Most likely a meteorite?
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  1. #1

    Jun 2018
    11
    13 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Most likely a meteorite?

    I recently had an interest on researching and looking at meteorites, ive tried metal detecting for them but just found slag and whatnot. I bought this meteorite off ebay and would like to know if it seems legit and if so what type. It seems real to me but ill let the experts talk. It weighs 138.9 grams.
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  2. #2
    gb
    Dec 2019
    Surrey
    524
    1386 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hi

    It's not possible to say "most likely a meteorite" from two pictures that only show the exterior and with no indication of physical properties.

    What can be said from your specimen is this:

    - the patina and colouration is typical of Saharan or other desert meteorite finds in the stony 'Ordinary Chondrite' class
    - the cracks are a good sign and have the typical appearance expected from a shocked stony meteorite (not an iron meteorite)
    - the general shape is not inconsistent with an oriented individual stony meteorite
    - there are numerous small spherical protrusions which might well be chondrules

    If your eBay vendor said this was a NWA chondrite of Saharan origin, there is nothing about your purchase which is inconsistent with that... but that's not the same as saying "it's most likely a meteorite". The most common/abundant Saharan find is NWA869, together with several other meteorites that are 'paired' with this fall and numerous others that are also probably from the same fall but usually sold as "unclassified NWA chondrites". NW869 and its pairings are usually low metal chondrites in the L3-L6 groups but nevertheless have enough metallic iron to be significantly magnetic. Here's a few NWA869 specimens from my collection for comparison at a superficial level:

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    It's not a great idea for inexperienced collectors to buy claimed meteorites on eBay, and particularly not if the vendor provides no additional information beyond saying it's a meteorite. There are plenty of reputable sellers with genuine offerings, but they are outnumbered by dishonest or mistaken ones with false or dubious offerings. Most of the dubious vendors are from China and they mostly sell claimed iron meteorites (rather than stony ones) which are terrestrial rocks or man-made material. There's a list of vendors that are not respected by the meteorite community at the link below:

    meteorite identification
    Molewacker, Clay Diggins and Charl like this.

  3. #3

    Jun 2018
    11
    13 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thankyou for your reply and you are correct it is from the Sahara desert as he points out in the description
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  4. #4
    gb
    Dec 2019
    Surrey
    524
    1386 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by kingpotatoman View Post
    Thankyou for your reply and you are correct it is from the Sahara desert as he points out in the description
    As I said, a meteorite cannot be positively identified from two pictures, but I see nothing suspicious that is inconsistent with his description. He's not making any claims beyond it being an unclassified NWA (NorthWest Africa). He's also not making claims for a specific location beyond coming from a Moroccan dealer. That's normal for unclassified NWAs because that's where Saharan meteorites usually end up... in the hands of a Moroccan dealer who is acting as an agent for the Bedouin people who find them in the desert and derive a useful income from them. The larger strewnfields are mostly just across the border in Algeria, but specimens found there are still generally brought to Morocco for sale.
    AARC and Clay Diggins like this.

  5. #5
    us
    Jan 2012
    Rhode Island
    2,679
    3577 times
    Relic Hunting
    As a long time collector myself, I can only concur with everything Red-Coat related, regarding both the pictured specimen, and the nature of things on eBay. You may see offerings by vendors belonging to the International Meteorite Collectors Association, the IMCA, an organization of collectors/dealers who profess to ethical practices and guarantees regarding their offerings. To the best of my knowledge, since I curate, but do not actively purchase these days, this long time organization would be a safer source then other options. For a beginner. Until one is experienced enough to understand the terrain.

  6. #6

    Feb 2006
    1,469
    1541 times
    My experience with meteorites is limited, but my experience with meteorwrongs is somewhat extensive, having cut and polished hundreds, if not a few thousand, rocks for people who believed they had found iron or stony iron meteorites. I look for characteristics that the labs at Portland State and UNLV have provided through their websites and personal visits.

    Nothing in your images screams “NO”. That said, if you want it certified as a meteorite, there are several labs that can do that for you. All charge a fee.

    Personally, I regard eBay as the land of frauds and shysters. I hope your purchase is genuine.

    Time for more coffee.

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Tommy

    Dec 2015
    Ann Arbor
    Equinox 800
    29,483
    37918 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (2)
    Hopoe it is Thanks for sharing it Im still looking for one.

    Approved TreasureNet Stickers

    .:: $2.00 for 11" X 3" Bumper Sticker ::. I have 185 left PM me if you would like to buy any Tommy

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