[meteorite-list] Dissapointed collector
From: nctools <nctools_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:43:30 2004
I want to thank everyone who sent me emails and I certainly appreciate
everyones help and guidance.The unknown meteorite situation seems very
delicate and i can understand why most opinions were private to me instead
of to the meteorite discussion list.About 2 to 1 were against the unknown
meteorites and a couple of people and a scientist FIRMLY told me it messed
up something that should be a scientifically controlled hobby IF its going
to be taken seriously.it sounds like theres some strong feeling out there!On
the other hand others are happy to collect meteorites they can afford even
if they dont know when or where its from or even what type of meteorite it
is.Thats fair comment and I respect it though I think theres much more to
Im new to all this and unwittingly see it with a fresh light.I wrongly
assumed that something described and sold to me as a "meteorite" by a
meteorite seller would have been tested and confirmed as a meteorite and
have the same history information that comes with most of the meteorites
that the big gun sellers offer.That was my big mistake.What Im really trying
to say here is that it should be officially recognised and classified before
it can be called a meteorite and anything less than that is just speculation
and an educated guess.Its also noticable that the big gun meteorite sellers
are the ones who are being responsible by obeying the (unwritten?) rules
about these unknown meteorites and having them tested and classified and I
think that speaks volumes.
Personal opinions are different though I cant see how I can be content to
have something in my collection that is only PROBABLY a meteorite.Even if
its got a high certainty and an experienced seller says it is genuine I dont
think Id be happy with that if its not OFFICIALLY recognised.The missing
information about its type and when and where it was found only compounds
For instance if I show one of these unknowns to someone and they ask me some
very basic questions this is how it would go:
Q: Is this a meteorite?
Q: Youre not sure?
Q: Wheres it from?
A: I dont know
Q: What type is it?
A: I dont know
Q: But you say its a meteorite?
This discussion group is always very quick to criticise sellers on auctions
who sell rocks advertised as only MIGHT be a meteorite and ask the seller
for information on its name and type and then ridicule the seller for not
having this information to hand.So why should it be treated different for
all these unknowns?
I know many of you can recognise a meteorite after you've cut it open but
what about its type?And doesnt knowing when and where it fell and its
groupings or pairings have some added interest to?At a pinch Id add these
kind of meteorites to my collection IF they have been officially classified
but not unless.I cant see how these unknowns will increase much in value
either even when supply dries up from the source.Why should they?Once an
unrecognised meteorite always an unrecognised meteorite (untill its sent for
classification!) and many are already saying that they wont add them to
their meteorite collections as they are.
Its my personal opinion though I think selling these unknowns is bad for
everyone in the long run and muddies the waters especially for unsuspecting
buyers like me who are at the early stages of putting together a respectable
collection of meteorites and completely relying on our suppliers to keep us
I got caught up in the hype of buying quantity not quality and its left me
peeved now I know the full story.Forgive me if all this sounds argumentative
though theres no easy way of saying it and I think it needs airing.I cant
think of any other collecting hobby that has so many "unknowns" "might be"
and "probably" tags attached to the collectible itself and am amazed that
its been allowed to get this far.Arent meteorites in a rare class of exotic
collectible that should warrant better control of such poor selling
practises?Im just a novice but it just doesnt seem right to me as things are
Thanks to eveyone who wrote to me and said that they hope it doesnt put me
off collecting meteorites in the future.It wont put me off and Im still very
keen though Ill be much more carefull in the future and look for an entry in
the meteor bulletin or for proof of sending for classification before
Received on Mon 09 Jul 2001 01:03:31 PM PDT