You would be surprised to know just how much money people/bidders are willing to spend in auctions. An auction is the process of buying and selling items by offering them for a bid then selling them to the highest bidder. Different items are sold at auctions, it could be livestock, used cars or even houses and pieces of artworks among many other things. I don’t know how much is “too much” to spend on an auction but all I know is that there are individuals and organizations that are willing and actually spend millions of dollars on an item; so long as it is worth it then, why not?
In auctions, the highest bidder gets to own the property. Different items have sold at auctions at unarguably high prices. For instance, when you look at auctions in the world of art, the Jean-Michel Basquiat’s skull painting sold for $110million, Andy Warhol’s Coca Cola painting sold for $105million and Edward Hopper’s painting “Chop Suey” sold for $92.9million among many other mentionable auctions.
A 12pound (5.5kg) chunk of the moon that fell to the earth as a lunar meteorite was sold for more than $600,000 at an auction which ran from October 11-18 2018. The rare rock, classified as NWA 11789 and unofficially called “The Moon Puzzle,” is comprised of six fragments which fit together like a puzzle.
The winning bid came from a representative working with the Tam Chu Pagoda complex in Ha Nam Province, Vietnam for $612, 500, surpassing the expected rate of $500,000 by the Boston-based RR Auction. In a news release, the Executive Vice President at RR Auction said, “We are extremely happy and thrilled that this magnificent lunar meteorite will be proudly displayed at this beautiful facility and this “Moon Puzzle” will certainly inspire students of science and generations to come.”
The meteorite was found last year in a remote area of Mauritania North West Africa and is considered to be one of the most significant lunar meteorites ever found because of its large size. It also has “partial fusion crust” caused by the tremendous heat that sears the rock as it falls to the earth.
The CEO of Aerolite meteorites Geoff Notkin said, “It is one of the larger lunar meteorites ever found, there’s never been one like this and we call it a lunar puzzle.’’
The “Moon puzzle” is however not the first moon rock to make its way back to earth. In 2007, one of the largest lunar meteorites ever found was discovered in Morocco weighing 11.5kgs (25pounds). In 2012, Heritage auctions offered what is said was then the largest chunk of moon rock weighing 1.8kgs (4pounds).
Other items that sold at the auction include:
- Dave Scott’s flown Apollo 15 Lunar Landmark Maps book carried to the moon during the Apollo 15 mission:$74,182.
- Northwest Africa (NWA) 8022 lunar meteorite slice, comprised of lunar feldspathic breccia: $45,987.
- Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin letter written just three weeks before the launch of Apollo 11, where Armstrong contemplates what he will say upon stepping onto the moon sold: $30,318.
- Gordon Cooper’s Mercury-era journal: $28,658.
- Saturn Launch Vehicle digital computer memory module: $26,271.
- Apollo 11 crew signed photograph of the Apollo 11 astronauts in front of the Lunar Module: $8,892.