[meteorite-list] NWA meteorites VS falls, etc.
From: Mike Farmer <farmerm_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:42:02 2004
I would like to make my thoughts on this topic very clear. I was always
down on the Sahara meteorites due to lack of knowledge about where
found, and the high prices for rare material. I as a collector, prefer
witnessed falls. Look at my collection list on my website (nowhere near
complete or updated). You will note that I specialize in witnessed
falls. Why you might ask?
Well, for one they tend to be pristine or at lease very fresh, I
LOVE black fusion crust! Two, I like to know exactly the time and date
it entered the atmosphere. I love the history of old falls. Take for
example, Weston. It, fell in 1807, 194 years ago. I have a pristine
piece that I traded out of ASU. It still has 200 year old mud stuck on
it and fresh black fusion crust. Just last week when I got home from
Morocco, there was a newspaper from January 7, 1808 called the Hampshire
Federalist waiting on me. In is are two articles about the Weston fall
from the weeks before. They are titled "Remarkable Phenomenon" and
"Terrestrial Comet". It is a fascinating look at peoples perception of
meteorite falls back then.
It is this history that I enjoy when I look at my pieces.
Now, when it comes to finds, Sahara meteorite in particular, you are
devoid of any history like that. But that is what we have. The
meteorites are still meteorites. I love them too. I am more interested
in them now that I go and acquire them myself, instead of relying on
what others tell me. I know where I got it, I bargained hard for it, and
I enjoy it. Some are ugly and old, some are absolutely beautiful, some
rare, some are like no others that we have ever seen. This meteorite is
just as important as any Texas find, or Chilean find etc. So what if the
exact find location is unknown, it doesn't change the meteorite.
The price on the common stuff is great right now. The rare stuff
still tends to be a little expensive for my taste but has been more
stable lately. The desert has alot to offer us, rare stuff, common
stuff, and everything in between.
Do I prefer falls, YES, for many reasons, but #1 is the history. That is
my own personal desire though. I have absolutely no desire to collect by
type. I was selling in Germany at the Gifhorn show back in November and
I had a German man come running to my table. He said that someone told
him that I was selling CK5. I showed him some and he grabbed a nice
small piece and paid. He then showed me his collection list and he had
ALL of the CK designations EXCEPT CK5. He was so thrilled to fill in the
space that he didn't even really look at the meteorite he had bought. He
just wanted the type, the specimen itself did not matter. To me this is
not preferable. But that is his collecting method, so more power to him
To each his own is a nice thought. If you like falls great, if you like
types, great, if you only want irons, great.
There is room and a place for every meteorite out there. You are the one
who must decide whether that place is in your collection for any
I was informed by a list member that I am in the March issue of
Astronomy Magazine! This was news to me. I have not seen it so if anyone
has it could they email me a scan!
Received on Sat 20 Jan 2001 09:20:41 PM PST