[meteorite-list] Total Number of Meteorites?

From: Alexander Seidel <gsac_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed Dec 7 18:16:28 2005
Message-ID: <31710.1133997382_at_www83.gmx.net>

> We'll find it perhaps out in discussing Zelimir's pos?
> Martin

Surely not all subscribers of the former "Meteorite" magazine
are/were collectors, but may be quite a solid majority.

Definitely not all subscribers of "MAPS" are collectors, these
are very probably only a clear minority, small by percentage.

I suspect a big majority of subscribers of this list are
collectors, including some dealers resident here (...yes,
of course, there goes the saying that many collectors are
also being dealers and vice versa, whoever may like that
or not...:-)).

I also suspect most buyers of Kevin Kichinka?s recent book,
and the more popular books e.g. from the Nortons are collectors,
while the more technical literature (Wasson et al) is devoted
more to students and scientists of the field (...who may also
be collectors - privately or institutional)

Many of Zelimir?s guests at the annual Ensisheim show certainly
are collectors, but surely by far not all of them. The same
holds for all the other meteorite (and mineral) shows.

MetBase ((c) Joern Koblitz) holds a section of private collectors
and institutions collecting meteorites, but does not nor could
it ever claim a certain degree of completeness.

....and so on...

It is very difficult, or should I better say, impossible, to arrive
at a somehow realiable figure regarding the number of collectors
worldwide, as first of all one should have to define who may be
called a collector and who not - and even at this crucial point
all the trouble begins. With a somewhat spongy definition of the
term "collector", addition of very uncertain estimates from different
sources (see above), which by themselves are not independent from
each other and intermingle, would result in a very rough, very
biased figure of estimated collectors worldwide, and this is

You won?t even get a clear figure for the high rollers in meteorite
collecting, since I suspect, as people?s nature is, that some of them
are shy and prefer to hide in the dark of anonymity, while others
are quite the opposite and blow their horn at every opportunity..!
Though I believe, if you restrict your question to the real big ones,
you will get a much more reliable figure than talking of "the collector"
in general.

I think another question would be much more worth thinking about and
striving for an answer. While meteorites are falling worldwide,
disrespecting our national boundaries, there seem to be quite different
degrees of personal interests in "the field of meteoritics", if you
compare the countries by each other. This certainly has to do with
the cultural history and heritage of each country in question, but is
it all about this? The great French nation, for example, has a big
"affinity" to everything related with meteoritics, reflecting itself
in quite a number of dealers and, oh well, collectors. I won?t talk
about my country (Germany), which my dealer (and collector) friend
Martin has done from a little polarized perspective, in my view. What
about the United States, surely influenced by the great work of
Nininger and others in this respect, what about other countries and
their approaches to meteoritics..??

Any input?

Best wishes,

Received on Wed 07 Dec 2005 06:16:22 PM PST

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