The Popcorn Stand: That time dust was priceless

I have an update in this Popcorn Stand on a “dust-up” I recently wrote about concerning moon dust collected by Neil Armstrong on his historic lunar trip in 1969.

The moon dust made its way to Sotheby’s Auction in New York on Thursday where it’s now on display. The moon dust will be auctioned off July 20 to mark the 48th anniversary of when man first landed on the moon in 1969. The moon dust is valued at $2 to $4 million.

Armstrong brought the moon dust back in an ordinary bag, which has had an adventurous journey to Sotheby’s. The bag was almost thrown away before it was bought at an auction two years ago on behalf of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The owner who bought the moon dust sent it to NASA for testing, which led to the “dust-up.” When NASA determined it was indeed Armstrong’s moon dust, the agency tried to claim the valuable substance belonged to itself.

But a federal judge eventually granted the owner full ownership of the dust. Call it one “dust-up” over one small dust, one major haul for that owner’s kind.

While those of you who choose to read this Popcorn Stand know what I think about the “value” of things like Cheetos, Romphims and muddy jeans, I do believe this little moon dust is priceless and I can see anybody bidding millions of dollars on it. You can’t really put a price on history.

But Sotheby’s will try on July 20.

— Charles Whisnand


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