This feature is devoted each month to one of the personalities within the meteorite community. This month we are delighted to share an interview we had with Scott Brey of PlantBrey Meteorites.  

What or who got you interested in meteorites and how old were you when you got your first meteorite?

I have always had an interest in space and I was exposed to meteorites while studying geology at the University of Minnesota. We had a nice display of big slices in our hallway and, in addition to the visual attraction of the display pieces, one of my favorite professors (Paul Weiblen) also conducted studies in the field of meteoritics... If I'm not mistaken he was involved in some way with the lunar material returned during the Apollo missions. I believe he is still involved with research on Martian material even though he is retired from teaching. I bought my 1st meteorite about 5 or 6 years ago after I grew weary of collecting terrestrial rock and mineral specimens and discovered I could actually collect the things.

What was your first meteorite and do you still have it?

My 1st specimen was a small Canyon Diablo and I do indeed still have it.

Do you have special areas of interest that you focus on in regards to meteorites (thin sections, photography, chemistry, age dating.. etc)?

My interests cover all aspects of meteoritics. Part of the pull was that so many things are still unknown about meteorites and the details of their formation. So accordingly I add slices, individuals, thin sections... or anything else I can get my hands on to my collection when ever possible. The petrology is of particular interest to me as that is how you explore the events that led to the formation/alteration of the meteorites.

Does your Family share in your interest in meteorites?

The whole family is interested in meteorites to varying degrees but I would have to say that my 9 year old son Ryan has the greatest curiosity about them. He has his own collection and in the past he presented them for a 2nd grade class project. When I get something new he is right there to see what it is and to try to "acquire" a specimen for his collection. Wouldn't it be nice if we all could add to our collections that way? I think my wife Debbie just tolerates it as she has with my persistent collecting of rocks, fossils and what not over the years. She loves computers the way I love earth sciences and meteoritics which means I have an "in-house" web site expert! Since she has devoted so much time to the creation and upgrading of our web site she has a pretty good understanding of meteorites. Possibly more than she wants to know!!

Do you have any special approaches to collecting? (Type collection, only stones, only irons, only by aesthetics, etc. or any and all that you like.)

 I don't have any one type or class that I seek out but I do really like the material with nice unequilibriated chondrules. I want our collection to contain representative specimens of all the different types. The collection tends to grow as opportunities present themselves, I'll keep a specimen or two (or more!) of the material that passes through our web pages and I always try to keep an eye on the ebay auctions and other dealer sites. You never know what's going to turn up. I also trade quite frequently with fellow collectors and researchers around the world.

Do you mind saying how many locations your collection represents?

In my personal collection I am guessing that I have somewhere around 190 different locales and about 500 specimens at this time but I must admit I have lost track to some degree. I have a listing on my web site of the various locations but have not updated that page in the past year or so and have lots of new things that should be listed as time allows.

Is your collection displayed or kept in a dry box or both?

The collection is in various places.... dry boxes... on display and a few have found their way into my kids pockets on occasion. They love it when we get a new box of material in as that is when they get to grow their collections.

In what ways do you use your computer for meteorites?

We use our computer in many ways... Documenting the collection of course but then since we deal in meteorites we use it to help locate and acquire new material, and keep all our images for the web pages as well as conduct our business over the computer. Not to mention surfing the net to continue the "education" process to keep up with all the new findings.

Do you ever hunt for meteorites?

I spend a lot of time out in the "boonies" camping and hiking and am always watching for potential meteorites or interesting terrestrial items as well. I have never gone on any specific recovery adventures and tend to do most of my searching over the internet. But who knows... Maybe that will have to be a new criteria in selecting future camping spots.

What is your favorite meteorite in your collection?

Hard to say... so many to choose from. I guess the 260 gram Begaa LL3 individual has a spot close to my heart... it has lots of fresh looking black fusion crust and has a small window cut into one end revealing the exceptional chondrule rich interior. Another one that is sort of "fun" is a part slice of one of the Saharan common chondrites. When I sliced into it I noticed in one of the surfaces what appeared to be a question mark that is formed by some form of inclusion with a chondrule underneath to make the dot. Appropriate considering how many questions still remain regarding the exact means of formation for the chondritic material.

Sahara 99024
Sikhote-Alin 1012gm Sikhote-Alin 878gm Taza

What is your favorite overall if it is not the one above?

Can't say for sure but it would probably be my mini piece of the moon or one of the Martian pieces.

What makes these of special interest?

I think its that you can look up in the night sky and look at the moon or Mars and know that you have a piece of them. A direct and easily visible connection to our solar system.

What meteorites are currently on your wish list?

Tagish Lake and some of the other CH and ungrouped carbonaceous chondrites. Anyone want to do some trading?????????

What methods have been most successful in building your collection? (Buying at shows, from dealers by mail, auctions on the web, trading... etc)

I'd have to say that is split pretty evenly between watching auctions and web sites and then of course all the material we purchase to prepare specimens for our web pages gives us a lot to choose from as well. And trading is a great way to get those hard to find locales or classes.

Do you also collect related materials like impact glasses, breccias, melts, tektites, shocked fossils, native iron rocks etc?

Since I did major in geology I of course have thousands of pounds of rocks, minerals and fossils in addition to the meteorites, tektites and impact material.

Do you prepare any of your own specimens? (cut, polish, etch, etc.)

I prepare most all my specimens these days (if necessary). I have also made thin sections before and am planning on getting back into that a bit more in the future as time will allow.... Mainly for my own use but I suppose I'll sell some as well.

Have you had to take any special measures to protect them from the environment?

All meteorites need to be treated with care even though to most folks they are just "rocks". Some require a great degree of attention and then there are those that will sit on a display stand without any special care and stand up just fine. All depends on how much iron is in the piece and how stable the iron is in each different find/fall. Not to mention all the other specifics like how long was it exposed to our environment and what was the climate like, how are they being stored.... etc....