Archive for Meteorite Terminology

What are Meteorites Worth?

By · April 7, 2010 · Filed in Meteorite Terminology, Meteorites, Value of Meteorites · Comments Off on What are Meteorites Worth?

When looking to begin collecting meteorites, many people want to know the approximate value or worth of differing types of meteorites before they purchase or sell their finds. Meteorites have differing values, dependent upon several factors.

Most meteorites are sold by weight, using the metric gram. The average cost to buy one is approximately $1 per gram. It is common to see meteorites priced between $.50 and $2 per gram; however, some have been known to sell for more than that. Rare finds that originated on the moon or Mars may sell for up to $1,000 per gram, depending on some factors.

There are three main types of meteorite classifications. The first, stone meteorites are the most common of all, making up approximately eighty percent of all falls or finds. Stony iron and Iron meteorites are less common, with stony iron making up about 1.5 percent and iron meteorites making up approximately five percent of all falls or finds. The rarity of the meteorite also affects its pricing. Common meteorites cost and sell for less; rare meteorites cost and sell for more.

In addition to the weight, classification, and rarity of the meteorite, there are some important factors that are considered in pricing a meteorite. They include: its place of origin, whether it is well-preserved or not, and how aesthetically pleasing it is to look at, the quantity of the type already available on the market, the meteorite’s historical value, if it is of high interest in the scientific community, and how much money the seller needs to make to cover his or her costs associated with hunting, finding, classifying, and selling of the meteorite. Additionally, its pricing can be affected by the presence of fusion crust and regmaglypts (small “thumbprint”-like indentations, scoops, or ridges on the meteorite). If the fusion crust in present and intact, the meteorite is more valuable. In regards to the regmaglypts, the deeper the “thumbprints,” the greater the value.

To learn more about the value and pricing of meteorites, you can visit these places online:

Here’s to the Perfect Hunt!

Meteorite Terminology

By · March 5, 2010 · Filed in Meteorite Terminology · Comments Off on Meteorite Terminology

Ok, now that we know what a meteorite is and what it is basically made of lets get some terminology down. So here are some terms and definitions that you will need to know.


  • Meteoroid – a space rock that has the potential to cross Earths path.
  • Meteor – a meteoroid as it passes through the Earths atmosphere.”Shooting Star”
  • Meteorite – a meteor that does not burn up in the atmosphere and falls to the Earth.
  • Meteorwrong – a terrestrial rock or man made junk that you mistake for a meteorite.
  •  Fusion Crust –  thin glassy coating on the outside of a meteorite caused by the atmosphere melting it.
  • Desert Varnish – a dark coating on exposed rocks due to the sun and elements over a long period of time.(sometimes mistaken for fusion crust)
  • Ablation – the process of  the outside meterial of a meteorite melting away as it travels through the Earths atmosphere.
  • Oriented Stone – a meteorite that did not tumble as it traveled through the atmosphere.
  • Regmaglypts or Thumb Print – are thumbprint like impressions on the outside of a meteorite caused by ablation
  • Hammer Stone – a meteorite that hits a man made object. Very rare.
  • Pallasites – are a type of stony-iron meteorite with beautiful olivine crystals.
  • Olivine Crystals – found in some stony-iron meteorites is usually named for its typically olive-green color.
  • Peridot – cut gem quality olivine crystals.
  • Terrestrial Rock – a rock that did not come from outer space and was formed here on earth.
  • Hemanite and Magnetite– magnetic terrestrial rocks commonly mistaken for meteorites.(meteorwrongs)
  • Strewnfield – when a large meteoroid enters the atmosphere it often fragments into many pieces before touching the ground due to thermal shock. This mid-air explosion causes the dispersion of the material over a large oval-shaped area.
  • Bolide – a very large meteor which is sometimes accompanied by loud sonic booms.
  • Fall – a meteorite which was witnessed to fall to Earth’s surface.
  • Find – a meteorite which has been found and has no record of being witnessed to fall to Earth’s surface.
  • Matrix – the embedding medium between chondrules, metallic iron grains etc.

Here’s to the perfect hunt!