[meteorite-list] NPA 01-17-1996 Big Bucks paid for meteorites, Steve Arnold (IMB)
From: MARK BOSTICK <thebigcollector_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed Oct 27 10:31:09 2004
Paper: The Valley Independent
City: Monessen, Pennsylvania
Date: Wednesday, January 17, 1996
Page: 8A (Valley Life Section)
"Pennies from Heaven"
Big bucks paid for meteorites
By DOUG BAKER
Thomson News Service
MARION, Ohio - If you have a big, shiny rock in the back yard or on
your farm, it may be worth thousands of dollars.
Steve Arnold, director of the American Meteorite Institute, is in
search of meteorites.
Arnold's Oklahoma-based organization will pay landowners about $50 per
pound, up to 100 pounds, for meteorites on their property. The type of
meteorite also impacts the price per pound.
The price per pound for rocks over 100 pounds goes down, but if the
rock is big enough it could net its owner up to $10,000.
Thousands of meteorites are plowed up each year but few are recognized.
Arnold is especially encouraging farmers to be on the lookout for rocks
with these characteristics:
*smooth exterior, like lava;
*black, brown or rusty to color;
*magnets will usually attract to them,
*surface may have indentations resembling thumb prints;
*filing a corner of the rock with an emery board will reveal small
Of these indicators, weight is one of the most telling. A rock the
size of a cantaloupe weighs 10 pounds, but a meteor of the same size would
weigh 25 pounds.
Arnold will be in Ohio next week to speak with people who believe they
have found meteorites.
"With a little luck something new might turn up," Arnold said. "In Hale
County, Texas, there have been 15 different meteorites found."
A farmer who had a watermelon-sized rock in his garden for 15 years
discovered it was actually a 100-pound meteorite worth $5,000.
"Meteorites are valuable to scientists since they contain materials
that have remained basically unchanged since the formation of the universe,"
Arnold said. "Since each meteorite is unique, the possibilities for valuable
new information exist with each newly discovered meteorite. That is why it
is important to get the rocks identified and made available to researchers."
Arnold said there have been seven meteorites found in Ohio ranging from
two pounds to more than 100. In Kansas, more than 130 meteorites have been
"You guys (Ohioans) should have 70 meteorites,: Arnold said. "There's a
heck of a lot of them ot there that haven't been found." Some studies
suggest there should be an average of one meteorite for every 5.5 acres,
If a meteorite is located, Arnold will then contact the neighbors
living in a four- or five-mile radius of the property where it was found.
"(You're) typically looking at about a 50-50 chance that when one comes
in it will break up into pieces." Arnold said. Most meteor showers which
have taken place during the past 150 years are logging in one scientific
journal or another.
Those who think they may have a meteorite in their possession should
chip off a walnut-sized piece of the rock and send it to Arnold at: American
Meteorite Institute. 8177 S. Harvard 610, Tulsa, Okla., 74137.
Arnold urges those who suspect, a meteor to go ahead and send the rock,
even though it might be a "meteorwrong."
"My attitude is if 50 people send me 'meteorwrongs' and one turns out
to be a 'right', then that is better than getting none of them," Arnold
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Received on Wed 27 Oct 2004 10:30:42 AM PDT