Largest Moon Rock Ever Auctioned Expected To Sell For $380,000

By Amir Khan on September 19, 2012 9:24 AM EDT

Moon Rock
One lucky space-lover with some extra cash could become the proud new owner of the largest moon rock ever to be auctioned, according to the auction house Heritage Auctions. (Photo: Heritage Auctions)

One lucky space-lover with some extra cash could become the proud new owner of the largest moon rock ever to be auctioned, according to the auction house Heritage Auctions. The moon rock, known as Dar al Gani 1058, is part of a lunar meteorite that was found on Earth in 1988 and is expected to fetch as much as $380,000 at auction.

"When it comes to the market for moon rocks, size does matter - but so does origin," Robert Pearlman, editor of space history and artifacts site collectSPACE.com, said, according to the Huffington Post.

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The rock, which weighs in at 4 pounds, still wouldn't be the most expensive moon rock ever sold, however. Collectors value moon rock collected by astronauts more than those that crashed on Earth due to the history behind them.

"For example, three seed-sized pieces of the moon that were brought back to Earth by a Russian robotic probe in 1970 were sold at auction 30 years later for $442,500," Pearlman told Space.com. "And while the moon rocks recovered by the Apollo astronauts are considered National Treasures and have never been awarded to individuals, hypothetical appraisals have suggested even a 1-gram sample could be worth millions."

Dar al Gani 1058 originated on the far side of the moon, and experts are unsure when it crashed down, the slab-shaped rock was discovered in Libya in 1988. It was put up for auction by an anonymous collector.

The opening bid for the rock is $170,000, and the auction ends on October 14.While Heritage says the moon rock will most likely end up in a museum, it's possible a private collector ends up as the highest bidder, and puts the rare rock in their private collection.

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