Christie’s Literally Wants to Offer You the Moon With the Sale of a $2.5 Million Chunk of Lunar Meteorite

The 30-pound moonrock fell to earth in the Sahara desert.

The NWA 12691 lunar meteorite—the fifth largest piece of the moon on Earth. Courtesy of Christie's.
The NWA 12691 lunar meteorite—the fifth-largest piece of the moon on Earth. Courtesy of Christie's.

Buy a piece of the moon? In this economy?!

Well, if you do have a couple million extra to spend, that’s exactly what you can do. Christie’s is now offering up in a private sale the fifth-largest piece of Earth’s only natural satellite for approximately $2.5 million.

The lunar meteorite, called NWA 12691, weighs more than 30 pounds. It was discovered two years ago in the western Sahara desert, near the borders of Algeria and Mauritania. Likely separated from the moon after a collision with an asteroid or comet, the stone may have landed on Earth hundreds or even thousands of years ago.

“It will probably be the largest example to ever come to market,” Christie’s head of science and natural history James Hyslop said in a statement. “Every time I see it in the warehouse the sheer size of it bowls me over. The experience of holding a piece of another world in your hands is something you never forget.”

A detail of The NWA 12691. Courtesy of Christie's.

A detail of The NWA 12691. Courtesy of Christie’s.

One of the rarest substances on the planet, there are only an estimated 1,400 pounds of lunar rock known to man, roughly 880 of which were brought back by astronauts on the Apollo missions of the 1960s and ’70s. 

“They would all fit comfortably inside a very small car,” Hyslop said.

NWA 12691 was authenticated by Tony Irving, a leading expert in the classification of lunar meteorites. Like other moon-born substances, it’s composed of rare and unknown minerals and gases, and has a silvery sheen on its exterior. Squint your eyes hard enough and it looks just like a rock.

Christie’s is also selling a baker’s dozen of smaller iron meteorites. That collection is expected to sell for around $1.75 million. 


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