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I wonder the value of a lunar rock??

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Saboburns Donating Member (690 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:54 PM
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I wonder the value of a lunar rock??
Apparently it's illegal to possess moon rocks, and also to sell them. I read where a Sotheby's auction of 0.2 grams of moon dust from a Soviet mission of the 1970's fetched $450.00.00.

That blew my mind.

I've an acquaintance with two rocks easily as big as grapes. I don't know how she got them but I held them in my hands, which was neat. I'm a bit of a space geek meself and was so blown away just to handle them.

She asked me the worth and I told her that she ought not advertise the fact that she possessed them. But if they are what she purports them to be I reckon they'd be worth millions to the right buyer.

Shame she can't put them on ebay an watch the bids go up.

What do you thik DU??
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Astrad Donating Member (374 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:02 PM
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1. They belong to the US taxpayers who paid for those missions. n/t
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PJPhreak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:09 PM
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2. "But if they are what she purports them to be "
I'm not too sure it would be wise to say ANYTHING about them on an open intertubes fourm.

I'm sure Agent Mike may have an opinion.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Good 'ol Agent Mike
he's still out there.
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-..__... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:14 PM
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4. This perhaps?...
"Moon rocks in the form of lunar meteorites, although expensive, are widely sold and traded among private collectors".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_rock#Curation_and_ava...

Then there's the case of Thad Roberts...

"What happened to them? All three interns pled guilty. On October 29, Roberts was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for his role in the moon rock caper, as well as for stealing dinosaur bones from a Utah museum (the fossils turned up during a search of Roberts house). The fourth accomplice was convicted at trial"

http://www.fbi.gov/page2/nov03/apollo111803.htm
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lurky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:17 PM
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5. Well, what was the cost-per-gram of acquiring those rocks?
I'm guessing it was more than that person paid at Sotheby's...
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:21 PM
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6. In situ on the moon: nothing.
Here on earth, they're worth returning to the taxpayers who paid for moon landings.

And although Russia had unmanned landings on the moon, so had rocks, I wouldn't trust anything claiming Russian provenance.
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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:07 PM
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7. I own a moon rock
It is a bit of a meteorite, identified as having come from the moon by its chemical signature. I also own a bit of Mars, acquired the same way.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:35 PM
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8. I saw a real moon rock at a major mineral show a few years ago.
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 07:38 PM by MineralMan
It was being quietly passed around people who could afford such a thing. I wasn't anywhere near being in that category, but did business with some who were. I did not find out into whose hands it ended up, but it did find a new owner and major amounts of money were exchanged. The moon rock came with undeniable provenance, with the person who had possession of it being at that show and available for private meetings. The provenance involved someone who had been on the moon at one time. I was not close enough to the deal to know the name of that person.

I suspect, given my knowledge of the market, it is in the hands of a very wealthy mineral collector, and will not reappear on the market until he dies. At that time, it will again circulate at one of the major mineral shows and be sold again, unnoticed and unreported.

This time, it will probably happen in Europe, probably at the annual Munich show. That's my expectation, since the real big dollars were coming from there at the time. So, there is at least one legitimate moon rock in private hands. I suspect there are more than that which have changed hands since the moon missions. It's sort of a no-brainer, really.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:03 PM
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9. I doubt very, very much that she had actual moon rocks.
They are quite scarce in private ownership, although not unknown. Unless she is related to, or slept with one of the astronauts who landed on the moon, it is extremely, extremely unlikely. More likely is that she paid far too much money for some bogus ones. Those circulate widely, and have duped many people.

In any case, without hand-written provenance from someone who might realistically have been in actual possession of such moon rocks, they are worthless. There are so many "moon rocks" out there...all bogus. There are a handful of real ones, or were. They are all in the hands of wealthy collectors now. Unless a moon-walker or lab worker is selling one, no more will come onto the market until these creepy rich guys die and their heirs try to sell them.

Believe me, the provenance requirements are enormous, and nobody's dropping seven figures without unimpeachable provenance.
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Saboburns Donating Member (690 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. She didn't pay anything for them
And they are indeed legit. However without provenance, which is doable.

Munich Mineral show, eh??

And I am aware of how many bogus moon rocks are out there. I'd love to have some really rich folk take all the time they want examining these rocks.

Thanks.
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tinrobot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 02:02 AM
Response to Original message
11. Cost of Apollo : $145 billion (in 2008 dollars)
Amount of moon rocks returned : 841.6 pounds

Cost per ounce of moon rocks : $10,760,000

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Saboburns Donating Member (690 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-28-10 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. They are rather priceless I gather.
Or not so much priceless as worth millions. And I've held them in my hands.

And now when I'm outside at night I always look for the moon, and am awed by the fact that we've been there and back.

Yes, it's neat to hold Luna rocks. Very neat.

And it looks like it'll be a generation before another human walks her surface. And that makes me sad.

Sigh/
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