[meteorite-list] speck specs
From: meteorites_at_space.com <meteorites_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:42:03 2004
On Mon, 22 January 2001, MeteorHntr_at_aol.com wrote:
> <HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT SIZE=2>In a message dated 1/22/01 7:36:36 PM Central Standard Time,
> <BR>meteorites_at_space.com writes:
> <BR><BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE style="BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px">Though the idea of having "certified specks" is a noble idea--
> <BR>It won't work or be an thing other than a means of dealers further
> <BR>capitalizing on the whims of uninformed buyers-- UNLESS THE ITEMS IN
> <BR>QUESTION ARE VERIFIED BY PARTIES OTHER THAN THE SELLER.
> <BR>Hello Mr. Shoner, et al.,
> <BR>Tonight I was discussing over pizza with a friend of mine that knows very
> <BR>little about the meteorite business that I was planning on trying to
> <BR>establish some type of a photo certification for some of the samples I would
> <BR>be offering in the future.
> <BR>I told him about how I was able to get a third party photo certification on
> <BR>some NWA 032 Lunar meteorite samples on pieces down to 15mg in size, and that
> <BR>there seemed to be a favorable response to it, enough so that I wanted to
> <BR>expand it to other specimens as well.
> <BR>He brought up the coin grading services and asked if I planned to offer my
> <BR>services for OTHER dealers materials, and I said that there was no way I
> <BR>could do stand behind someone else's material, especially in a guaranteed
> <BR>way. Coins can be authenticated and guaranteed visually where with many
> <BR>meteorites, this cannot be done with absolute certainty as to which fall/find
> <BR>they are from. I then brought up the Weston, CT and the Sylacaga, AL
> <BR>examples, and I pointed out that with them being ordinary chondrites, it
> <BR>would be next to impossible for even the best labs to prove that these are
> <BR>from the very historic falls, even by chemical analysis. However, it would
> <BR>be much easier for a lab to identify some of the more exotic specimens as
> <BR>being or not being what they are supposed to be.
> <BR>As for the more common types, it will be necessary for me to only be able to
> <BR>offer my personal guarantee that the items are what I say they are on the
> <BR>specimen photographed certificate. If I have a specific pedigree that can be
> <BR>documented, such as I acquired the specimen via a trade with a specific
> <BR>institution, then that too could be provided.
> <BR>I agree that the BEST OPTION would be to offer third party identification.
> <BR>However, in the event that a third party lab could not conclusively establish
> <BR>the identity of certian specimens (which would be most of them), at the very
> <BR>least the collector would have something to offer a future buyer to back up
> <BR>the claim, with a dealers signature on a photo ID card. And mind you, this
> <BR>photo ID would be valuable for large specimens as well. One can be ripped
> <BR>off with a 90g fake Weston about as easy as one can be with a 0.090g fake
> <BR>Please don't underestimate the importance of this last paragraph. If a
> <BR>"no-named" collector wants to later sell a specimen, a photo ID by a dealer
> <BR>on ANY sized specimen will make that specimen more valuable, it is
> <BR>conceivable that such documentation could be very valuable. And yes, if it
> <BR>is possible to get a third party identification, that would make the specimen
> <BR>even more valuable.
> <BR>I have a piece of Cape York with a signed ID card from Buchwald. I have
> <BR>slices of Beaver (the famous jail house doorstop) with the recoverer's ID
> <BR>number on it and a photo with the original farmer/finder with the rock. I
> <BR>have a slice of Happy Canyon with a Huss number on it. I have pieces of
> <BR>Lodran that I got from the Nat. History Museum London with the BMNH ID card.
> <BR>I have NWA 032 Lunar small part slices with third party photo documentation.
> <BR>I have Allende from Dr. King's Collection that I personally removed from his
> <BR>widows home. I would say that ALL of these are worth at least a little bit
> <BR>more due to the extra documentation that accompanies them. But let me point
> <BR>out one thing they all have in common, what is NOW a 3rd party documentation,
> <BR>at one point wasn't third party documentation (with the exception of the NWA
> <BR>032). A dealers signature, especially with a photo of the specific specimen,
> <BR>down the road does become a form of third party documentation, especially if
> <BR>that dealer's reputation continues to be favorable over the years.
> <BR>A perfect example would be if you sold me a 20g Holbrook (individual or
> <BR>slice) that you personally found. Can I trust you that you found it? Sure.
> <BR>But 50 years from now can a collector trust my kids when they sell off my
> <BR>collection after my death? What if there is a "2nd party" signed
> <BR>photographed ID card from you, would that help the value of the Holbrook for
> <BR>my kids?
> <BR>No matter the size, tiny speck or huge specimen, the photo ID can only help
> <BR>down the road.
> <BR>Just my 2mg worth.
> <BR>Steve Arnold
Steve, et al,
Ah, but a tangible meteorite is a tangible meteorite.
That is a meteorite will be identifiable by virtue of its size and its structure will be evident as well. Its identity will stand alone of the seller's assertions as to what they say it is.
I don't sell by vertue of my "reptutation." My specimens sell by virtue of what they are.
Sorry-- microscopic specks just do not fit the bill, not in size, structure or what the cost the consumer.
I would not put my name on anything so small as to be unidentifiable on its own.
If I sell a Holbrook, it will be identifiable as a Holbrook 100 years from now-- not because I said it was, but because it is. And anyone who knows the nuances of that particular meteorite will if they posses it 100 years from now will also have a high degree of certainty that that is what it is.
I don't put that much trust in my reputation, nor do I consider my name so strong as to give credibility to the rocks that I sell.
They are what they are.
One thing for sure, I will not put my name to any rock, speck or suposed meteorite if I an not myself absolutely sure what it is.
I rarely put my name to any meteorite as it is. I take pride in selling 'recognizable meteorites'-- specimens that speak for themselves.
They don't need me to convince the buyer what they are.
And if the buyer needs the convincing, then maybe they should not be buying it anyway.
Sorry, but I choke on the speck issue. In my opinion, and it is just my opinion, specks are taking the limits of the hobby too far.
Many on this list criticised Darryl Pitt unmercifully for have made, and marketed his "Mars Cubes."
And many also, years ago criticised Ron Farrell for having sold tiny little chips of his Chassigny for outrageous prices.
Well folks, Darryl's "Mars Cube" with identifiable chunks of Zagami inside is by far a much better deal for the consumer than the tiny microscopic specks that some of you are attempting to market now. And Ron Farrell's original chips of Chassigny are boulders compared to what is being sold under that name now.
(I also wonder how many of those microscopic chips that are being sold as 'Chassigny did not come from the 'boulders' made by Ron Farrell years ago).
It was easy for some to critcize them, and forget.
But I remember.
I have taken an an even harder position against the "speck" issue than before. Darryl's Mars Cube, is a bargain compared to what I have seen bandied about as "meteorites" lately.
In fact, I would like to have one for my classroom presentations. They are low cost, and well presented--compared to the specks that I have seen.
But lastly, and without anymore rambling, in my OPINION- and it is ONLY my OPINION... I think the speck issue is a bad one for our hobby.
Common sense bad..
Steve Schoner, AMERICAN METEORITE SURVEY
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Received on Tue 23 Jan 2001 09:38:13 AM PST