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Kent10
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Meteorites to Avoid
      #6049025 - 08/27/13 02:59 PM Attachment (20 downloads)

Hi All:

This is my first post on the Space Rocks forum.

The other day my daughter was asking if I would ever buy a meteorite. I was looking on Astromart at that moment and one popped up for a very reasonable price so I bought it. This got me really interested in meteorites so I did a little reading and got excited and bought a few more

I didn't really know if I paid too much for them but I did some comparison shopping so I don't think I paid way too much if I did. But I liked the looks of these even though I either knew nothing or very little about the history. I was buying to get started.

Anyway, I did some more reading and found out how you have to take care of the iron ones and that they might rust. OK, I thought, that would be a shame for them to rust so I thought I could take care of them and at least I live in a dry climate.

Then my latest acquisition was a small Admire Pallasite. I thought my daughter will really like this one.

I have since read that some of these are not very stable. I have read different opinions, however. So I am wondering if anyone has more information on these. Are they unstable or does it depend on something. How long might they last?

I have enclosed some pics of ones that I have bought. I bought mainly on aesthetics rather than knowing much about them. But now I want to learn more! Lots of fun but I hope I don't spend too much What do you think of my starter collection? Are there any others to avoid that might be rusters or not stable? Thanks very much, Kent

Here is the first one that got me started.

Edited by Kent10 (08/27/13 03:11 PM)


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049028 - 08/27/13 03:00 PM Attachment (27 downloads)

Here is the Admire Pallasite

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049030 - 08/27/13 03:01 PM Attachment (22 downloads)

3

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049031 - 08/27/13 03:02 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

4

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049032 - 08/27/13 03:02 PM Attachment (18 downloads)

4 reverse

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049034 - 08/27/13 03:03 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

5

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049043 - 08/27/13 03:05 PM Attachment (14 downloads)

5 reverse

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049045 - 08/27/13 03:05 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

6

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049049 - 08/27/13 03:07 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

7

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049050 - 08/27/13 03:08 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

7 reverse

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049051 - 08/27/13 03:08 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

8

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049054 - 08/27/13 03:09 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

9

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049059 - 08/27/13 03:10 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

10

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049061 - 08/27/13 03:10 PM Attachment (13 downloads)

10 reverse

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lintonius
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Reged: 12/13/05

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049152 - 08/27/13 03:58 PM

Looks like you're off to a good start, Kent! Several nice specimens there... some that I recognize. I bought my first meteorites on Astromart, too... in 2005, I think. Prior to that, I had no idea one purchase their own space rock, to have and to hold. So I bought 3, thinking that would be he end of it. Ha! I have hundreds now, and need to scale back quite a bit!
Get a copy of Richard Norton's Rocks from Space to start learning more about them. And have fun! But be aware... they're addicting!
Linton


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: lintonius]
      #6049158 - 08/27/13 04:03 PM

Thanks Linton. And thanks for the book recommendation. I was thinking a book would be a good idea. I can't believe how sudden all of this was though. Just because my daughter was talking about it. I just received the small one #3. I knew it would be small at .5 grams but wow it really is small. I need a magnifying glass to really appreciate it.

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lintonius
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6049273 - 08/27/13 04:53 PM

Quote:

I knew it would be small at .5 grams but wow it really is small. I need a magnifying glass to really appreciate it.




Yeah, a magnifying glass is a must, even for larger specimens.
But a stereo-microscope will be on your list before long! <g>
Linton


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: lintonius]
      #6049286 - 08/27/13 05:01 PM

Ah a microscope. That reminds me. I do have a very good one that hasn't been used for years. It belonged to my dad who is now retired. I may have to get it out sometime. Under the light that .5 gram "stone" really has some nice features. It glitters. Thanks.

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Glassthrower
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6050908 - 08/28/13 03:31 PM

Hi Kent,

Welcome to Space Rocks. And welcome to a new lifelong obsession. Meteorites are like potato chips..... Just ask my poor wife.

You don't need to "avoid" certain meteorites because of rusting issues - instead, just avoid paying too much for them.

The majority of stability issues (rust, lawrencite, etc) are not caused by some inherent problem with the meteorite itself. Most instability is avoidable and occurs during poor preparation work where corners are cut to save time and money. Properly prepared, there really is no such thing as an "unstable" meteorite.

Nantan, Campo, and Admire are 3 good examples of meteorites with a bum rap as being instable. And yes, there are tons of examples of rusting Nantans on the market that look horrible. But, when properly prepared, it can be just as stable as any other iron meteorite.

Irons are much more problematic than stones and stony-irons tend to be a mixed bag. And oddly, some of the biggest and most well-known dealers on the planet do not properly prepare their specimens. I can't and won't name names here, but don't assume that a specimen you get from any famous dealer is stable - quite the contrary sometimes.

Over time, you'll get a good feel for who the dealers are who do the proper prep work without cutting corners. Word of mouth is a good place to start, as is a search engine.

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a private message - I can be much more candid in private, because I am a vendor and can't say certain things in the open forums.

Best regards and clear skies,

MikeG


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6050988 - 08/28/13 04:20 PM

Thanks Mike. Very informative. I had this picture in my mind of my Admire piece falling apart. I guess that could be quite some time if it ever happens. I hope mine was well-prepared but I may never know unless it starts falling apart.

Thanks again, Kent


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Glassthrower
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6051491 - 08/28/13 08:58 PM

The main source of contamination during prep work is chlorine from tap water. Many cutters use tap water to save time and money. One should only use distilled water to cut meteorites. Why so many people ignore that is beyond me, because distilled water is cheap.

The second main source of instability is insufficient drying after the prep work. Once a meteorite is cut and/or polished, it should be baked in a hot oven for several hours to purge remnant moisture.

Failure to observe those two simple rules results in many unstable pieces and disappointed collectors.

There is little way to tell if a specimen is unstable unless it is already showing signs of rusting. Over time, you will see which specimens are stable because the unstable ones will start to bloom little rust spots or weep a reddish-brown liquid.

Stones are much less problematic. Ideally, your irons and stony-irons should be handled only rarely and wiped clean with an oily cloth after handling. Store or display the specimen in a climate-controlled area in an airtight container that has dessicant inside it to absorb ambient moisture. This will retard any stability issues, but will not fix them.

Best regards,

MikeG


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6051538 - 08/28/13 09:37 PM

Thanks for the advice Mike. I did buy the Rocks from Space book so I will learn more soon. Is the "oily" cloth something special. I couldn't find many references to this specifically and none for sale. Thanks.

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Michael Rapp
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6052891 - 08/29/13 04:12 PM

Mike, would it be a good idea to bake any meteorite one acquires in an oven as a precaution, or it is useless as any damage from remaining moisture would have already been done?

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Glassthrower
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Michael Rapp]
      #6053027 - 08/29/13 05:43 PM

Hi Michael,

Good question. In my experience, it's not really needed if the specimen appears stable and doesn't exhibit any outward signs of rust or lawrencite disease.

Stones are a special case. For the most part, they are very stable for collectors. They will rot if left exposed for prolonged periods in the field, exposed to the elements. But, in the average collector's air-conditioned environs, they hold up very well or indefinitely.

However, a few stones are known to be problematic. I didn't mention them earlier because the original post was about irons, but I should list them now. Also, the main culprit that afflicts stony meteorites is "lawrencite disease".

Ghubara - this one can be a prolific ruster and is prone to lawrencite. Why? Honestly, nobody has studied it and nobody can say for sure. I think it's a combination of long-term exposure to irregular rains on the semi-arid Omani plateau, and improper handling/storage/preparation in subsequent possession of hunters, middle men, and dealers.

Ghubara (and some others) may develop little reddish or brownish spots that look like common rust. In fact, it is a reddish fluid that is the result of a chemical chain reaction in the meteorite itself. It will soon weep more and more. You can wipe it down, clean it with a stiff brush, and bake it in an oven. And it will help the appearance, but the lawrencite disease is still lurking hidden in the matrix of the meteorite. It will continue to "bloom" these little beads of rusty liquid and the specimen will actually start to break down and become more friable. Slices may break or pieces will break off. Brecciated meteorites with this affliction can actually fall apart over time.

The cause of this is the introduction of molecular chlorine into the matrix of the meteorite. This is due to terrestrial contamination in the vast majority of cases. For example, using tap water as a coolant during cutting will introduce chlorine into the meteorite. No matter how well you dry the specimen afterwards, the chlorine will remain - it will react and bond with some of the material in the meteorite. These reactions produce a variety of effects, but the most noticeable is the weeping of reddish fluid.

This can be completely avoided by using distilled water during cutting and polishing. Baking them in the oven afterwards is a good "double-whammy" to prevent stability issues in prepared specimens.

Any dealers reading this who do not use distilled water and baking, please take notice now. The most important step in any prep is the saw coolant and distilled water is essential to avoid contamination of any kind. (lawrencite or otherwise)

Back to the point of the original post, no, you don't need to bake your meteorites. But, if they exhibit signs of problems, then you might want to consider it. If you stick to oven temps of about ~225F to ~240F, and don't bake for more than ~16-20 hours, then you cannot hurt a specimen by doing this.

Be careful baking etched irons - high temps and prolonged baking can damage the appearance of the Widmanstatten pattern and may require the meteorite to be re-etched.

Best regards,

MikeG

PS - that's the short answer.


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Glassthrower
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6053030 - 08/29/13 05:45 PM

Almost forgot, more stony meteorites known to have issues - Saratov and SAU 001. Some NWA desert meteorites also.

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Michael Rapp
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6054457 - 08/30/13 01:23 PM

Thanks Mike, this is a fascinating hobby to be sure.

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lee14
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Reged: 12/19/09

Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6057459 - 09/01/13 11:20 AM

Kent, your pictures are excellent. Mike's information is certainly right on the money. I can't speak to the preparation and stability of chondrites, my experience with them is limited. I do however have a fair amount of experience with irons, having been collecting and sectioning them for 14 years. While it is certainly true that tap water should never come into contact with a specimen, most of the chlorine contamination that produces the ferrous compounds resulting in lawrencite comes from the environment, not necessarily from the cutting process. This is evident where complete specimens are involved, I've seen many a Campo that just ooze that greenish-yellow residue that results in the surface flaking away that have never been contaminated by municipal water. The chlorine was introduced by the terrestrial environment long before the specimens were collected. If one desires to keep such a specimen whole, the entire stone can be treated with appropriate means to remove the chlorine and 'stabilize' the specimen. As Mike stated, an etched specimen should never be treated this way, the etch will almost certainly be affected.

I cut all my irons with rain water, utilizing a cutting additive that does not contain chlorides. Once sectioned, the pieces are treated to a submersion bath that with remove any chlorine from the slices. After the treatment, the slices are rinsed long enough to remove any remaining solution that has penetrated into the surfaces, then dried for a couple of hours at 250 degrees. The surfaces are finished by sanding, and depending on the type of iron, polishing, without the introduction of any moisture. They are then etched with a solution of nitric acid in alcohol (nitol), rinsed thoroughly in alcohol and dried again. There's no point in using anhydrous alcohol for this, it's expensive and will absorb water from the atmosphere anyway. Gun oil (I like G-96 brand) is used to protect the surface from environmental moisture after finishing. Even properly prepared specimens can rust over time, and the oil will prevent this. There's no need to keep the slice heavily coated, just apply liberally and allow to penetrate the surfaces, then wipe off the excess. This application will also deter fingerprints from degrading the etch.

Lee


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: lee14]
      #6058591 - 09/02/13 01:35 AM

Thanks Lee. I appreciate all the information. I have since collected another couple. The iron is my most expensive so far. I am going to have to slow down soon. But I wanted to get started with something and then start reading up and learning more.

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lee14
super member


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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6059040 - 09/02/13 11:12 AM

I'd recommended 'Rocks From Space' and 'The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Meteorites', both by O. Richard Norton if you haven't already read them. Also 'The Robert Haag Collection of Meteorites' has an outstanding selection of photographs, and Bob himself is a great guy to know. Good luck!

Lee


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: lee14]
      #6059058 - 09/02/13 11:27 AM

Thanks for the book recommendations. I ordered both by Norton so far and the Haag looks great. I may have to get that too Thanks again.

Edited by Kent10 (09/02/13 06:48 PM)


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6059816 - 09/02/13 06:49 PM Attachment (12 downloads)

The new iron

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6059820 - 09/02/13 06:50 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

And another

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Glassthrower
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6060265 - 09/02/13 11:37 PM

Taza and NWA 869?

Quick guess.


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Glassthrower
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6060275 - 09/02/13 11:40 PM

Agree with everything Lee said about preparing irons - he has much more experience with irons than I do. I have curated some in my personal collection, sold many of them, and sliced a small handful of them. But I have no experience with polishing, etching them. And my overall preparation experience with irons is minimal. Frankly, I just don't have the patience or skillset to excel at preparing irons - it's like astrophotography in that respect. It's the one of the hardest types meteorites to prepare, but the payoff is really high if you master it. If that makes any sense.

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6060280 - 09/02/13 11:46 PM

Quote:

Taza and NWA 869?

Quick guess.




You got it. Both of them. I really like those markings in the Taza and I like that these are whole slices.


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6060366 - 09/03/13 01:04 AM Attachment (8 downloads)

This one was inexpensive so I got it. It appears to have rust on it but I liked the way it looks. I bet you know this one too . . .

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Glassthrower
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6060380 - 09/03/13 01:24 AM

Nantan?

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6060406 - 09/03/13 02:00 AM

Yep. Nantan.

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6061460 - 09/03/13 06:30 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

I might as well add my latest acquisitions too. I really am almost done for awhile though

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6061461 - 09/03/13 06:31 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

Another

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Glassthrower
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6061758 - 09/03/13 10:02 PM

Ok, that first one is a little tougher. We'll come back to it in a moment.

The second photo is a "shattered crystal" of iron meteorite, probably a Campo. It might also be a Nantan.

That first one looks like a hot-desert CV3 or a CR type. My guess would be something like NWA 801 (CR2) or maybe something recent like NWA 5950 (CV3). There are a lot of new CV3's that are coming out of the NWA dense collection area now, and they all look very similar to your first photo, so it could be any of those.

Nice-looking specimens and a good variety.


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6061787 - 09/03/13 10:16 PM

Thanks Michael. Yes I am picking out the ones that I like the look of and trying to get a good variety and then I need to take a break. I can't believe how quickly I have become "addicted" to these things.

This is the info I have on the first one. You got it!
This NWA 5950 CV3 carbonaceous meteorite weighs 7.3 grams! This meteorite from Northwest Africa has a provisional classification of CV3, W3-4 and was purchased in June 2009 from a dealer in Morocco. NWA 5950 has a low total known weight (TKW) of just over 11 kg.

And the 2nd one is as you suspected.
Campo Del Cielo Meteorite crystal


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6061873 - 09/03/13 11:05 PM Attachment (16 downloads)

Guys/Gals?:

I have to stop looking at meteorites. I think I have the illness and I just bought another one and it wasn't a cheap one. I liked the look of it and it weighs 149 grams. I like those heavy ones. I can't look anymore.


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6061889 - 09/03/13 11:15 PM Attachment (10 downloads)

Another pic. Nice matte black patina

Edited by Kent10 (09/03/13 11:15 PM)


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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6063292 - 09/04/13 07:49 PM Attachment (14 downloads)

I'm back with another Not a meteorite, I know but I liked it. I was looking on ebay and this one had a couple minutes left with no bids so I had to act fast. I liked the shape and texture and it didn't cost much. I think I read there are lots of fakes of these but I think I got one from a reputable dealer. Not sure of course.

Edited by Kent10 (09/04/13 08:44 PM)


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Dave MModerator
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6063586 - 09/04/13 11:46 PM

Great! looking specimens in this thread

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Dave M]
      #6063628 - 09/05/13 12:18 AM

Thanks Dave. I just love this stuff.

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6064206 - 09/05/13 11:08 AM Attachment (9 downloads)

My sickness continues. I am not going to look at any meteorites today. This one is now my most expensive by 2X and my heaviest at 204.9 grams.

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Kent10
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6064208 - 09/05/13 11:09 AM Attachment (9 downloads)

Another pic

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Glassthrower
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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6066074 - 09/06/13 12:44 PM

Ok, I think you finally stumped me on that black specimen.

The second brownish iron is a nice-looking Gebel Kamil. Good score.

And that Moldavite looks stunning and genuine. I wouldn't worry about it being fake. Most of the fake Moldavite is in the form of cut/faceted "gemstones" coming out of China and the Far East.

I'm completely stumped on the black piece. It resembles some form of impact melt. It looks a little familiar, but I can't put a name on it.

Best regards,

MikeG


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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6066089 - 09/06/13 12:56 PM

Yes correct on the Gebel Kamil. I really like the look of that one. I thought the Moldavite was a pretty good deal at $30 for 3.8 grams. Thanks for the reassurance.

The black piece is ... BLACK CAMPO DEL CIELO METEORITE CRYSTAL. I hadn't seen too many like this so I liked it.


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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6066105 - 09/06/13 01:07 PM

BTW, Mike, how did you know so easily it was a Gebel Kamil. What are its distinguishing characteristics? Color?

Thanks, Kent


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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6066476 - 09/06/13 04:17 PM

The leathery "reptile skin" look of the desert patina is very distinctive on Gebel Kamil. This is on the darker, smoother portions, and not the areas covered in caliche or oxidation.

This is going to sound terrible, but it gives a clue as to how my mind works - it reminds me of someone's skin who has spent too much time in a tanning booth.

I've seen a few black Campo crystals, but you are right - you don't seem them very often. Not sure why, because I think they look nifty.

$30 for a moldavite like that is a great price, especially if it doesn't have any chips or damages. If that is the case, the price is awesome.


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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Glassthrower]
      #6066558 - 09/06/13 05:15 PM

Thanks Mike. That is very interesting. I have seen some dark brown Gebel Kamils. But there is that same leathery texture.

I am receiving the moldavite from Czechoslovakia so I won't know for a while if there is damage on it. I hope not. Regardless, I wasn't planning on getting one. I have seen some really nice "hedgehog" larger ones but I noticed this one and for that price thought why not.


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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6067885 - 09/07/13 02:13 PM Attachment (7 downloads)

I couldn't resist the Gibeon.

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6067886 - 09/07/13 02:14 PM Attachment (8 downloads)

Or this one. Nice texture.

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6068109 - 09/07/13 04:28 PM Attachment (8 downloads)

A couple inexpensive ones as filler since another one I am going for is coming from Germany.

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6068111 - 09/07/13 04:28 PM Attachment (7 downloads)

2nd one

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6070092 - 09/08/13 07:07 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

New one coming

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6070094 - 09/08/13 07:09 PM Attachment (6 downloads)

Backside


Edited by Kent10 (09/08/13 08:37 PM)


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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6070600 - 09/09/13 02:07 AM Attachment (9 downloads)

This is one I have been waiting several days to bid on from Germany. I liked it from the 1st I saw it. It went a lot higher than I expected compared to other ones the same size. A lot of people bid on it so I guess I was not the only one who liked it. The others the same size though were not nearly as interesting as this one.

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6070601 - 09/09/13 02:08 AM Attachment (8 downloads)

2nd

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6070602 - 09/09/13 02:08 AM Attachment (6 downloads)

3rd

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6077319 - 09/12/13 03:52 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

I'm almost done Wanted a nicely thumb printed Sikhote-Alin but most are larger and very expensive. This one was expensive for its size but it is smallish at 105.9 g

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6077320 - 09/12/13 03:52 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

A Couple more

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6077323 - 09/12/13 03:53 PM Attachment (4 downloads)

b

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6077325 - 09/12/13 03:54 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

c

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Re: Meteorites to Avoid new [Re: Kent10]
      #6077327 - 09/12/13 03:54 PM Attachment (5 downloads)

d

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