P.O. Box 1141
Delta, CO 81416
Ph/fax (970) 874-1487
March 6, 2013
This is going out a day late as I got stuck in Denver for a day longer than I had planned due to bad weather closing the road I need to take home on Monday (didn't get back until late last night).
Now I'd like to make a few somewhat long- winded comments on some things.
FIRST: This is something that I have already lost many hours of time on the phone with (and more in typing e-mails) and want it to get out as far and wide as possible to reduce this work load. I am NOT going to Russia! I know the excitement of a new fall (and this is an important one) and how everyone can't wait to get a piece of it. However a "simple" trip to Russia to buy some of this material is neither simple nor particularly smart (in my opinion) at this point. The government there is trying to put a lid on people taking this stuff (I have heard rumors of them going after the few E-Bay listings of this material there have been) and I CERTAINLY don't want to be the one caught stepping on their toes (or those of others that may be involved in the money side of this fall) in acquiring this stuff. This sounds like a sure recipe for trouble. Also, the price is definitely going to be the highest right now, with many of the locals thinking this stuff is "more valuable than gold" (I wonder who gave them that silly idea on nightly news and national radio programs). Given this current false hype (and the freshness of the event) the locals are very unlikely to want to sell at anything near a reasonable price right now. Over the years, I have observed the hype and high prices of many new falls (and this hype is certainly deserved for the "freshest" new alien on our planet). What I have seen is that the prices for this new material is pretty much always (over a period of a few years any way – inflation can make pretty much anything go up in price over decades) the highest right after the fall. Almost always, there is eventually enough material to bring the prices down, often substantially once the hype has died down and the "gotta own some now" buyers have been satisfied. So my actions on this fall are boringly as such: As there is obviously a lot of material being found I will probably just sit and wait until things cool down a bit and my usual friends and suppliers from Russia get some of this stuff make it available at reasonable prices. These guys are good at dealing with the "issues" of the area and making things quite cheap. Then I hope to offer nice, affordable pieces. I know many of you worry "buy now or never get any". I do understand this view. There are indeed cases where the material never makes it into collector's hands in substantial enough quantities to bring the prices down (or even satisfy the initial demand), but this is rare. My advice has always been; Buy the smallest piece of a new fall that will keep you from loosing sleep at night over not owning a piece. This way you will have a piece but not be betting the ranch on it. Later, when things settle down, buy a bigger piece (if you still want one). Most likely, the price per gram will be less than it was when the news was fresh. Likely worst case is you might end up paying a similar price as when it was new (I am having real trouble coming up with an example where even this has been the case recently, even Sutter's Mill, Alahatta Sitta and Katol recently have dropped quite a bit from their original prices). Having seen this time and time again over the years (with many specific examples I won't go into here) I really DO NOT want to get tied up in the early high prices (hoping to get a little bit higher prices on the way to cover my expenses) and then end up having everyone who bought a piece from me upset with me if/when the value comes crashing down months later.
SECOND: Many of you sent e-mails expecting responses while I was at the show. Unfortunately, I really do not have e-mail access at the show. I don't even bring a computer – Blake does but he is only in Tucson for a few days at the beginning and end of the show these days. The hotel has wireless but it is very sketchy in my room (works best while sitting on the toilet with one foot in the bathtub). Even if these things weren't an issue, the simple truth of the matter is I simply don't have time to do e-mails during the show. I know, hard to believe but here is the general schedule. I wake at around 7AM, make/ have coffee, take a shower, call home perhaps, set up the room (move/ clean cases, re-stock bins set out new material etc.), have breakfast and then I have 20 minutes maybe to walk around a bit and maybe buy some things from the folks set up at my hotel before I have to get my door open by 10AM (though I often had people pounding on the door asking me to open much earlier many days so I didn't even get this little bit of "break" some days). Then it is all people all day. I generally had the room open until 10PM most nights (but much later some nights if people were hanging out). Then it was take the stuff off the bed, set up clothes and such for the next day and get to bed around 11:30 or midnight if I was lucky. Then wake up the next day and start over (rinse and repeat) for 16 days. I know you may think I should be able to do e-mail while trying to run the room during the day but this is really not the case. The foot traffic was fairly slow but still busy enough that I was never even able to get out of the room for more than (literally) a few minutes before being radioed that some one or something required me to return (I never even had the time to go through a watch and clock magazine I had brought with me, expecting to finish it during "slow times". Nor did I have the chance to go see all of the other dealers and friends at other hotels). Plus, I think it is a bit rude, even bad (show anyway) business perhaps, to ignore people in your room so you can pay more attention to your computer or phone. I know, the world is a different place these days and I, perhaps, need to update my thinking. However, a dinner I had with friends a couple years ago kind of burned this bias into my mind. I had not seen them quite some time (years) but they all spent the entire time playing/ texting with their phones. Hardly a word among us was spoken. Left me kind of feeling "what's the point of this get together?" when it was obvious all anybody really wanted to do is focus not on the people around them but on the world in their phones. So, I do know some of you were not happy that I did not handle the e-mails while gone, but I really honestly do not have the ability or time while at the show. I do try to at least go through them and deal with any critical things right before and right after (as soon as I can borrow a computer) though. However, it takes me nearly a week more before I am home, unpacked caught up and more or less "back in business". I apologize for this, but I really don't see a way around this problem at this point.
Anyway, enough of all of that. Here are a few items (irons this time) that were left with me at the show. Grab them now before they get sent back to the owners.
BOXHOLE, Australia: Medium Octahedrite (IIIAB). Found 1937.
It has been a long time since I have had any piece o this meteorite and I can't recall ever having one this large. The Boxhole's I recall were all few grams to few tens of grams in size. Now here is a nice shaped and sculpted 429 gram individual! Even better yet it has great provenance (important as some Boxhole pieces look so much like Henbury that sometimes you wonder if…..). This comes with a Ron Hartman Meteorite Collection label.
429 gram natural individual – 85mm x 55mm x 20mm - $1300
CAMPO DEL CIELO, Argentina: Coarse octahedrite (IAB). Found 1576.
This is a really interesting slice that Darryl Pitt left with me. As you can imagine, it must be aesthetically pleasing if he had it. This was labeled as a "Transitional silicated" piece and that it truly is. About two thirds of the piece is heavily silicated, showing distinct clast texture to the silicates (looking very much like Udei Station or Landes). The other third is pure clean iron. One side of this piece is polished and the other is etched. A really nice and interesting specimen.
99.3 gram silicated complete slice – 100mm x 70mm x 3mm - $450
CANYON DIABLO, Arizona: Coarse octahedrite (IAB). Found 1891.
Here is a really interesting shaped "rim specimen". This is a nice sculpted thin individual that has a metallic ring to it when tapped. These sculpted generally thin pieces were found near the edge of the crater. These will not etch if you polish them (I know this from experience). I was told that there delicate shape (and lack of etching) is from them being highly heated during the blast that formed the crater (I think it was Glenn Huss that told me about these). Anyway, this is a really nice natural individual with an interesting thin shallow dish shape.
224.4 gram natural individual – 90mm x 55mm x 10mm - $280 SOLD
|GIBEON, Namibia; Fine octahedrite (IVA).873.6 gram complete slice – 210mm x 150mm x 4mm - $3600|
"click on image to enlarge"
This stuff has gotten surprisingly hard to come by these days. I sold ALL of my small pieces at the show and have people waiting for me to pull out all the rest of my small pieces (I'll be changing my main catalog to etched Seymchan iron). This is a really nice complete slice at a price well below what I bulk lot wholesaled the smaller pieces for. I could easily sell this to those 2 customers as well if I was will to cut it into smaller squares (these are jewelry artists that are wanting my pieces). I really don't want to do that to this piece to make the sale (the fact that it has been cold, snowing and windy since I got home certainly helps make that decision). I got this from a collector in Texas right before the show. It was never coated so it had some minor rusting along natural cracks near the outer edge (as many Gibeons have). This is etched on both sides. Excellent slice!
873.6 gram complete slice – 210mm x 150mm x 4mm - $3600
HENBURY, Australia: Medium octahedrite (IIIAB). Found 1931.
Here are a couple nice natural pieces I got from the same person. The smaller is pretty typical shrapnel shape. The larger is a really nice piece with nice shape and nice sculpting. These are priced at (or even slightly below) what the Australian sources are charging for Henbury these days. Frankly, I am quite surprised this big piece didn't sell at the show (but then it's a lot of grams so not a cheap specimen).
a) 66.7 gram natural shrapnel shape individual – 46mm x 33mm x 10mm - $130
b) 787 gram sculpted individual – 120mm x 75mm x 30mm - $1575
MUNDRIBILLA, Australia: Medium octahedrite. Found 1911.
Here is an interesting shaped individual. It has a fairly large deep hole on one end giving it a quasi pac-man look. Surprisingly, this nearly 200g piece is actually fairly large for what is available for this material. This has not been cleaned in any way and has a really nice mottled medium brown patina. A really neat specimen.
184.7 gram natural individual – 50mm x 40mm x 30mm - $170 SOLD