Siberian meteorite fetches 12 times more than expected

An auction was held in New York to sell pieces of meteorites from the Moon and Mars. The most expensive item - a fragment of Dar al Gani 1058 meteorite - was sold for $330,000. This amount was $10,000 less than organizers of the auction expected. Altogether, the auction raised over a million dollars.

Dar al Gani 1058, the flat-shaped guest from space that weighs about two kilos, arrived on Earth without invitation. Scientists do not know exactly when the meteorite "escaped" from the Moon to Earth. It is only known that the meteorite that deserves to be displayed at any museum of natural sciences was found in Libya in 1998. It became the largest lunar meteorite that has ever been auctioned, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta wrote.

The  auction also offered another, no less unique lot: a piece of Seymchan meteorite, which was found in Siberia in the 1960s, Cursor reports. The fragment of the meteorite 23 centimeters in height, interspersed with chrysotile, was auctioned off for $43,750 - 12 times more expensive than the original cost.

The auction also sold the only meteorite, which became the official cause of death of an animal. The rock fell to the ground in 1972 and killed a cow. To add the unique item to his private collection, American Ed Beardsley paid 1,375 dollars.

According to Darryl Pitt, the meteorite consultant for Heritage Auctions, meteorites are the most ancient material, which a human being can touch.

As a rule, collectors are willing to pay most serious amounts for meteorites of lunar or Martian origin that are extremely rare on Earth. However, an owner for Martian meteorite Tissint, evaluated at $175-225 thousand, has not been found, said. Many other lots worth around 50,000 dollars were left without demand too.

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