Rock used as doorstop for 30 years turns out to be meteorite valued at $100K

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — A 22-pound rock that has been propping open a door in Michigan for decades turns out to be a meteorite valued at $100,000, according to Central Michigan University.

Mona Sirbescu, a CMU geology professor, gets asked all the time by people to examine the rocks they bring her — but none ever turn out to be an official space rock.

“For 18 years, the answer has been categorically ‘no’ — meteor wrongs, not meteorites,” Sibescu said in a statement from CMU on Thursday.

But that all changed when she was asked to examine an oddly shaped large rock that a Michigan man, who didn’t want to be named, had had in his possession for the last 30 years.

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

“I could tell right away that this was something special,” Sibescu said.

After testing, she determined it was a meteorite, made of of 88.5% iron and 11.5% nickel. This isn’t just any space rock, though. Weighing 22 pounds, it’s the sixth-largest recorded find in Michigan — and potentially worth $100,000, according to CMU.

“It’s the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically,” Sibescu said.

For double verification, a slice of it was sent to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, which validated it was in fact a meteorite, according to the press release.

Journey to Earth

The rock arrived on Earth sometime in the 1930s, according its owner, who obtained it in 1988 when he bought a farm in Edmore, about 30 miles southwest of Mount Pleasant. While touring the property, the man spotted the rock propping open a door and asked the farmer what it was.

The farmer told him it was a meteorite, that it was part of the property and he could have it.

The farmer said that it had come down onto the property in the ’30s — “and it made a heck of a noise when it hit,” the new owner recalled him saying, according to CMU’s statement. In the morning, the farmer and his father found the crater and dug out the still-warm meteorite.

The new owner lived on the farm a few years, and when he moved, he took the mystery rock with him. For the past thirty years, he has used it as a doorstop and sent it off to school with his children for show-and-tell.

This year, the man was inspired by stories of Michigan residents finding and selling pieces of meteorites.

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

From doorstop to display

Now, the space rock, dubbed Edmore meteorite, is waiting to find a permanent home.

“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 meteorite for display, according to CMU. 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.