Meteorites don’t get any auction love

Meteorites don’t get any auction love

Meteorites don’t get any auction love

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Oct. 29 2007 5:00 PM

Meteorites don’t get any auction love

Yahoo! News is reporting that a couple of large meteorites up for auction were withdrawn because the bidding didn't go high enough.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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A 30-pound chunk of the Willamette Meteorite which fell in Oregon a few thousand years ago only got up to $300k in the auction, and they were hoping for $1.3 million. I am not an expert, but that strikes me as a tad high. 30 pounds is 13,600 grams, and hoping for $100/gram is, IMO, insane. It's a beautiful piece, to be sure, but they probably should have taken the $300,000.

The other meteorite was the Brenham meteorite, which fell in Kansas and was dug up a couple of years ago. It's a Pallasite, which is a relatively rare and beautiful type of meteorite (it's my fave, actually), and it only got a top bid of $200,000, a third of what was hoped.

I'm sure eventually they'll sell the pieces; collectors of such high-end pieces may not be interested in bidding at public auctions. I don't mind bidding on small pieces; I have a couple of dozen meteorites I've picked up here and there (they are so cool!); maybe someday I'll be able to get a few really nice pieces.

But $100k+? Heh. Dream on.