More than 125 chunks of space debris sold for $1,066,106 in a Heritage Auction involving aesthetic meteorites at the Natural History Signature Meteorite Auction, in New York City, on October 14, 2012. The auction room was packed with bidders and curious onlookers.
The fourth largest piece of the moon made available to the public sold for $330,000, falling just short of its pre-auction estimated sales price of more than $340,000. The sale, which occurred at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion, is being reported as the largest of its kind to ever take place.
“The enthusiasm among collectors for these rare, aesthetic space rocks was just tremendous, and the top prices that collectors were willing to pay for the prime examples reflected that passion,” said Jim Walker, director of Nature & Science for Heritage Auctions.
Darryl Pitt, a meteorite consultant for Heritage, said that the moon rock is easily worthy of being exhibited at the finest natural history museums in the world.
“There was a great deal of interest from collectors in the middle section of the auction,” said Mr. Pitt. “We saw some superb examples well exceed their pre-auction estimates, in many cases more than double and triple.”
An iron, Gibeon meteorite, with the appearance of an abstract sculpture sold for $46,875. A piece of the Seymchan meteorite, which was found in Siberia near the town of Seymchan, fetched $43,750. A large chunk of the sparkling, Canyon Diablo Meteorite, from the Arizona meteorite crater, sold at $27,500.
The timing of the auction was perfect, as it occurred at the 20th anniversary of the Peekskill fireball. The fireball is a meteorite that smashed into a Chevy Malibu car just 50 miles from Manhattan. A piece of that Peekskill fireball, which was the most videotaped descent of a meteorite of all time, went for $16,250.