From: dean bessey <deanbessey_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:44:39 2004
Message-ID: <LAW2-F89tzcbLDiKBsu0000024f_at_hotmail.com>

Steve. I see that in spite of all of your "will never", "would never", "will
never see me sell it" ect that you have very verbally made you have found a
way to sell specks and still keep all of your scruples intact. You have
jumped in a little late though as ebay seems to be filled with speck dealers
now - At least mostly from what I gather seems to be sellers selling
legitimate stuff.
You have however done nothing to improve the verification issue in the long
run. Its still the dealers word of what it is. In fact you may be making the
verification issue more difficult. Contrary to what you say a .2mg specimen
can be verified if the proper work is done. Nasa is quite capable of
verifying a single piece of moon dust as being the real thing or not. Not
something that buyers of specks will typically do but it can be done. If it
is in a sealed cube the seal would have to be destroyed to verify it -
possibly destroying the sample itself.
The stuff that you seal up would surely be real but if your idea caught on
and became popular people would certaintly imitate your idea and more
companies and dealers would do the same thing - not all of which might have
honest intentions.
To illistrate how this works let me explain a common scam that is often done
with selling gemstones as "investments" (Most often diamonds but other
gemstones to). The seller gets someone to invest money in gemstones on an
ongoing basis over a large peroid of time. The gemstones are photographed
with the grades and value included and the stones themselves are in a sealed
container with a recomendation to not open it (Air tight seal protects it,
protects it from damage, theft ect. Whatever excuse works in the given
situation). the first few gemstones are usually as good as the seller says
as the buyers are encouraged to get their own appraisels so that the seller
gets more trust. Slowly, over time, the quality of the gemstones gets lower
and lower as the buyer is not going to get every simgle item that they buy
appraised. After several years the seller goes out of business and
disappears and when the buyer tries to unload he then discoveres that the
stones are not of the same quality as indicated on the sales slip (Although
probably genuine stones - just lower quality than stated and worth only a
small fraction of what was paid for it).
With the speak issue you have done nothing to guarantee the authtenticity
above supplying a dealers reputation. If somebody buys a meteorite speck off
  ebay there is usually a photo with it and a buyer can quite easily save
that photo on his computer and use it should he want to resell it - therby
acheiving what you are proposing anyway. Its still nothing more than the
dealers reputation that a buyer is depending on. Since most buyers of specks
just want an item for their own collection they are not to worried about the
resell value or the investment potential anyway.
So your conceived strategy of selling them once again boils down to nothing
more than "my meteorites are better than your meteorites" so "you should buy
from me and not the other guys". A legitimate sales strategy in some
On another note somebody said that the apollo material "should not be
available". Somebody please correct me if I am slightly wrong here but I
understand that it is in fact available. In the early 1970s NASA gave out a
packet to various heads of state with a bunch of promotional BS and with it
contained 3 gram vials of apollo fragments. At least 3 of these have been
broken up and ocassionally somebody tries to sell small bits (Specks) of the
stuff. I am not a lawyer so somebody plaese correct me if I am wrong here
but I understand it is perfectly legal to own this material. What is illegal
is to carry or transport it accross the borders of the US and its
possessions. So you could own it but if you were caught with it in the
United states you would have a hard time explaining how you got it into the
US without crossing the US boarder.
A con artist neads a viable story to sell something (Like the guy 80 years
ago who sold a bunch of copies of the Mona Lisa painting. The guy who stole
the painting put the painting in hiding and then made fakes of it and sold
the fakes to buyers who knew full well that the painting had recently been

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Received on Wed 14 Mar 2001 10:39:22 PM PST

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