[meteorite-list] speck specs

From: meteorites_at_space.com <meteorites_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:42:02 2004
Message-ID: <20010123013329.10230.cpmta_at_c000.snv.cp.net>

On Mon, 22 January 2001, Michael Blood wrote:

> Steve Schoner wrote:
> Doug, et al,
> This proposal is good, and would solve many of the problems that we are
> aware of. HOWEVER-- It will not happen-- Why-- because those that are
> profiting from specks will not take the time and effort to make it
> work. And those that buy such things, will not be patient enough to
> wait till something better comes along. They have been bitten by the
> "meteorite collector's fever" and will settle for an unverifiable speck
> the identity of which is based solely on their faith in the integrity of
> the seller. The bottom line is profit, and this scheme, which has been
> proposed before, will never come into acceptance simply because of the
> effort that would be involved on the part of the dealers that sell such
> tiny samples.
> The result of that would be significantly higher prices on what are
> already grossly overpriced items.
> Steve Schoner AMS
> -----------
> Gee Steve,
> Seems like a fine idea to me - I would certainly be willing to supply a
> JPEG for any frag - or larger specimen I sell - I do not think
> maintaining a photo phile ON THE NET INDEFINATELY is feasable, but I
> would certainly be willing to store a numbered down sized version of the
> JPEG indefinately - and I think most other dealers would, as well. For
> that matter, the JPEG could be
> printed out AS PART OF a document of authenticity. Then no
> JPEG storage would be required.
> In fact - anyone who has bought ANY material from me in the past is
> welcome to mail it back & pay return shipping & I will photograph it and
> send out a JPEG of same to them - or a printed
> document, or whatever they like.
> spoke to me of it the day BEFORE the first post appeared here.)
> Of course, now I am trusting my customers not to do a "switcheroo" as
> it would be the label I would recognize in many cases of very small
> frags. But then it always comes down to trust.
> In any event, your "nay saying" in this regard is exactly that, "nay
> saying." I don't buy it and I don't think others do. If anyone
> wants a JPEG from me, NO PROBLEM. I cannot imagine other dealers would
> object - and, if they do, one can always buy elsewhere.
> This is actually a rather engenious solution to your old "true cross"
> rhetoric. It still (and always will) comes down to trust, but at least
> the buyer has documentation the specific dealer stands behind this
> particular specimen to be what he says it is. It provides
> a form of provenience worth far more substantial than a mere
> "certificate of authenticity" any 12 year old could computer generate.
> As they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words."
> Best wishes, Michael

With all due respects, Michael-- Though the idea of having "certified specks" is a noble idea--
It won't work or be an thing other than a means of dealers further capitalizing on the whims of uninformed buyers-- UNLESS THE ITEMS IN QUESTION ARE VERIFIED BY PARTIES OTHER THAN THE SELLER.

This is the case with all of the coin certification services. They are third party entities, they grade coins, and keep records of each item that they grade.

I know because I have a PEGS graded rare coin, I called them up and gave them the number and they VERIFIED THE CONDITION AND THE FACT THAT THEY HAD INDEED GRADED IT. They also confirmed the statistics regarding how many such other coins of the same date that they had grades, and where my coin fit in their grading scale. Significantly, they had no direct ties to the seller of this coin.

Unless that it the case with these specks, then anyone anywhere, (your 12 year old boy included) can go into his back yard and pick up a grain of sand, photograph it, and say whatever they want about it.

Unless it is by a third party, I don't think that certification of specks is nothing more than the dealers of such further profiting by putting their "certificates" on it in a blatant attempt to make their specks of dust even more marketable.

As for the speck issue, my opinion of the situation has been further polarized by some on this list (those that sell such things) accusing me of being a "price fixer, a communist, a racketeer" and other unsubstantiated names.

All because I stand against the profiteering on unverifiable specks.

Well my position on this is stronger than ever.



And I make it a point now to warn away anyone who approaches me for an opinion on collecting these.

They are not an "investment"

Nor are they a "collectible"

They are at the very best no more than a "curiosity" to satisfy the collecting whims of those who just have to have that piece to fill a hole in their hearts or their collections.

In so doing...

They unwittingly contribute to the destruction of the thing that they desire-- the reduction of scientifically valuable meteorites to nothing more than widely disseminated specks of dust.

And that is too bad, for the science and the hobby.

If the item in question cannot be easily identified as a meteorite, (by the buyer) then they had better steer clear of it.

That is my sincere advice to any avid or serious collector of meteorites, and will remain so as long as specks are an issue.

Steve Schoner,

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Received on Mon 22 Jan 2001 08:33:29 PM PST

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