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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 11

Moon Rock Most Expensive Jewellery Of The 21st

From: Stig_Agermose@online.pol.dk (Stig Agermose)
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 02:21:38 +0200
Fwd Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 23:42:44 -0400
Subject: Moon Rock Most Expensive Jewellery Of The 21st

From The Independent (UK) June 11.

URL: http://www.independent.co.uk/stories/A1106829.html



Jewellery's final frontier

By Charles Arthur

Ditch diamonds and forget about platinum. The most expensive jewellery
of the 21st century will be made out of moon rock.

John Baines, from Newcastle, has teamed up with Space Quest, a firm
based in his home town which has set up a Moon prospecting company,
Lunar Gems Ltd, on the basis that "it seemed if it could be done an
absolute fortune could be made".

Space Quest hopes that a round trip to the Moon will be possible by
2005 and that this will provide opportunities to pick up raw materials.

The venture is tempted by the prospect of big profits. In 1993
Sotheby's auctioned one carat - 200 milligrams - for $442,500
(=A3276,550). That would make a kilogram worth $2.2bn, or $2.2m per gram.
At those prices, a kilogram of moon rock would be worth far more than
it would cost to get it.

However, Mr Baines faces stiff competition from American competitors,
who may have an advantage in getting hold of venture capital. But
according to one expert scientist, moon rocks would not look that great
as earrings - "rather a dull grey colour" - and might be easy to forge.

Monica Grady, an expert in extraterrestrial materials at the Natural
History Museum, in London, said: "There were a lot of venture
capitalists sniffing around at the Lunar Planetary Science conference
in March, trying to raise money for a mission to the Moon. They wanted
to do it with the Discovery TV Channel, which has a series of shops.
They reckoned they could sell vials of moon dust for $50 a piece."

While vials of dust might be saleable, she thinks that making jewellery
would present a problem. "I don't think any of them would polish up
very well. You would have to make sure you were getting rock, not soil.
It might be that the cachet of owning something which costs thousands
of dollars could make up for it being a dull grey colour.

"But I think there would probably be a lot of fakes," she added.

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