The catalog for the Meteorite auction held by Heritage arrived recently, and it’s a wonder to behold!
Not only does it contain some truly rare and beautiful meteorite specimens, it also is extremely useful as a resource. The first few pages have a great “Introduction to Meteorites” and a really nicely done glossery. While I shared some essential definitions, Heritage has gone and defined terms like “astrobleme” and “cosmic ray exposure age.” I’ll definitely be keeping this catalog for future reference. I think we should see this in more catalogs. So many terms are thrown about when going through a catalog. It’s nice having a reference.
While they have gone a bit overboard with the titles (some of my favorites include lot 49007: the meteorite that discovered Earth” and 49012 “The urgently hoped for cure dispatched by God!”), the write-ups are nicely done. I’ve always believed one of the best ways to learn new information about collectables is to read through the auction catalogs.
Probably the most famous example of an American meteorite is the Canyon Diablo. Found near Winslow, Arizona, these meteorites are highly collected. They can be extremely artful, and indeed, are often purchased by interior designers.
A very cool looking example is lot number 49017, the “Wishbone from The Devil’s Canyon!”
That’s a very striking meteorite! Distinctive! But it’s important to note! This meteorite is only 33 by 32 by 12mm in size! That’s 1.33 by 1.25 by .5 inches! TINY! Estimate? $800-1000.
I’ve learned that when I’m going through a natural history catalog, I MUST have my measuring tape with me. So many of the examples really are small (often called “thumbnail specimens) and you need to understand the size. There’s very rarely context in the photos provided.
Another cool piece is lot number 49027 (Imilac). This large piece (9.5 by 8 x 5 inches) is really striking, with the polished side showing the incredible space gems. The other side . . . completely different. Earthy, not showing a hint of what is inside.
I really like lot number 49034: Valera Meteorite. It looks so small (2 x 2 inch slice) and unassuming.
Who would have ever guessed that this slice is from the only meteorite to cause a fatality? In 1972, farmhands in Trujullo, Mexico awoke to find a large, unusual rock next to a cow’s body. If you want a story to accompany your display, that’s a great one!
For those of you who wish for the moon, here’s your chance. Lot 49049 is the “fourth largest piece of the moon”, and the largest ever offered at auction! The estimate is $340,00-380,00!!! For that, you’ll win two slices, totaling almost 4 pounds.
Less than 0.1% of all meteorites recovered are lunar in origin, with only 150 pounds known to exist! Amazingly enough, no lunar meteorites have ever been found in Europe or America.
Here’s an auction title you don’t see every day, “Herbie Hancock and the Meteorite From Mars!” Owned by musician Herbie Hancock, this small Martian meteorite is being auctioned to support the Thelonius Monk Foundation. It’s small (.66. by .5 x .5 inches), but it how many other meteorites can claim they were “concert-used”? Martian meteorites are rarer than lunar ones.
Finally, what I think is the coolest meteorite in the auction! Lot #49091. It’s not a specimen, it’s a table!
It’s large (for a meteorite), measuring in at 36 by 23 by .5 inches. It’s probably not enough for a desk, but it would be a very impressive piece up on the wall. Plus, it looks great, similar to brain coral or brain agate! It could be yours for the estimate of $110,000-$140,000.
It’s an impressive catalog, showcasing some truly impressive specimens, as well as being highly informative. If you’re interested in meteorites, I suggest getting a catalog. You’ll really learn a lot, and maybe find the one piece you can’t live without – the one that starts your collection!