Once a meteorite has been analyzed and classified by academia, surplus specimens find their way onto the commercial market. Photograph by Geoffrey Notkin, copyright Aerolite Meteorites. You can collect the star fragments the next day. Major museums with extensive collections sometimes trade with meteorite dealers and hunters, in order to acquire new material. That being said, eBay can be a good place to build a collection of inexpensive meteorites but, I’ll say it again, make sure you are purchasing from a vendor with a solid reputation. The Gibeon (Namibia) iron is very stable after cutting, displays a beautiful crystalline pattern when etched with a mild solution of nitric acid, and is a favorite among enthusiasts. Half slice of a pallasite meteorite: A 67.9-gram half slice of the Imilac pallasite from Chile's Atacama Desert. Photograph by Leigh Anne DelRay, copyright Aerolite Meteorites. Prepared slices of stable pallasites such as Imilac (Chile), Glorieta Mountain (New Mexico, USA) and Esquel (Argentina) are prized for their colorful gemstones and long-term stability, and will fetch between $20 and $40/gram. Explore the field, see what is available, talk to dealers and collectors, and do your research. Meteorite with historic labels: A 197.2-gram Henbury iron found in Australia in the mid-1930s, surrounded by a collection of specimen ID cards and museum labels. Today, space rocks are readily available from many different outlets and the quarterly Meteorite magazine caters to the space rock enthusiast, as does the monthly online publication Meteorite Times and the Meteorite Mailing List (online listserve). Star Fragment Limits The max amount of Star Fragments that can appear on … Historic labels such as these greatly increase the value of the meteorite specimens they accompany. Specimens that carry a unique provenance are also highly sought after by collectors, as they provide a link to the enthusiasts who have gone before us. Click to enlarge. Meteorites that are seen to fall by credible observers are known as witnessed falls, while those that are discovered later, by chance, are known as finds. The Russian iron Sikhote-Alin (fell February 12, 1947) is the largest single meteorite event in modern recorded history and individuals — meteorite specimens which landed as one intact piece, rather than exploding on or near the ground — are coveted by collectors because of their marvelous sculptural qualities and surface features. Fewer than one in a thousand iron meteorites have naturally-occurring holes, and a meteorite of this quality would make a fine centerpiece in a major collection. When I was a little boy growing up in England in the late 1960s, my greatest treat was traveling up to London’s marvelous Geological Museum (now part of the Natural History Museum, London) to visit their mineral and meteorite collections. Geoffrey Notkin is a meteorite hunter, science writer, photographer, and musician. At the high end of the pricing scale are unusual types such as the diogenite Tatahouine (fell June 27, 1931, Foum Tatahouine, Tunisia). Meteorites with vintage hand painted numbers are very desirable, and these specimens are much more valuable to collectors than a comparable Odessa which does not have an historic provenance. Stony-irons, which include mesosiderites and pallasites are the rarest of the three main classes, but the Chilean mesosiderite Vaca Muerta and the Russian pallasite Seymchan are available at reasonable prices. Collectors and dealers flock to Tucson, AZ every February to buy, sell, and trade space rocks. Pallasites are stony-iron meteorites packed with olivine (the gemstone peridot) and are particularly desirable when cut and polished because of the alluring color and translucency of the crystals they contain. How much do large star fragments sell for Animal Crossing? It’s not always an easy task. Large star fragments are rarer than normal star fragments, and can be sold for 2,500 Bells at Nook's Cranny. Unclassified stone chondrites picked up by nomads wandering in the Sahara Deserts are readily available for about $0.50/gram. Meteorites are typically sold by weight. If I wanted to buy say 5 star fragments and 1 large fragment, what are we looking at price wise? In the pre-Internet days, with no popular print publication aimed at the budding space rock collector, it was difficult to meet fellow enthusiasts. My most important piece of advice to all collectors, particularly novices, is this: know your source! We know from old AML publications that "D91" was Nininger's prefix for the Odessa, Texas iron meteorite. While you could easily purchase another H6 chondrite for $1/gram or less, a specimen of Peekskill will cost $100 to $200/gram if you can find somebody willing to part with a piece. Click to enlarge. He was born in New York City, raised in London, England, and now makes his home in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. The meteorite collecting community uses the metric system so weights are measured in grams and kilograms, and dimensions in centimeters and millimeters. Meteorites are heavy, so a quality slice the size of a small dinner plate is worth thousands of dollars. Geoffrey Notkin, co-host of the Meteorite Men television series and author of Meteorwritings on Geology.com, has written an illustrated guide to recovering, identifying, and understanding meteorites. A relatively common meteorite such as the Canyon Diablo iron (Arizona, USA) becomes highly collectible if it carries a Nininger number. A Google search for the phrase “meteorites for sale,” at the time of writing, produced 91,300 returns, so there is plenty of choice out there in cyberspace. How much are these going for in general? There are almost as many ways to collect as there are different meteorites. Photograph by Leigh Anne DelRay, copyright Aerolite Meteorites. Meteorite exhibit at a gem show: Collectors enjoy a display of rare and historic meteorite specimens at the R.A. Langheinrich Meteorites showroom during the annual Tucson gem and mineral showcases. Pallasites are believed to have formed at the core/mantle boundary of large asteroids and are among the most sought after of meteorite collectibles. A frequent contributor to science and art magazines, his work has appeared in Reader's Digest, The Village Voice, Wired, Meteorite, Seed, Sky & Telescope, Rock & Gem, Lapidary Journal, Geotimes, New York Press, and numerous other national and international publications. A specimen with a label or number from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, or the Natural History Museum, London, for example, increases dramatically in monetary value as its terrestrial history travels with the specimen in the form of official documentation. Meteorite with historic labels: A 197.2-gram Henbury iron found in Australia in the mid-1930s, surrounded by a collection of specimen ID cards and museum labels. The pioneering American meteorite scientist Harvey H. Nininger opened his Meteorite Museum next to Route 66 in Arizona in 1946 and was one of the first people to start offering meteorite specimens for sale to the public. Nininger Iron Meteorites: Three small iron meteorites which carry hand painted H.H. Complete individual and full slice: A popular collecting strategy among enthusiasts is to acquire both a complete individual and a full slice from the same meteorite. Meteorites are expensive and maintaining a good reputation as an honest dealer is vital in our business. The more advanced collector may begin purchasing slices (sections) in order to show the interior structure of meteorites. Pictured (top left) is a slice of impact breccia (terrestrial rock deformed by a massive meteorite impact) which I collected inside the Popigai meteorite crater during our 1999 expedition to northern Siberia, and (top right) a Wiluna stone meteorite (H5 witnessed fall September 2, 1967, Western Australia) with a hand painted Australian museum collection number.

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