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Value of Meteorites

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#1 Kent10

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 03:51 PM

Hi All:

I have been spending quite a bit on a meteorite collection in the last few weeks. I don't plan on selling, at least any time soon. I enjoy them too much. But I have been wondering what the trend has been in the value of meteorites. I realize certain ones may go up more than others. But overall do they pretty much follow inflation. Which ones do you anticipate may rise in price more than others? Would any lose their value over time? I suppose the rusters might if they fall apart :)

Thanks, Kent

#2 Glassthrower

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:41 PM

Hi Kent,

Generally speaking, an informed meteorite buy will hold it's value well - better than many other collectibles or exotic commodities. The "problem" is, meteorites are still a niche market, so liquidity can be a problem.

Also, insurance companies are notoriously inept with valuating meteorites. They are clueless about insuring them because they are an unregulated and ungraded material. The number of appraisers (of any kind) in the entire USA that can properly valuate a meteorite collection for insurance purposes could be counted on one hand with three or four fingers left over.

If you develop a sizeable and valuable collection, I would suggest storing the high-dollar pieces in a bank safety deposit box or a *secure* safe - such as a floor safe sunk into the concrete slab or steady gun-style safe made for long-arms. You can re-arrange the shelving in them to fit your needs and control the humidity inside.

I can point you in the right direction to a qualified appraiser if you ever need one.

Best regards,

MikeG

#3 Kent10

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 11:11 PM

Thanks very much Mike. I plan on enjoying them for quite some time but have just been thinking, worst case, if I needed to sell any I suppose I could either take them in to a dealer, and probably take a bit of a hit, or sell them on ebay and probably do all right on some of them anyway.

I suppose they are only worth about as much as someone would pay. I think I paid more for some of mine than the going rate because they are aesthetically pleasing but that is one of the reasons I want them.

I have seen several sell them on AM and in fact that is where I bought my first for $20. It looks like many of them don't sell though or at least they aren't marked as sold and the seller often says "selling way below what I paid." If I did sell them on ebay, I am not a dealer so I may not get as much as someone who is a member of IMCA. It doesn't seem too many individuals such as myself sell meteorites on ebay.

Have there been any meteorites that have risen in price a lot year after year. For example this Sikhote-Alin is one of my most expensive pieces. I wonder how much it would be worth in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, 25 years and then possibly for my kids at that point :).

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#4 Glassthrower

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 09:16 AM

A couple of years ago, nice Sikhote individuals like your's above were going for $2/g, and shrapnels were .50/g. Now, those same Sikhotes are going for $3-$4/g and $1-$2/g respectively. This may cause some dealers to dump their Sikhote stash onto the market to cash in, and then the supply will increase and the price will drop again. It's a roller coaster ride. But generally-speaking, it's hard to lose money on a good aesthetic Sikhote iron.

The market is a fickle mistress. ;)

#5 lee14

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 09:50 AM

Mike makes alot of valid points, as usual. If insurance is a concern as your collection grows, I'd negotiate the cost of a 'rider' with your homeowners' to cover the value ahead of time. Mike's mention of a gun safe though brought to mind a rust protective device I'd seen displayed along with such safes in a sporting goods store. It is some kind of 'emitter' designed to keep an enclosed area protected. I'm not sure how it operates, but if it's effective on the steel in guns, it may well be the ticket for irons as well. If your pieces are in a cabinet anyway, a can of dessicant hidden from view is beneficial. Except for my display pieces, I keep my recently cut slices in a cooler with a large can of dessicant. The can is perforated with tiny holes and can be periodically re-dried in the oven at medium heat. (It's also useful if you have a scope in an observatory covered with a plastic bag.) I got mine from 'Hydrosorbent Co.' in Massachusettes.

I'd hate to have to put my pieces into a safety deposit box, I'd want to check on them too frequently. Just as an aside, I know a well known dealer who had a walk-in safe installed in his house. He sells collectible coins as well though, so it's multi-purpose.

I've gotten off topic here a bit. Meteorite prices, like any commodity, are subject to supply and demand. The Sikhote prices Mike quotes are a good example. If you look at their prices another ten or twelve years back, the changes are even more extreme. Back then it wasn't difficult to buy whole Campos at 3 to 4 cents per gram. Even though the supply is still great, it's very difficult to find one for less then a dime per, and twice that is closer to the norm. It's the increased demand that's responsible. Around that time Gibeons could be had for 6 or 8 cents a gram, nowadays anything less than a buck a gram is a good deal. Here's a case of dwindling supply.

Lee

#6 Kent10

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 10:13 AM

Yea, no safety deposit box for me either, at least in the short term. I want to enjoy them. Hold them and look at them. But if after a while I tire of doing that then that might be a good idea. Fortunately I live in a very dry climate.

I paid about $3.30 per gram for that Sikhote. I see ones that don't look as nice for less and ones that are more sculpted with a certain shape that are more.

#7 lee14

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:08 PM

The thing about Sikhotes is, they are all about exterior shape. The nicest exteriors with the best regmaglypts bring the highest prices, naturally, but it's a pretty subjective call. This species is almost never sectioned. Being a coarsest octahedrite, the crystal plates are often larger than a complete smallish specimen and won't show an etch pattern.

Lee

#8 lee14

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:28 PM

This 32 gram individual is my favorite. It was part of a kilogram lot that cost me around 30 cents per gram ten years ago. Admittedly that was a wholesale price, but the value has increased about tenfold.

Lee

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#9 Kent10

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:35 PM

Oooh. Very nice Lee. I just purchased this minute this one which because of its shape was over $4 per gram.

It has a natural patina. Nice shape of a star I thought and different finish. I hope it is not rust :)

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#10 Kent10

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:36 PM

Another view

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#11 lee14

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:58 PM

If it is rust, there's not very much. I think alot of it is probably sand or soil, or caliche, and the dealer had the good sense not to try and remove that great patina. Really nice shape, and I like the stand too!

Lee

#12 Kent10

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 03:01 PM

It is from a reputable dealer so I think he would have mentioned it if it was rust. It must display well. Yes that stand is great. It doesn't come with it I don't think. I think I really like this natural patina the more I see it. Can't wait to see it in person.

#13 lintonius

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 03:11 PM

Nice one, Kent. From Geoff, I presume?
He's always got a lot of nice Sikhote Alin.
Linton

#14 Kent10

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 03:48 PM

Thanks Linton. You got it. From Geoff. Both actually from him. The first on ebay and the 2nd from his site. I had looked at it a while and kept coming back to it.

#15 Shawn Alan

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:19 AM

Kent,

You bring up a good point one meteorites, and over time they have increased in price. I have spoken with people that have been collecting for 20 plus years and they said that historic meteorites, ones with stories, a history in peoples hearts, and meteorites that have a great scientific value tend to go up in price. Some one told me, if you want to invest right, buy the meteorites with historic value, those will never drop in price, unless the museums give it away. Lastly, Mike G made a good point, if the market get flooded with a certain meteorite price will go down, that because of supply and demand. So the question is, you have to sell your meteorite at a good time :)

Shawn Alan
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http://www.ebay.com/...a1633nyc/m.html
http://meteoritefalls.com

#16 msg-meteorites

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 06:03 AM

Or just collect specimens that you like and enjoy :-) Surely the point of collecting meteorites if you are a true enthusiast is that they are fascinating in their own right regardless of their cost or whether they appreciate or depreciate in value in the future :-)

#17 Kent10

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 09:05 AM

I started collecting just a month ago and my first ones I bought because I liked the way they looked. I knew nothing about them. I thought I would only spend a couple hundred. But I liked them so much I started buying more expensive ones (still ones I liked) and also reading up about them. I feel like I know a fair amount already and also from the help of the members on this forum. Now I have spent thousands and I have started to think about what kind of investment this is. But I don't think I would sell any. At least not anytime soon. Perhaps my kids will inherit them and they will want to sell them.

I think this has become a little of an addiction for me and I really need to slow down the purchases soon. I said that a while ago though and I am still buying :o So at least knowing that I have something that wouldn't lose value makes me feel better about it.

#18 msg-meteorites

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:23 PM

That's the way Kent, as this a hobby it pays to get specimens that take your fancy rather than ones which you are told may 'hold their value'. Everyones tastes are different, some collect mainly historic specimens that have a story to go with them, some are type collectors whose aim is to collect one of evry typr and sub type. Some people like visually pleasing specimens. You can collect by geogrpahy of fall location etc. etc. The important thing is to enjoy it and then you will get a lot out of this amazing hobby of ours :-) Read as much as you can too and spend time on the forums and you will soon pick your way through and find what takes your fancy most. As for selling specimens, nothing wrong with thatas your interest grows you may find yourself upgrading to bigger or just different specimens and offset the cost by selling exisiting collection pieces. Keep all labels and provenance cards etc. to make this easier. You appear to be building a nice little collection anyway with some nice specimens :-)

Bottom line is enjoy your time with these rocks from space and be a good temporary custodian for they have been around a lot longer than we have! ;-)

Cheers

Martin

#19 Kent10

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:30 PM

Thanks Martin. I am enjoying this all very much. Speaking of upgrading. I started with this Moldavite which was a cheapish $30 and liked it so much (my daughter does too) I just bought another one.

1st cheap one

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#20 Kent10

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:31 PM

New one. Much more expensive.

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#21 Kent10

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:38 PM

But the little $30 one still has sentimental value and so I wouldn't sell it :)






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