Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Blaine Reed Meteorites- List #77 29SEP09

Blaine Reed
P.O. Box 1141
Delta, CO 81416
Ph/fax: (970) 874-1487
…………………………………………….LIST 77
September 29, 2009

Dear Collectors,
Here is an odd-timed offering. It should have gone out on the 15th but I was just opening up for the Denver Show. Last Tuesday I was still traveling home, so this is the earliest I could send something out.
The show was a bit slow on attendance, but not nearly as bad as might be expected (and actually, not as bad as last year). Those that did show up were serious about buying, so I did quite a bit better than last year (where I barely covered the show expenses). I guess being the only guy with a substantial amount and variety of collector's specimens really helped keep my place the place to hang out (I am sure the cooler full of beer had nothing to do with it though).
The only sour note that I hate bring up is the ever increasing theft issue and what it may mean for consignments in the future (and many of you have consigned items at one point or another over the years). I have been loosing more and more to theft every year lately. I have lost more in the past few years than all the previous 20 plus years combined (I will have officially been in business 25 years in October). I talked with a police officer and he commented that it is pretty much the case in all fields right now (so I shouldn't feel singled out). Interestingly, he commented that he thought that it is not really due to our difficult economy as much as it is the development of sites like E-Bay ("the biggest and best fencing operation ever conceived of and created by man" in his words). These sites make it very easy for a thief to dispose of stolen goods and too the end buyers in the field at a higher price no less. In earlier years the thief would be stuck trying to sell the goods back to other dealers at the same shows (hoping word had not spread to them about the missing items) or sell them very cheap to people not really related to the field who couldn't pass up a bargain. This is a BIG problem though and has me having to consider very serious, unwelcome changes to my show style.
Many have told me that I need to lock everything behind glass and only open cases for serious customers that are willing to wait for me to do it for them (and that can be quite delayed when things get busy). I personally don't like this option (though it may very well become a necessity soon the way things are progressing) . I, as a customer and "educator" like being able to handle things and look them over carefully (and letting people just learning about meteorites do the same) with out having to have a person hovering over me waiting for me to finish so they can lock up the case and move on to the next potential customer (this is why I pretty much avoid the locked case sections in antique malls when I am out hunting for "treasures" - too much time too much trouble, only to find that the price (usually the item is sitting on its tag) is too high). A fairly large number of my sales are to people that got interested by handling something from out of this world and were easily able to hand it too me and find that YES, they could actually afford it (things stuck behind glass tend to tell customers "if you have to ask, then you cannot afford it", so they usually do not ask). I do try to generally put small expensive items behind glass. I keep a careful eye on just who is opening up any of my cases (and will quickly appear next to them if they are anyone I do not recognize). This show showed me that this is not fool proof either. Matt Morgan's beautiful 86.4 gram Millbillillie end piece (I can send a picture too those that need one) not only managed to disappear under such conditions, but managed to do it on a slow day (no crowd confusion)from a case that is nearly impossible to open (so a quick casual slick open and close was NOT possible).
I am not sure what the answer security wise is in this case (a number of cameras recording everything - an easy task for Blake to set up, is one possible but expensive starting point). BUT, I probably need to change (and maybe eliminate?) my consignment policies for shows for the time being. I have been noted as being "easy" (to the point of winning a Harvey for "the dealer most willing to") and actually prefer to be that way (within reason and with a few restrictions) . But this quick loss just cost me around 20% of my profits from this show. This is serious business. If something of mine turns up missing (and plenty has the past couple years) that is very painful but at least it was ALREADY PAID FOR. A consigned item disappears and I have to pay for it out of show profits (and I try to not mark these up much so I don't make much on them even if they do sell). Right now I am considering simply shutting down accepting consignments for shows completely (no problems for mail-order sales) for a while. But then consignments allow me to have a really filled room with a really large assortment of things I would never be able to offer otherwise. Yet, the risks and cost have become so high, this seems my best option at this point.
I am considering (on Linda's advice) of having show consignors sign some kind of agreement that I am not responsible for stolen items (obvious negligence excluded of coarse). She tells me that all of the consignments she has done to clothing and construction materials shops has exactly such a clause in them (basically saying that they will do their best to protect the items but they are not responsible for loss or damage). This would mean that consignors could pull their material (or not submit it) if they did not like how I was handling it or planned to display it. One person has already commented that they certainly would NOT accept such a contract under any circumstances. Others have suggested a split of the lost value (I pay half of what I was going to have to pay if the item sold, the consignor looses half). I am hoping some of you out there will contact me and give me some of your thoughts on this (the reason I am bringing up this ugly issue in such a public way). Any and all comments are welcome and are helpful (no wrong answers here), I am truly confused, angered and disheartened by all of this right now and am hoping to find a workable solution for all of us.

Any way, on to some neat little specimens!

BELLE PLAINE, Kansas: (L6). Found 1950. Tkw = 96.4kg.
23.3 grams slice - 55mm x 38mm x 4mm - $60

GOBABEB, Namibia: (H4). Found 1969. Tkw = 27kg.
1.98 gram slice - 15mm x 13mm x 7mm - $20

HaH (222), Libya: (L6). Found 1997. Tkw = 3393 grams.
1.9grams slice - 16mm x 10mm x 4mm - $10 - 50% crusted edge.

HOLBROOK, Arizona: (L6). Fell July 19, 1912.
1.6 gram complete individual - 11mm x 10mm x 7mm - $30

OCHANSK, Russia: (H4). Fell August 30, 1887. Tkw = 500+kg.
.4 grams fragment - 10mm x 6mm x 4mm - $15

SONGYUAN, China: (L6). Fell August 15, 1993. Tkw = about 40kg.
19.6 gram slice - 48mm x 24mm x 5mm - $175 one crusted edge.

TOLAR, New Mexico: (H4). Found 1972, recognized 2002. Tkw = 5350 grams.
9.8 gram slice - 30mm x 30mm x 6mm - $30
15.3 gram slice - 60mm x 20m x 6mm - $45

WAGON MOUND, New Mexico: (L6). Found 1932. Tkw = 87.5kg.
2.0 gram "slice" - 14mm x 5mm x 10mm - $5

WICKENBURG, Arizona: (L6). Found 1940. Tkw = 9.2kg.
21.7 gram slice - 30mm x 29mm x 8mm - $80

IMILAC, Chile: (pallasite). Found 1822.
1.3 gram fragment - 12mm x 8mm x 5mm - $15

ESQUEL, Argentina: (Pallasite).
8.6 grams thin slice - 30mm x 20mm x 2mm - $215 - really clear crystals!

LIBYAN DESERT GLASS: Ancient stone tool
I got this from a professional archeologist that knows what he is doing (it comes with a signed card). It is a nice Neolithic Blade that was made from a really nice and clear piece of Libyan Glass.
2.0 grams - 33mm x 15mm x 3mm - $100

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Blaine Reed Meteorites List #76

Blaine Reed
P.O. Box 1141
Delta, CO 81416
Ph/fax (970) 874-1487
…………………………………………………LIST 76
September 1, 2009

Dear Collectors,

Here is my first offering in a bit over two months. Things have been very busy this summer, both personally and business wise. I am just now beginning to think about the too soon to be here Denver Show (notes on that below). Many of the items listed today are special things that I have had set aside for quite a long time for my collection. The simple reason for this decision to offer them is that I just replaced my old, and until recently reliable, Toyota with a newer used car. Selling a few things here (or anywhere) will make the modest note I am carrying on that newer car go away. Maybe not the smartest decision from a longer term financial view (despite the "economic crisis" meteorites seem to be doing just fine and are, if anything, going up in value once again) but it will help me rest easier.

About the Denver Show:
I will be at my usual spot - Room 224 of the Holiday Inn at the intersection of I-25 and I-70. I will be open from late morning Tuesday September 15th through late afternoon Sunday September 20th (but will be gone from home roughly September 11th through September 22nd to allow some time to visit with a couple relatives fighting very serious illnesses a bit before and after the show). I know there is word spreading that many people will be showing up and selling by Saturday the 12th. It was against the show rules to be open before Tuesday noon before. No longer. Now many dealers are trying to endlessly stretch this show out (thinking that "the early bird gets the worm" - fine if you want worms I suppose) by arriving and opening a couple days earlier than anyone else. Soon this will get stretched out into another two week plus Tucson like event. I am sorry to say that I have no intention of playing this game. I have arrived a day or two early a couple times in the past. I never gained any extra sales from it. Most (if not all) meteorite buyers hold onto their money until they get a look at all that is going to be available before spending their money. The early days I have been at this show simply cost a lot in food (including beer, of coarse) and a really inflated motel room bill and generally did not generate enough sales to come close to covering those expenses.

CANYON DIABLO, Arizona: Graphite nodule.
I have not had one of these in a long time. This is a complete nodule that has been lightly brushed to clearly show its shiny gray graphite color. It does have the same color as a typical brushed Diablo for the most part. I showed it one person who did not believe that it was a graphite nodule. A simple demonstration of how well and easily you can write with the thing rapidly removed his doubts.
113.3 gram individual - 65mm x 35mm x 30mm - $150

NWA (5777): (H5), W2, S1. Found before February 2008, Tkw = 581.1 grams.
I picked up a single stone of this at the Tucson show in 2008. It was another one of those that the Moroccan seller kept telling me "primitive achondrite" but was not. It really does resemble the NWA (725) stuff though. It has the same external texture (even showing a large patch of nice black crust) and a virtually identical internal texture as well (lots of metal, very porous). Of coarse, it is the research that matters. This turned out to be an H chondrite, not an Acapucoite or Winonaite. I am offering ALL the pieces I have remaining after research specimens and thin-section pieces were removed. I thought about cutting it all up (the slices would be quite nice) but decided that it would be nice to leave it as intact as possible.
a) 10.0g complete slice - 35mm x 34mm x 4mm - $10
b) 515.7g main mass - 72mm x 67mm 50mm - $350

RICHFIELD, Kansas: (LL3.7). Found 1983, Tkw = 40.8 kilograms.
I once owned all of this, now I am down to just a few small pieces (I do have a 1714g complete slice that is likely the word's largest LL3 slice in private hands, but I think I already have a home for that one - but ask if interested just in case it turns out that I am wrong on that). I just got this little beauty back from a collector who was selling part of his collection. Someone though has polished both sides of this to a polish that I have never been able to achieve with my equipment. It was obviously polished by someone that has the super fine diamond equipment used for preparing thin-sections. This is a great specimen and priced (for now) a bit lower than what I have my other remaining specimens of Richfield at on my basic catalog.
19.8 gram slice - 50mm x 35mm x 3mm - $175

DHOFAR (1286), Oman: (Polymict eucrite). Found December 2005, Tkw = 898 grams.
I got a few bits of this in a trade some time ago. I set it aside as it was labeled NWA (1286), polymict eucrite (this, by the way, means that it has fragments of eucrite material from several different original rock sources that got mixed together rather than just one that got smashed up and re-solidified) . As no such thing turned up in the official listings, I was at a loss as to what to do with this stuff. A call to the person I got this from quickly fixed the problem. They informed me that it was Dhofar (1286) and not NWA material. Yep, this one is listed. This is mostly a medium gray with some lighter fragments mixed in (looking very much like a howardite, but it lacks diogenite material or hypersthene) .
a) 3.1 gram cut fragment - 25mm x 9mm x 8mm - $37
b) 11.4 gram cut fragment - 30mm x 20mm x 10mm - $130

MILLBILLILLIE, Australia: (Eucrite). Fell October 1960. Tkw = 150+ kilograms.
Now this is not your average Millbillillie. It is a complete individual that shows thick shiny black crust with lots of thick flow lines (there is a small natural chipped area from its fall - about 4mm by 20mm perhaps - on the bottom). There is some of the usual adhering orange dirt (mostly on the bottom again), but very thin and very little compared with most Millbillillie specimens. I have this set aside for probably 20 years or so. I got it back when Millbillillie first came out in quantity. This is a superior piece and I have priced it only a bit higher than what I have sold more typical Millbillillie specimens for (per gram wise) recently.
109.3 gram individual - 60mm x 38mm x 35mm - $1200

ZAGAMI, Nigeria: (Shergottite) . Fell October 3, 1962. Tkw = 18.1 kilograms.
This is just a nice basic rectangular shaped slice (with only one cut edge). It is thick enough that it could be cut into a couple (perhaps more if you have a wire saw) thinner slices. This is all the finer grained material (some pieces of Zagami were quite coarse grained) and only has a few small shock veins at one edge. Just a nice basic sample of a witnessed fall Mars rock (and my last substantial piece).
6.9 gram slice - 27mm x 19mm x 4mm - $3500

Here is something really special. At least I have never seen anything like it. This is a nicely sculpted large flat-ish individual. When I got this I noticed that it had a fairly long (about 17mm) crack that went all the way through the thicker portion of the specimen. I originally thought that this was a recent or water erroded break. WRONG! Careful inspection reveals that this is actually a break that occurred just as the specimen was really solidifying. Looking with a lens, you can see many fine needles of glass that connect both sides of the crack. These are stretched glass fibers that formed because the interior of this specimen was not quite solidified yet when this crack was formed. Really neat and really rare (?) and admittedly priced as such.
13.1gram individual - 38mm x 33mm x 8mm - $300