David Mazurek, a Michigan resident, had a meteorite that was used as a doorstop, and it never crossed his mind to investigate its worth.
Decades later, he was pleasantly surprised that the rock he's been using to prop a door open was one estimated to be worth $100,000.
Mazurek took the cosmic debris to Central Michigan University after hearing about a January report of meteorites selling for thousands of dollars.
"I said, 'Wait a minute. I wonder how much mine is worth," he told Associated Press.
A friend and CMU geology alum referred Mazurek to Mona Sirbescu, a professor of the College of Science and Engineering.
She inspected the specimen and concluded, within seconds, that it was an incredibly valuable piece of meteorite.
To make sure, she sent shaved samples of the meteorite to a colleague at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., who validated her conclusion.
Sibescu estimated that the 22-pound meteorite was worth $100,000, and the discovery would go on record as the sixth-largest recorded find in Michigan.
"I could tell right away that this was something special," Sibescu said.
"It's the most valuable specimen I have ever held in my life, monetarily and scientifically."
Mazurek said the meteorite came with the property when he purchased his barn in 1988 in Edmore.
The farmer who sold him the property claimed that the meteorite landed sometime in the 1930s.
The University professor explained that the mass of iron and nickel was extracted after an apparent explosion.
"The story goes that it was collected immediately after they witnessed the big boom and the actual meteorite was dug out from a crater."
Further tests are being conducted to determine if the meteorite contains any other rare elements.
So what happens next?
"What typically happens with these at this point is that meteorites can either be sold and shown in a museum or sold to collectors and sellers looking to make a profit," Sirbescu said.
The Smithsonian and a mineral museum in Maine have expressed interest in buying the meteorite from Mazurek.
Once Mazurek sells his precious stone, he plans to donate a portion of the money to the University.
"I'm done using it as a doorstop. Let's get a buyer!"