Coffin Maker Says He Only Sold The Meteorite For RM58,000 And The Money Has Been Spent

However, space rock expert Jared Collins said that the amount is inaccurate and untrue. The real value is confidential and was based on mutual agreement between Josua and the American collector.

Cover image via East News Press Agency/The Sun & BBC News Indonesia

A coffin maker in Indonesia recently made headlines all over the world for selling a meteorite that fell on his home and reportedly becoming an instant millionaire

According to Tribun Medan, 33-year-old Josua Hutagalung found a meteorite outside his home in August while he was busy building a coffin.

On a bright and sunny day, he suddenly heard the sound of thunder followed by a loud bang on the roof.

Upon inspection, he found that a large stone had left a hole in the ceiling and it ended up being buried 15cm deep in the soil beside his house.

The rock turned out to be a meteorite which has magnetic properties.

International media outlets reported that Josua sold the meteorite for IDR200 billion, or RM7.6 million in our local currency.

However, Josua claimed that he only earned IDR200 million, approximately RM58,000.

Previously, it was reported that Josua handed the rock over to Jared Collins, a space rock expert based in Bali.

He travelled to Kolang to inspect and scout the item as a representative to a collector in the US. He told Tribun Manado that the meteorite has since been shipped to the original buyer and it is now stored in liquid nitrogen at the Centre for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University.

After that, Josua told BBC News Indonesia that he was shocked to see international reports quoting the price as IDR14.1 million (RM4,062) per gramme, making his 1.8kg rock worth IDR26 billion (RM7,492,989).

On Wednesday, 18 November, Josua admitted, "The money has been spent, it was only IDR200 million (RM58,021)"

He said that the money was spent and divided among family members, donated to orphans and the church, and also used to fix his parent's grave.

"If it's true that the price is IDR26 billion (RM7.4 million), I feel cheated. I'm disappointed," he said.

On the other hand, Collins said, "I can confirm that the amount said is inaccurate and untrue. The real value is confidential and was based on mutual agreement between Josua and the American collector."

He told BBC News Indonesia, "The amount paid or received was not IDR200 million or an exaggerated price of IDR25 billion reported worldwide. Currently, there are no meteorites of such value, and of course, no collector will pay that price."

Collins then emphasised that he did not purchase the meteorite himself and his duty was merely to check the authenticity of the meteorite as well as ensure that it reached the buyer safely.

The report by BBC News Indonesia also noted that Josua refuses to reveal the proof of payment received.

Josua did not sell the entire meteorite and still owns parts of the space rock

Detik News reported that the original weight of the meteorite was 2.2kg but Josua only sold 1.8kg. The remaining, according to Josua, has been distributed among family members.

"I myself saved 5g. The rest I gave to family members. Some turned it into jewellery," he said.

Josua promises to not sell the remaining stone that he owns, despite it having a high market price. He said that he would like to keep it as a memento.

The rock was identified as CM1/2 carbonaceous Chondrite, an extremely rare meteorite variety, which scientists believe contains unique amino acids and other primordial elements:

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