The Moon sold better than the planet Mars during an auction session devoted to fragments of meteorites at Christie’s, which also sold a doghouse with a roof holed by one of these stones of extraterrestrial origin.
$ 44,100 is the price a buyer will pay for the doghouse of Rocky, a German shepherd fortunately spared by the fall of this carbonaceous chondrite in the garden of a property in Aguas Zarcas, Costa Rica, on April 23, 2019. Much less than the estimate put forward by Christie’s, between 200,000 and 300,000 dollars.
The stone itself, which measures a little less than 8 cm by 4, sold for 21,420 dollars during these online auctions which took place from February 9 and ended on Wednesday.
After being exhibited in New York, 66 lots were sold during these auctions, which Christie’s organizes every year. But despite the two weeks of opening, the highlight of the edition, a stone from Mars found in the Sahara desert and presented as the third largest piece of this planet preserved on earth did not find a buyer. Weighing 9 kilos, this piece of volcanic rock was estimated at a range of 500,000 to 800,000 dollars.
Another precious lot, the Gibeon meteorite discovered in Namibia and estimated at 200,000 to 300,000 dollars, remained without a buyer.
If other fragments of Mars have been sold, for 10,000 to 63,000 dollars, it is to win pieces of the Moon, the rarest pieces, that the auctions have risen to the highest. One of them, discovered in Morocco in 2007, went for 189,000 dollars, the most expensive lot, ahead of another sphere from the terrestrial satellite, sold for 69,300 dollars.
“The stones from the Moon are among the rarest (…) there are less than 750 kg of lunar meteorites (on Earth) and a significant part is controlled by governmental institutions”, writes Christie’s in the presentation of a of these stones.
The fragments of meteorites arouse the greed of researchers, who roam the deserts to find these precious stones.