Decades-Long Doorstop Revealed as Valuable Rock Treasure

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(Central Michigan University/YouTube)

Michigan’s largest meteorite, a record-breaking find, remained unknown to experts for over 80 years since its initial discovery.

Living a modest life as a 10-kilogram (22-pound) doorstop on a local farm, this extraterrestrial rock spent several decades without catching the attention of the scientific community.

In 2018, Mona Sirbescu, a geologist at Central Michigan University (CMU), revealed her astonishment after investigating the object, stating, “I could tell right away that this was something special. It’s the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically.”

David Mazurek, a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan, approached Sirbescu to examine a rock he had owned for 30 years, suspecting it might be a meteorite.

For Sirbescu, such requests were routine throughout her career, yielding unremarkable results most of the time.

In a statement during that time, she mentioned, “For 18 years, the answer has been categorical ‘no’ … not meteorites.”

However, this time, the outcome was different.

Indeed, it was a space rock and not just any, but a remarkable one – later dubbed the Edmore meteorite. This large iron-nickel meteorite contained a significant amount of nickel, approximately 12 percent.

The story of how Mazurek acquired the meteorite is intriguing in itself.

When Mazurek purchased a farm in Edmore, Michigan, in 1988, he was shown around by the previous owner. During the tour, he noticed a peculiar large rock being used as a doorstop for a shed.

Upon inquiring, he learned that the rock, the Edmore meteorite, had crashed onto the property in the 1930s with a considerable impact, creating a crater. The previous owner and his father recovered the warm meteorite from the newly formed ditch, and since it became a part of the property, it now belonged to Mazurek.

Mazurek kept the meteorite for three decades, using it as a doorstop and occasionally allowing his children to take it to school for show and tell.

It wasn’t until Mazurek noticed the value of meteorites in the market that he decided to have the giant rock assessed.

Upon evaluation by Sirbescu, it was confirmed to be a meteorite. Subsequently, Mazurek sold it to Michigan State University’s Abrams Planetarium for $75,000, pledging 10 percent of the proceeds to CMU’s earth and atmospheric sciences department, where Sirbescu made the identification.

Quite a remarkable turn of events for an old doorstop.

An earlier version of this article was published in October 2018.