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Opportunities Missed

As I think about the Tucson Gem Show coming soon, I am trying to put together my short list of meteorites. Ones I would be interested in if I see them there. It has become increasingly apparent to me lately that I have made some real tactical errors over the years. Also I  have never learned from my mistakes. This is kind of strange since I spent my childhood being dragged by my parents to antique and junk stores with the phrase “strike while the iron is hot” always in my ears. I have missed over the years of my meteorite collecting some great opportunities.

I don’t know in each case now what I was thinking back then, but it cost me some meteorites that I now look for and hardly ever see available. Some times I know I was thinking; “there is a lot of it and I can wait until Tucson to get it”. And sometimes that has been true, but on other occasions I just missed out. I know that times it was a matter of cost. I just could not bring myself to pay that much for it from a dealer that had just a few stones. I thought certainly there must be someone with more who is asking less money. Sometimes there just was no more available.

Since I have a slightly directionless collection. There are a lot of reasons for me to like a meteorite and want to get it. A person collecting only falls would have a different set of criteria. Someone collecting only visually striking irons has a very different set of decision making thoughts. I have never had a sharp focus like either of those in my collecting. But, the last few years I have been interested in acquiring the new falls as they make it to the marketplace. I have a couple new falls to decide about now. Once again the “do I buy it now or wait?“ and, “is this a good price or will more be available later with greater choice and lower price?” questions ring in my mind.

I missed one a couple decades ago, and have been looking for an individual of that fall for years now. It seems like every time one comes on the market I am about two hours late inquiring about it. I remember this fall very well. There were a large number of stones and I was doing some work for a dealer who had some of them. I cut some meteorites for him and did some other projects for him. I got paid in trade. I recall several times when I was choosing meteorites from his inventory that I passed this particular fall by. Boy have I been kicking myself lately for that. I just knew in my heart that they would still be around later after I got others first. Well, they were not available later. So that fall remains ever on my short list year by year at Tucson. My eye always scanning the internet for the name.

Though I still do miss some by thinking too much. I have also gotten some lately; so maybe I am learning slowly. Perhaps the words of my parents are finally getting through to me. I struck really fast on Moss getting two nice pieces. And as it turned out there is very little. I did OK on Carancas getting a nice piece and a lot of fragments. I struck early and continuously on Juanchung and now have some wonderful pieces of that fall. I got them at a range of prices. All real bargains by today‘s market.

I guess in a couple weeks I will see what happens with the opportunities this Tucson presents me. Will I over think or bite the bullet and spend the money? Will I risk it and hunt diligently for a bargain, or just seize the chance when I find one of the meteorites on my list? The worst of all things that happens is to see one right as you get to the show and say “I am going to look around a while and I’ll come back if I don’t see it somewhere else.” Then when you don’t see it, return to find the original has been sold to someone else. Were they wiser or had they just been at the show longer?

This is what makes collecting of anything fun. The hunter is still in there, inside us. We no longer get up in the morning with bow or spear and head out to find food or to fight. But, in us is that spirit to conquer something. It may have been reduced to the conquest of the mall for clothes or the gem show for meteorites. But, I think it is partly what keeps online auctions sites alive. The “I GOT IT” feeling. So next month I will give my yearly report of Tucson. Feel free to read in between the lines a few caveman expressions of a successful hunt. For I guarantee if this year is like most I will be just as happy about what I come home with, as our distant ancestor was about getting his elk or deer for dinner.

I hope to see and greet many of you at the show, and I wish you all a successful and prosperous year of collecting. Until next month. Jim

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