Out-of-this-world price: Space-flown gold ingots sell for $265,607

Gold flew aboard an unnamed space mission (likely the LDEF)
By , Coin World
Published : 01/23/15
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Those six space-flown gold ingots offered at auction by the General Services Administration on behalf of NASA realized an out-of-this-world final bid of $265,607.

In the sale closing Jan. 22, GSA offered what it described as "One lot consisting six 24KT gold plates weighing 6,015.5 grams. These plates were reportedly flown in space for 69 months."

See Coin World's earlier news coverage here.

While the GSA lot description did not identify the space mission on which the ingots were flown, space enthusiasts at the website CollectSpace.com believe it was the "Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) orbited the Earth. The school-bus-sized cylindrical satellite circled the planet from 1984 to 1990."

The plates or ingots contain 193 troy ounces of pure gold. The winning bid of $265,607 translates to a price of $1,376.20 per ounce, or just above the Jan. 22 London PM fix of $1,295.75. That would make the purchase close to profitable for the unnamed buyer, but if the buyer chose to convert the metal into some sort of collectible form, such as space-flown relic medals, the new owner could profit from the purchase.

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