purchasing the entire rock, which it has dubbed the Edmore meteorite. A mineral museum in Maine is also interested.
“I’m done using it as a doorstop. Let’s get a buyer!” Mazurek said.
He has promised to give 10 percent of the rock’s purchase price to the university to support students studying earth and atmospheric sciences.
“Stuff falls to earth all the time,” Mazurek said.”How do we know that object will not cure cancer or whatever or some kind of disease?”
The rest of the money, he said, will go toward sweetening his retirement.
“We don’t really need any more money at this time, but it would be nice,” he said.