NWA meteorites drying up?
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Thread: NWA meteorites drying up?

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  1. #1

    Feb 2020
    2
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    NWA meteorites drying up?

    I was reading about NWA meteorites on a dealer's website - undated ("Galactic Stone and Ironworks") that gave the impression that the so-called "Saharan gold rush" of meteorites coming out of the NW African desert was "from the mid 1990's to the first few years of the 21st century. It was a period that spanned about 10 years and is now widely considered to be concluded".

    Yet following some of the stories here about ever-more NWA meteorite finds and higher and higher numbers, I wondered what the situation really is. Was this comment made just to make clients "buy while you still can" or has there been a drop in amounts of material coming out of the region? What do members think?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    gb
    Dec 2019
    Surrey
    517
    1367 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    My friend who runs a meteorite business tells me that it's becoming increasingly difficult to make bulk purchases of decent-looking and sizeable generic NWA meteorites and also common types from the larger strewn-fields, such as NWA869 and its pairings. There's still a lot out there and some new large strewn-fields have been discovered but yes, in general, material is becoming more scarce in the sense that the areas where, at one time, virtually every rock you could see sitting in the sand was likely a meteorite have been stripped.

    It's not the case that other (and rarer) meteorite types from the Saharan region are dwindling though. If anything, the supply of those is increasing. That's largely the result of the guys who search the desert for these things and the agents selling them having improved their knowledge and focussed their attention on individual finds of rarer types… but in smaller quantities by weight.

    Some of those guys know more about meteorite typology than you might expect and have cottoned on to the fact that paying for an initial typology report can be good business sense in terms of getting a better price. A lot of the material which previously got sold as generic NWA by the boxful or given a provisional NWA number but without classification is now being sold with more specific typology. There may be less of it, but it’s ‘better’ material.

    If you look at the ‘metsoc’ database (we’re now up to NWA13232) you will see a pattern emerging. In recent years the proportion of those with a provisional NWA number but which are untyped has dropped, and the proportion with an official NWA number and which have been typed has risen. If you were looking for a ureilite, diogenite, eucrite, something lunar or martian, or whatever then those are now more abundant in number on the market and with a much wider choice (but of course still less abundant in terms of absolute physical weight than generic material).
    Tuberale and PetesPockets55 like this.

  3. #3

    Feb 2020
    2
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks for that. I was interested in the apparent conflict between this guy saying the stream had all but dried up in the early years of this century after ten years, and that I could still see lots of them on sale... so the supply is not exhausted yet?
    Tuberale likes this.

  4. #4
    us
    Jan 2012
    Rhode Island
    2,679
    3577 times
    Relic Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Barford View Post
    Thanks for that. I was interested in the apparent conflict between this guy saying the stream had all but dried up in the early years of this century after ten years, and that I could still see lots of them on sale... so the supply is not exhausted yet?
    No, not yet. That region has been a major source of at least three types of collectables. In addition to meteorites, it has been a source of many fossils, esp. noteworthy for fossil trilobites and dinosaurs, and for Neolithic age artifacts, esp. projectile points.

  5. #5
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
    5,418
    2810 times
    Welcome, Paul. I see you haven't posted much yet, and we certainly welcome to the meteorite forum.]

    I believe I was one of the first (if not the first) to suggest that meteorites were a form of treasure. I currently am looking for a 22' meteorite here in Oregon, and several others in Washington.

 

 

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