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There is such a thing as an $85 rock, and you can buy it at Nordstrom.

This is not the stone of 1975 Pet Rock fame (which, for the record, you can get for less than $20 online). Back then the Pet Rock had a clear purpose: It was a joke. The Medium Leather Wrapped Stone, on the other hand, is somewhat of a mystery. Not even the writers at Nordstrom knew what to say about it, so they left it open to interpretation: “A paperweight? A conversation piece? A work of art? It’s up to you.”

To be fair, it seems like the focus of this thing is the leather pouch in which it sits, rather than the rock itself. Made Solid — the company behind the Medium Leather Wrapped Stone and its more affordable counterpart, Small Leather Wrapped Stone ($65) — sells handmade leather products.

But what is a leather-wrapped stone without the stone? An empty container that probably won’t hold much of anything. So, really, it’s about the rock. Considering its crucial role, you’d think they’d tell you a little more about the geological superstar, beyond the fact that it comes from the San Bernardino Mountains. But maybe that’s part of the mystery.


Screenshot: Nordstrom.com

And a mystery it is, because if the existence of an $85 rock doesn’t bewilder you, consider this: It’s a hot commodity. Two of the four versions of the Leather Wrapped Stones for sale on Made Solid are sold out. Who knows how long Nordstrom will have them in stock. For all of you who’ve been wondering what hot holiday gift you should get for your loved ones, you have an answer: A one-of-a-kind, made-in-the-USA rock.

We figured there had to be more to it — some sort of purpose or value one doesn’t immediately see in a rock snuggled up in leather — and we got some answers. Peter Maxwell, a representative for Made Solid, said the Leather Wrapped Stone is one of the company’s most popular items, and while they don’t define a purpose for it, “they’re pretty cool as display objects/accents.” So, perhaps we’ll just call it art.

“As for the price… If we only focus on the rock, then of course it makes no sense. It’s about the leather and technique, also artistic sensibility,” Maxwell said in an email to Credit.com, detailing the labor-intensive production process. “This isn’t a simple pocket of machined stitched cheap leather that a rock was jammed into, haha. I think most people would see them in a different light if they were able to hold one.”

Sure, it might seem a tad expensive. But by all means, if you have $85 to spend and know the Leather Wrapped Stone would add a level of class to your sister’s desk that her one-a-day calendar just doesn’t deliver, go for it. But as tempted as you might be to put it on the old credit card and worry about it later, be careful: It’d be a shame to resent that fancy desk rock come January when it’s the reason you have to cut corners to stay on budget or pay off your credit card bill. (You can see how your credit card balances may be affecting your credit by viewing two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com)

Oh, the things we have to do without to stay out of debt.

Image: Made Solid

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