New Jersey's moon rock has vanished.
The sliver of stone encased in plastic and mounted on a wooden plaque was one of NASA's "Goodwill Moon Rocks.'' They were
presented nearly 38 years ago to 50 states and about 130 countries to commemorate the last manned mission to the moon.
And these hot little rocks are worth a lot, according to the Times Online:
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By weight, they are worth around four times as much as diamonds. In terms of rarity, they could be matched only by something as spectacular as an undiscovered Picasso. At a Sotheby’s auction in 1993, three specks weighing less than one hundredth of an ounce attracted a frenzy of bids that peaked at $442,000.
Curator David Parris says the rock never came to the State Museum in Trenton.
Of all the moon rocks given out, most are missing.
"When you bring back fragments of another world they should be treasured, respected and safeguarded," retired NASA investigator Joseph Gutheinz told the Times Online. When Gutheinz was working undercover for the government, someone tried to sell him the Honduras Goodwill Moon Rock for $5 million.
"So it makes me angry to think that they might be sitting in some deposed dictator's home, or being sold to fund terrorism, or being goggled at by some teenager, or being put on the black market."