It's not a lump of coal, but one of Nordstrom's stocking-stuffer possibilities this holiday season is in the same ballpark—it's a rock in a leather pouch. And many are confused, per People, which reports on the $85 "Los Angeles-area stone" clothed in "rich, vegetable-tanned American leather secured by sturdy contrast whipstitching" that the retailer is hawking for $85. Even Nordstrom doesn't seem sure what "Wrapped Stone" really is, noting in its website description: "A paperweight? A conversation piece? A work of art? It's up to you." BuzzFeed compiles the best musings, cheers, and complaints about the item, including a single mom of five who says "no one in my family will eat this month, however I have a piece of rock," and a man who says it offers "existential validation." "If some jerk can sell a rock in leather for $85, I'll be ok," he tweets.
And then there's the romantic who bought the stone for his girlfriend and takes issue with the description that "each piece is made by hand," noting there were "many markings from factory machinery." A Nordstrom spokeswoman says the "handmade" claim refers only to the stone's leather pouch, because obviously "only Mother Earth can take credit for rocks." Meanwhile, Made Solid, the company behind the product, says that it's no joke and that it's "one of our most consistently popular items." (A smaller version sells for $65.) Co-founder Peter Maxwell tells Cosmopolitan that he's aware the "comments are going nuts," but he justifies the price because of the "high-end vegetable tanned leather" used for the pouch, along with the labor-intensive work that goes into making it. ($340,000 for a moon rock probably isn't unreasonable.)