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Press Release - October 15, 2012

Moon Rock Brings $330,000 To Lead $1,066,000+ Meteorite Event At Heritage Auctions

Buyer’s pack auction room on Oct. 14 at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion in New York for the largest event ever of its kind ever held

NEW YORK – The sky did indeed fall, as prices rose for the best examples of aesthetic meteorites, in New York City on Sunday, Oct. 14, in the packed auction room at the Fletcher Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute of America) when Heritage Auctions’ Natural History Signature® Meteorite Auction, featuring more than 125 select meteorites – many with museum provenance – realized $1,066,106 (all prices include Buyers Premium).

“The enthusiasm among collectors for these rare, aesthetic space rocks was just tremendous,” said Jim Walker, Director of Nature & Science at Heritage Auctions, “and the prices that collectors were willing to pay for the best examples reflected their tremendous passion for the pieces.”

The auction’s centerpiece, the fourth largest piece of the Moon ever made available to the public, with a final price realized of $330,000, lead the day.

“All in all, a great day for extraterrestrial real estate,” said Darryl Pitt, Meteorite Consultant for Heritage Auctions. “Three-quarters of the lots that sold did so at more than their high estimates, which is remarkable, and 29 lots sold for at least twice the high estimate; that’s huge. While the fourth largest slice of the Moon sold for $330,000, most of the higher ticket items did not sell, but that's next. This is a rapidly emerging market.”

There was also tremendous interest in the rest of the auction, as a matchless Gibeon Meteorite, a truly brilliant sculpture from outer space, realized $46,875, while a complete transitional slice of Seymchan Meteorite, from the collection of television’s “Meteorite Men,” provided some of the most spirited bidding of the day to finish at $43,750 – more than 12 times its’ $3,000+ pre-auction estimate.

A large piece of the Canyon Diablo Meteorite, from the famous Arizona meteorite crater, realized $27,500, while the largest complete slice of the Conception Junction Meteorite, which also graced the cover of Meteorite Magazine, realized $26,250 and a large piece of Imilac meteorite, a celestial treasure sparkling with interstellar gems, realized $25,000.

A piece of the planet Mars that legendary recording artist Herbie Hancock had in his pocket during a gala performance at The Kennedy Center last fall for The Thelonious Monk Institute, which brought $9,375.

This auction coincided with the 20th Anniversary of the Peekskill fireball — the most videotaped meteorite descent of all time — which burnished its legacy by smashing a Chevy Malibu in its final act just 50 miles outside of Manhattan. A portion of this renowned meteorite sold for $16,250.

A naturally sculpted iron meteorite from the Kalahari that is the extraterrestrial evocation of Munch's “The Scream,” which garnered massive amounts of international press before the event, failed to open, while a large fragment of the Tissint Martian meteorite that fell last year in Morocco, which perfectly fits and locks into the large 1099 gram fragment that is now a centerpiece at the Natural History Museum in London, also did not receive an opening bid.

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