How to Identify a Meteorite
(So what do I do if I think I have a meteorite?)

Once you have gone through all of these steps and you still think you have a meteorite, email me and I will help you decide if you actually have one. Here is what I will ask:

My goal is to be the most polite and helpful person that you can go to for help. But be aware that while it is not too difficult to be the best, it is sometimes quite difficult to be polite. People in the meteorite business receive large numbers of requests. Some requests are good but many are frivolous or ignorant--and some are fraudulent. Many dealers and researchers tire of this and are not very receptive to questions. I try not to be that way.

So, if I look at your information and photo and I think you might have a meteorite, I will ask the following of you:

If you are unwilling to send a piece to me, I may be able to suggest the name of a person or institution in your area where you can have it examined. (In this case, I cannot guarantee the expertise of the person examining. In more than one instance meteorites have been misidentified as earth rocks by well-meaning people who were not all that familiar with these rocks.) I will say that in my experience, the more a rock is protected--e.g., kept in a safe deposit box, won't let it out of my sight, won't let on what part of the country it was found in because of fear of theft, etc., etc.--the less likely that rock is to be a meteorite.

Once I have a sample of your rock, I will take these steps:

I will do the above at no cost to you. Once your meteorite has been accepted, you may want to sell it. I may be a buyer or make you an offer. If you want to keep it or sell it to someone else, that is fine too. I will not buy a meteorite that has not been classified unless I believe that it is a unique meteorite and will be accepted by the Meteoritical Society.


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