Meteorite Collecting Broadening the Experience

I mentioned recently that my collecting habits have changed toward falls. Well, I was adding a couple of new specimens to my database and decided to see how many falls I actually had. Boy was I surprised when I found that I had jumped all the way to nearly 30% falls in my collection. It has not been that long ago that I was probably near 10-15%.

I do like the stories and added information that accompanies falls. It really brings me closer to the event. Now with all the modern technology involved that closeness is likely to just increase for the next generation of collectors. It is becoming common place to include along with the newspaper reports the doppler radar data and video of the fall as part of the specimen‘s presence in collections. Many specimens now come with gps information on where it was exactly found in the strewn field. I love that. It is like a time warp for me. Instead of recording gps when I find a specimen after thousands of years of terrestrial hiding I get gps on a space rock only days after landing. Knowing who found it and exactly where is another way I get more connected to the whole experience.

But, I think it is pretty unlikely that I am going to begin collecting just falls. I am motivated by too many influences in collecting to limit myself to only falls. I am amazed at times by the weirdness of some of the reasons I buy meteorites. One of the last I got was solely because of where it was found. If you started out as an archeologist like I did with a fascination for ancient Egypt also. Then you have to have a meteorite from Luxor. So when Isna come up for sell recently I zipped off a message that I was interested and added it to the collection. I was intrigued by the photo on the internet and actually surprised that of the several pieces offered that it was one of the couple remaining. There was a very nice crisp chondrule showing in the photo and it was one of the larger pieces. So at least one individual had passed this specimen by to get the other they wanted. I would love to know what motivated their selection.

 

Isna
Find 1970 Chondrite Carbonaceous
On the Nile River near Luxor
Total Known Weight 23 kg

I have lately been thinking about some gaps that I have in my collection. I never began with the intent of having a type collection. I have friends who were only interested in getting one of every classification. Since it was not my goal even after 40 years there are a few classifications I have never gotten around to. Luckily, with all the NWA material some of these were found too. So I think just to fill the gaps I will be looking for this handful of rare classifications soon.

Paul and I had sort of hoped to get out for a short vacation in the next month or so. But, it is looking more and more like that will not happen until later in the year. Too bad. I have plenty of meteorite stuff to do though. I will stay busy and happy with cutting and photography and organizing. I really do need to go hunting and spend some time with my telescope again. It has actually been years since I had my scope out to the desert. We seem to always use Paul’s. I think California is due for a big meteorite event. A great fall that will be reason enough to take some vacation time to go hunting close to home. It never hurts to dream. A fall in my very own town would be wonderful. I could rent out rooms to hunters with meals and beer included and take payment in meteorites. Sorry about that. . .just joking.

Going to go out to my garage in a minute and change the blade on my saw so I can do some cutting. I think the current blade has been on there for about a year. It is not dead yet but I want to do quite a bit of work and would rather do it in the least amount of time. So a new sharp blade is the way to go.

I am up scaling up paper making to a larger size sheet. I have been making my meteorite colored paper in a 9 inch x 12 inch sheet. But, I am going up to a 14 x 20 or maybe even larger size. That will let me do a much greater number of printed and unprinted art projects. I have plenty of meteorite powder to use as a coloring agent and I am making more all the time. I am also making some paper without meteorite dust added. This I am using as backing paper for photograph mounting. I have more fun making paper than almost anything else I have done lately. It takes less time then my tektite leaded glass art or writing books. And the specialty paper has really added that little something extra to my collection specimen cards. It runs through my home inkjet printer three specimen cards per strip with no trouble. I just cut them out with my old darkroom paper cutter. Some sheets have small stains where tiny bits of meteorite iron have rusted . Really neat stuff.

Well, until next month have fun with your meteorites, and try thinking outside the box about other ways that you can enhance the overall experience you have with these unique treasures from space.

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About the Author

James Tobin
The Meteorite Exchange, Inc. was born in 1996 with meteorite.com and Meteorite Times Magazine in 2002. Still enthusiastic about meteorites and all things related to them, we hunt, collect, cut and prepare specimens. We travel to gem shows and enjoy meteorites as much now as in the beginning. Please feel free to share any comments you have on this or any of our other sites.
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