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Newbie needs "Meteorite" identification and authentification

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#1 steelguy49

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 07:56 PM

I am hoping some of you might help offer some advice on what I believe to be a meteorite.  My elderly and not well brother-in-law bought this at the Tuscon Meteorite, Mineral and Gem show from a seller from Latin America back in 2000.  He says he has paperwork somewhere, but I am not holding out a lot of hope he can find it.  The seller told him that the "meteorite" came Patagonia.   It weighs 74 pounds and measures 16"x12" and varies from 3-1/2" to 4-1/2".  From the photos I have looked at online, I think it most resemble an iron meteorite.  I have attached some photos.  One blowup shows a 1/8" diameter hole and a second shows a dime-size area that is shiny silver almost like it was polished.

 

So, my questions is what is my next step?  I have read online that a small 1-2 gram slice should be sent to a lab for analysis and authentication.  I hesitate to do that and not do it correctly and possibly compromise the value.  Thanks in advance!

 

IMG_0076.jpg IMG_0080.jpg IMG_0028.jpg

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#2 Rocket Ron

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:11 PM

I would guess the Campo Del Cielo meteorite. It definitely looks like an iron meteorite with nice regmaglypts.


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#3 Astroman007

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 09:48 PM

Agreed, it certainly looks like a meteorite.

 

In light of its large size, how much did he pay for it?



#4 lee14

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 10:10 PM

Definitely an iron meteorite, the weight correlates with the size, and the appearance is correct. Campo del Cielo would be a pretty good guess as Ron wrote above. These are recovered in Argentina, but Patagonia is also a source of iron meteorites. Cutting a small slice off would not significantly affect the value, but it is no trivial task. Specimens of this size are typically cut with a horizontal bandsaw. The most straightforward and non-destructive test would be to use an XRF scanner, this would show the relative amounts of iron, nickel, and trace elements. I would try a search of your location for a lab or university that would do the test for you. It may not be able to reach a definitive conclusion as to which fall it came from, but it will certainly be able to confirm it's the genuine article.

Lee


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#5 peter scherff

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 02:52 PM

Hi Steel,

 

Your meteorite is vaguely familiar. A nice meteorite with a natural hole tends to stick in peoples minds. If you post your photo to one of the more popular social media pages in a week or so (after the current Tucson shows) I think someone will tell  be able to tell you the name of the original seller.

 

Thanks,

 

Peter



#6 steelguy49

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:04 PM

Thank you all for the comments and suggestions, I am really starting at square one and have little idea of how to approach all of this.  The eventual intent is to sell the meteorite and I appreciate the need to have it properly authenticated.  Peter, your comment about it looking "vaguely familiar" makes me wonder if it was not already officially authenticated and properly named.  I guess some more searching for the purchase paperwork might be critical and possibly answer a lot of questions.  Thanks again!


Edited by steelguy49, 12 February 2019 - 08:04 PM.


#7 steelguy49

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 07:55 PM

Just an update on my latest efforts to learn more about the sample.  My brother-in-law has not been able to find any paperwork he believes he received with the purchase 19 years ago, so dead end there.  In the meantime, I did contact The Museum of Natural History in New York City and they suggested that I contact a professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey.  Rutgers is a 1 hour drive, so I plan to take the specimen down their within the next 3 weeks for their analysis and hopefully authenticate it as a meteorite.  Does anyone know from similar experience if a university typically charges for that service?  If so, how much might I expect to have to pay?  The journey continues!




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