Serving The Meteorite Community Since 2002

Vouillé Rings a Bell: Soon, another 200 year old meteorite will already be in my collection.


One of the benefits of growing old, if there are any, is that sometimes you forget things. Like that you have a large piece of a particular historic French meteorite from 1831 in your collection. And this happened to me recently.



It all started with a for sale notification that popped up in an email. A familiar meteorite name was listed was named Vouillé. While the offering was not a large specimen, and by large I mean over a gram. And by not large, I mean under a gram, the name did ring a bell. It occurred to me that I did have a piece of that location in my collection, but I had not seen it in years. I forgot about the situation for a while until I was looking for a different specimen and realized that the size and shape of my piece of Vouillé would relegate it to a nondescript paper box rather than a transparent display case, or even better, a coveted spot in a glass cabinet.



So I took a moment one day and dug around for what I remembered as the box that held Vouillé the last time I saw it. Sure enough, there it was, just sitting at the bottom of a safe waiting for rediscovery.



I like to imagine what something looks like before the big reveal after I have not seen it in years. And Vouillé looked just like what I remember. This is likely because I spent so much time with my polished, crusted fragment of Vouillé years ago when I wrote an article about it here in the Meteorite Times.




That was back in May of 2009, some 15 years ago! So much has happened since then, but I still have a clear picture in my mind about Vouillé and how I got it. I won’t drill down into the gory details again since that is already chronicled in the linked article, but I will say that given the sale notice that started this conversation with both myself and you, the price has possibly yet again gained a zero. Or at least part of one!



In seven years, Vouillé will join a select few meteorites whose fall was witnessed, documented, and preserved from over 200 years ago. I have not checked to see if there are any major changes in the global distribution of Vouillé ,but I doubt it. While so much in the meteorite world has changed, and even more in the meteorite collectors realm, one thing is certain and that is historic witnessed fall meteorites for sale or trade are few and far between. In fact even entire collections of meteorites have been built with few or no witnessed falls of any vintage, and often very few meteorites named with a known location that is not followed by a number.



Now meteorites are meteorites, but my collecting interest involves a human element mixed in with science and planetary geology. The hot desert stones and irons, and even the cold desert ones for that matter, all follow a similar trajectory beginning with a ground level story. Personally, I enjoy the thunder and lights that accompany fresh material, and the reactions humans have for such events. I guess I too am writing my own story here as well in that my intersection with meteorites involves the events post-landing that continue the storied man/meteorite relationship that seems as old as time. So I’m doing my part.

Until next time….

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