Pallasites are stony-iron meteorites packed with olivine (the gemstone peridot) and are particularly desirable when cut and polished because of the alluring color and translucency of the crystals they contain. Meteorites in Riker mounts: Collectors often display slices and small, valuable individual meteorites in glass topped boxes known as Riker mounts. A sub-gram fragment of a shergottite from the planet Mars may look uncomfortably similar to a blob of cement, so it is critical to know that you are purchasing from a reputable source. A specimen with a label or number from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, or the Natural History Museum, London, for example, increases dramatically in monetary value as its terrestrial history travels with the specimen in the form of official documentation. Many high value specimens are sold in extremely small part slices, particularly lunar and Martian meteorites. Photograph by Leigh Anne DelRay, copyright Aerolite Meteorites. How to Find Treasure From Space: The Expert Guide to Meteorite Hunting and Identification is a 6" x 9" paperback with 142 pages of information and photos. Half slice of a pallasite meteorite: A 67.9-gram half slice of the Imilac pallasite from Chile's Atacama Desert. It is important to note that new and noteworthy meteorite finds should always be made available to the scientific community for study. A prime specimen will easily fetch $50/gram while rare examples of lunar and Martian meteorites may sell for $1,000/gram or more — almost forty times the current price of gold! There are several good books that will help you learn about meteorites and meteorite collecting and I particularly recommend The Field Guide to Meteors and Meteorites by O. Richard Norton and Lawrence A. Chitwood, and The Art of Collecting Meteorites by Kevin Kichinka. He was born in New York City, raised in London, England, and now makes his home in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. Meteorites are typically sold by weight. Photograph by Leigh Anne DelRay, copyright Aerolite Meteorites. Explore the field, see what is available, talk to dealers and collectors, and do your research. Pallasites are believed to have formed at the core/mantle boundary of large asteroids and are among the most sought after of meteorite collectibles. They drop at random with the smaller star fragments. The Russian iron Sikhote-Alin (fell February 12, 1947) is the largest single meteorite event in modern recorded history and individuals — meteorite specimens which landed as one intact piece, rather than exploding on or near the ground — are coveted by collectors because of their marvelous sculptural qualities and surface features.
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