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Investing in a falling star

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Posted: 5 pm ET

The meteor that crashed in Russia's Ural Mountains last week and injured more than 1,000 people is being viewed as a profitable falling star by some investors.

According to Reuters, the city of Chelyabinsk has been the gathering spot for prospectors searching through the snow and ruins for fragments of the meteor, known as meteorites, that they hope to sell for thousands of dollars each.

Dmitry Kachkalin, a member of the Russian Society of Amateur Meteorite Lovers, told Reuters that a chunk of the space rock could be worth as much as $2,200 per gram, more than 40 times the current price of 24-karat gold, which has been just under $52 per gram this week. "The price is hard to say yet," he said. "The fewer meteorites that are recovered, the higher the price."

The weekend after the meteor crashed, more than 20,000 people showed up to search and clean up the estimated $33 million worth of damage in Chelyabinsk. A few tiny fragments of the meteor have been recovered, but scientists estimate that larger chunks could be submerged under the broken ice of a nearby lake.

Some investors who have found meteor fragments have already tried to sell them on the Internet for modest amounts of money. It's too early to say whether this will be a novelty for a few collectors or a commodity that delivers big returns.

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