An Article In Meteorite-Times Magazine

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 Jason Phillips.


Me holding a 24 kilogram meteorite while in Africa last year.
 We did not purchase this one and I still regret it.

What or who got you interested in meteorites and how old were you when you got your first meteorite?
 
I started collecting meteorites in 1997, shortly after I finished graduate school (good thing since they are so expensive and when you are in college you are poor).  I had been collecting fossils for awhile and decided one day to see if it was possible to own a piece of a meteorite.  It just so happened that the next day there was a gem and jewelry show near our home and one man from Iowa had some slices of Gibeon and Admire shale fragments.


Two Dimmitt, TX meteorite specimens (1550 grams and 223 grams).
 The numbers are from the Nininger and Monnig Collections.
 

What was your first meteorite?
 
Well naturally, I had to buy a slice of Gibeon (107 grams) and a fragment of Admire shale at the show.


Norton County, KS specimen that displays 4 different colors (black, orange, white, and gray).

 
Do you still have it?
 
I still have the Gibeon slice however, I traded the Admire shale because the Gibeon was actually the first piece I picked up off the table and the Admire just didn't have the sentimental value that the Gibeon does.


End cut of Millbillillie that weighs 86 grams.
 

Do you have special areas of interest that you focus on in regards to meteorites (thin sections, photography, chemistry, age dating.. etc)?
 
No, I just love them for what they are.


A full slice of NWA 3111 that shows a sea of chondrules and how often do you see a blue internal matrix in a meteorite?
 This is one of the meteorites I was fortunate enough to get while in Africa this last year.
 

Does your Family share in your interest in meteorites?
 
My wife tolerates them but my 3 year old loves them just as much as I do.


A 1131 gram endcut of Ozona, TX that has painted numbers from the Field Museum.

 

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.)
 
When I began collecting, I tried to get every location I could, but over time my collection has evolved primarily into chondrites and achondrites (preferably end cuts and individuals).


A 415 gram Mbale individual that looks as fresh as the day it fell.
 

Do you mind saying how many locations your collection represents?
 
Around 500 different locations at the present time.


A 421 gram Amgala that shows nice flight marks down the back of the meteorite.

 
Is your collection displayed or kept in a dry box or both?
 
I am blessed to have a room in our house that is dedicated to my meteorites and the 6 display cases that house them.


This is a full slice of Dhofar 019 Shergottite with the beautiful "orangettes".
 

 
In what ways do you use your computer for meteorites?
 
In every way.  I buy, sell, trade, interact with other collectors and keep up with the latest meteorite information.  I also have a web site www.RocksFromHeaven.com  with a great deal of information about meteorites, meteorites in the Bible and about 400 different meteorite locations for sale or trade.


This is a 774 gram Holbrook, AZ that has Monnig #'s on it.
 

Do you ever hunt for meteorites?
 
Yes, whenever I get the opportunity.  I was very fortunate that Park Forest fell just 2 hours from me and we spent many weekends hunting there.  I also had the opportunity to hunt in Africa this last year with a fabulous group of people.


This is a picture taken just after sun rise after spending the night out in the Sahara desert in a small inn.
We are on the top of a sand dune and pictured are Dr. Tony Irving, myself, and Greg Hupe.

We got stuck several times that day while looking for the best areas to hunt for meteorites.
 This is myself and our guide out surveying the situation.
 

What is your favorite meteorite in your collection?
 
Hands down that would have to be the 214 gram individual that my wife found the first weekend we went hunting in Park Forest.


This is my wife and I after she found her first meteorite (Park Forest, IL).
The impact crater was vertical and about 7 inches deep and 4 inches wide.
 


This is the 214 gram Park Forest, IL meteorite that my wife found shortly after the fall.
 

 
What makes these of special interest?
 
It was the first time that my wife had been hunting with me and I imagine it will be the last time too.
 
What meteorites are currently on your wish list?
 
A metal rich slice of Portales Valley (Robert W., I hope you see this).


NWA 3118 (CV3).
 This CV3 material is very beautiful and when cut and polished it reminds me of the night sky.

 

What methods have been most successful in building your collection? (Buying at shows, from dealers by mail, auctions on the web, trading... etc)
 
I have bought several specimens while at the Tucson shows, dealer's web sites and on eBay.  Trading has also availed me many wonderful pieces.


This is an Imilac individual and it reminds me a rose when looked at from the correct angle. It weighs 162 grams.

 

Do you also collect related materials like impact glasses, breccias, melts, tektites, shocked fossils, native iron rocks etc?
 
Yes, I am really intrigued by tektites and I have some beautiful shattercone specimens that I found at the impact area in Kentland, Indiana.
 
Do you prepare any of your own specimens? (cut, polish, etch, etc.)
 
Not at this time however, it is something that I would like to try in the future.


A full slice of Powellsville, OH that weighs 268 grams.
 To think that if the farmer had not hit this meteorite in his field it would have never been found.
 

 
Have you had to take any special measures to protect them from the environment?
 
Yes, my meteorite room is climate controlled.