[meteorite-list] Cost of Moroccan meteorites
From: meteorites_at_space.com <meteorites_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:43:28 2004
This reminds me of the Dinosaur Hunter Range Wars of the 1870's between Cope and-- can't remember his name. Two factions, with others in between in having it out, and sometimes even shooting at each other out here in the Wild West over who would find the most dinosaur bones.
Makes for an interesting story, and maybe this current meteorite hunting situation will be looked upon in the same way 150 years from now.
On Sat, 30 June 2001, Rob and Colleen wrote:
> Thank you all for your replies on and off list.
> Michael Blood is right, it is a no win situation to comment on.
> There is no objectivity to be offered by anyone on this matter. History will
> be recorded, the future will be impacted, and we all have an opinion as to
> what will happen or how. I just wanted to throw a whammy at the stale
> arguments between the warring factions. All very subjective in their opinions
> of who is doing right by whom. My post, subjective as well. Some interesting
> points have been brought up, some ways of thinking changed by some members.
> And maybe a pause in the senseless, repetetive arguing between dealers. Many
> say "Oh this is all good fun and when you see these guys together everything
> is hugs and kisses." But to those that don't see these guys together it
> leaves a sour taste, again my subjective opinion. My points have been
> addressed as best I predict they will be and some of my opinions have
> changed. Barring a full blown attack, I will jump out as quickly as I jumped
> in and say thanks one more time. Thanks,
> Rob Wesel
> Michael Blood wrote:
> > Hi Bob & list members,
> > I have been sitting on my hands for so long it hurts, keeping
> > OUT of this....seeing it as a "no win" situation for any dealer to
> > comment on. However, since I am NOT directly involved (I do
> > NOT go to Africa and buy meteorites and bring them back here)
> > I thought SOME degree of objectivity might be afforded me.
> > As many of you know, diplomacy is not my strongest suite,
> > (nore is spelling! - so bare with me, please) so, I have stayed
> > in the background as long as I could bare to.
> > For those who would like to "skip" what they might consider
> > "borring" narative, please skip to the last quote of Rob's & my
> > last commentary. I do belive that addresses the HEART of this
> > entire "string" of posts.
> > Rob, PLEASE do not take the following personally, but I am going
> > to use some quotes from your recent post to point out SOME of the
> > attitutes of SOME of the meteorite collectors on the list. I see these
> > as reflective of an "undertone" of attitudes that do not contribute
> > to harmonious relationships and, a factor affecting us all, in that
> > they distract from the overall level of SATISFACTION gained in
> > collecting meteorites.
> > So, again Rob, this is NOT aimed at you and I both apologise for
> > doing so, and thank you for providing some glaring examples of
> > ideas, perspectives and attitudes I DO want to address:
> > YOU SAY:
> > > It's good to hear they got thrown some bones for such a valuable
> > > piece. I had forgotten to factor in the labor costs along
> > > with the cutting loss and donations.
> > Regarding this last sentence - 25 to 35% "loss" in cutting
> > (depending on the thickness, this can EASILY go to 50% for
> > thin slices &though collectorsis WANT "thin" they do NOT want
> > to pay 20% to 50% more $ for "thin") This "cost" of cutting is
> > just the tip of the iceburg -there are MANY other factors far more
> > "costly"to the dealers than THAT. I will not reiterate some of
> > the "costs" incurred by dealers since I HAVE listed here in the past.
> > YOU SAY:
> > >Again, the lack of internal representation surprises me.
> > >When will we see a savvy businessman heading things up
> > >in Morocco, teaching locals to cut, classify and polish?
> > The word "ethnocentrism" means "my culture's values
> > and ways of doing things is the RIGHT way - other ways
> > of other culturs are curious and interesting at best, often
> > stupid or even evil at worst."
> > NOMADS RIDE AROUND ON CAMELS! They live in TENTS!
> > They have done so for many centuries, thank you! "Middle
> > men" at Bazars and such have, for centuries, sold what is
> > available at what prices they can get. Meteorites are just one
> > more commodety in such a context. PERIOD.
> > YOU SAY:
> > > Outside of shows, the meteorite market (not Twelker:^)) exists
> > > mainly in cyberspace. Seems like it would be easy for someone
> > > over there to tap into that market.
> > "EASY????" Many Americans still don't have a clue about email!
> > These are countries more often than not without ELECTRICITY!
> > (sure, in the larger cities, blah, blah, quack, quack - but GENERALLY)
> > I don't have a cell phone - you expect somone in Oman or Morocco
> > to be both internet savy AND interested in selling meteorites????
> > YOU SAY:
> > > I am surprised they were asking market value at the shows in
> > > Europe. Obviously they sell to dealers at below market
> > > value and could do better at a show selling somewhere
> > > between dealer price and market value.
> > Do you have any IDEA what the "difference between dealer
> > price and market value" IS?
> > - sure, on Lunar, SNCs, Howardite, etc. the dealer/consumer
> > price CAN BE substantial - but these "rare" specimens are RARE!
> > They constitute a TINY percentage of the material involved. The
> > "mark up" on well over 95% of the material comming out of
> > Africa is MINISCULE. A few cents a gram- and I mean a FEW, not
> > 20 or 30, or even 10 - or 5, I mean a FEW.
> > So, now that Africans have jumped through hoops of fire to
> > get passports, paid exhorbitant fees for air fair and SHIPPING and
> > any customs rigamarole and are paying unbelievable prices (relative
> > to thier native economy) for everything from food to shelter to
> > show fees, you want them to cut the price........ need I elaborate
> > further?
> > YOU SAY:
> > > To truely have long term economic improvement some
> > > govermental cooperation and intervention needs to be
> > > balanced with the individual gains of the finders. From
> > > what has been said about bribes, this would take a complete
> > > social overhaul.
> > The first part of the above paragraph is both niave AND
> > ethnocentric (see above definition) The last sentence ALSO
> > involves a total lack of awareness of how things REALLY work
> > in the US, itself.
> > Bribes? You REALLY don't know how the U.S. RUNS on Bribes? !
> > (I must admit they are usually labeled other than bribes - "campaign
> > controbutions" and "donations" to the police retirement funds,
> > giving people in positions of power "fees" for "consultation" or
> > writing books that never get realeased, or.......ETC. - certainly in
> > the NY & Chicago, everyone wholives there knows the police not
> > only take bribes on a regular basis from bars, strip joints, etc,
> > but a person is a fool not to have a few hundred dollars that will
> > get him out of most things other than murder - and certainly
> > any traffic citation). It is understood, from restraunt health
> > inspectors to fire safety clearance in apartment buildings, etc,
> > etc, etc. (Many who DON'T know this are heads of failed
> > small businesses - because most "officials" will certainly never
> > use the word "bribe" and you will hear countless "businessmen"
> > who attempted to start a business complain of how everything
> > is now over regulated to the point it is impossible to have a small
> > business. You think successful small businesses "magically" over
> > came the same obsticles?
> > That does not begin to address BIG business. How do you
> > think the tobacco companies have managed to stay in business
> > the last 30 years when every member of congress has known of
> > the totally poisonous efects of tobacco? How do you think the
> > major oil companies can destroy an entire ecosystem in Alaska
> > and STILL not have paid $1 to one single company out of the
> > countless fishing businesses who "won" law suits
> > against them in court?
> > I could go on the length of a BOOK just LISTING areas that
> > involve bribes and "political" manueverings - from the local to
> > the state to the fedral to the executive level.
> > That is not what this list is for, so, I will simply say that any
> > adult over 30 years of age in the US who still separates the
> > terms Government, Big Business & Organized Crime is so out
> > of touch with reality as to deserve a "bless their hearts" nod
> > from those who have been awake through the process of
> > growing up to know they differ only slightly - primarily in
> > "style," terminology and function. The line is particularly thin
> > between Big Business & Organized Crime - whereas, in politics
> > the terminology differences create a slight illusion of greater
> > separation.
> > YOU SAY:
> > >Much to understand with these nomads, we need one on
> > >the list.
> > I am sure one will just hop right off his camel, spend years
> > getting a formal education (WHERE I do not know) learning English
> > and computer skills, somehow find the $ for the cost of all this,
> > buy a computer & hook right up to the internet (I am sure it is a
> > breeze over there - much easier than in a back water town in
> > Idaho) and have a little chat with us.
> > Yes, that would be convenient - for us.
> > YOU SAY:
> > > To sum up, I don't see the dealers as the saviors of the Sahara,
> > > which is not far from some of the latest arguments.
> > > Same goes for the hunters.
> > Clearly you miss the "flavor" of the "argument" wherein
> > each "side" is pointing fingers and calling names - nothing more,
> > nothing less.
> > YOU SAY
> > > To do this (be the "saviors of the Sahara")would require
> > > teaching them to better help themselves, beyond the act of
> > > collecting.
> > This comment is tranparently ethnocentric. Sounds like
> > something an 18th or 19th century British aristocrat would say.
> > The entire concept of a "3rd world" is ethnocentric - we
> > (the "modern world") contaminate their economic systems,
> > then "see" the "answer" FOR THEM is to become MORE LIKE US!
> > Just change eons of tradition, ways, language, kinship practices,
> > values, religion, economic practices - just become more "like us."
> > Yup, that's the ticket!
> > ---------------------
> > AND FINALLY YOU SAY:
> > > Seems to be the case in most third world ventures
> > > "10% of the purchase of this macadamia nut crunch bar
> > > goes to support tropical reforesation" The other 90% into
> > > production, packaging, distribution, and the guy whose idea
> > > it was. Finders Keepers, also a tricky subject.
> > NOW we get to the real heart of the matter! The issue that
> > caused this to become of interest to this list!
> > You see, the person "who's idea it was" - involved A FEW
> > individuals, mostly, if not exclusively from France. Meteorites
> > were ORIGINALLY, for several YEARS, purchased over there
> > for UNDER 5c PER GRAM! They were then carefully analized
> > and selectively submitted to be oficially analysed, typed and
> > registered - then marketed to the collecting public - in most
> > cases well UNDER "market prices" for such material - all by
> > a few dealers from France. SOME of these dealers also DID DO
> > FIELD SEARCH for meteorites in Africa - at great cost, both
> > financially and in terms of risk of human life - Alaine and
> > Louis Carion, particularly, brought new life to Libyan Desert
> > Glass and found many meteorites, themselves. (they were
> > not the only ones). For the most part, however, the French,
> > for several years, had an "exclusive" and ALL material was
> > either overtly stated to be found by them or implied to have
> > been found by them - and, even though their prices were far
> > below "traditional" prices for such rare material (Howardites,
> > Eucrites, Lunites, etc.) they were ASTRONOMICALLY higher
> > than the pennies per gram being paid for them. (It must also
> > be noted that they were buying EVERYTHING meteoritic - so,
> > there was much that was very common, broken, highly
> > weathered, etc. that never ever came to market at all. It is still
> > being held - it most certainly was not thrown away! It did,
> > however, contribute to their "overhead" - but most certainly
> > not to the level that it "cost" them anywhere remotely close
> > to hundreds of dollars per gram for a nice Howardite or
> > R Chondrite or the like.
> > NOW, here come these stinking Americans! They start
> > buying meteorites like mad - and start paying MORE for the
> > better materials, starting with anything that has reasonably
> > fresh fusion crust, then achondritic material, etc. and in a
> > matter of a year or so the "market" in Africa has changed
> > DRAMATICALLY!
> > So, there, in the above few parigraphs, you have the
> > REAL heart of the issue!
> > Again, Rob, this was NOT "aimed at" you! These are things
> > I have heard MANY on this list say - you just happened to put
> > a bunch of the all togeather. PLEASE forgive me for making
> > ANY of what I said sound as though it were directed at you,
> > personally. I do appologize for whatever degree I made it
> > "sound" that way - it is not.
> > Sorry, I just could NOT sit on my hands any longer.
> > Best wishes, Michael
> > --
> > “Suppose you were an idiot... And suppose you were
> > a member of Congress...But I repeat myself.”
> > - Mark Twain
> > --
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> > --
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> > --
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> > --
> > Michael Blood Meteorites for sale at:
> > http://www.meteorite.com/Michael_Blood/catalog.htm
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Received on Sun 01 Jul 2001 11:37:53 AM PDT