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- Subject: Opinion
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (STEVEN R. SCHONER)
- Date: Thu, 09 Jul 1998 09:52:27 -0700 (MST)
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- Resent-Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 12:53:42 -0400 (EDT)
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This will be be the last that I will say on this subject, but
as I stated before, meteorite prices are getting out of hand.
We can thank "Fast Eddy", and several other dealers for that. Because
of the internet, and numerous news stories that publish exaggerated
prices that dealers pay and charge, more and more people are becoming
aware as to how much specimens are worth. And we are the ones that
determine what meteorites are "worth". Eventually prices will be
so high that less wealthy collectors will unable to afford them. What
will happen then is that less meteorites will be sold. And with
everyone demanding exorbitant prices nothing will move. Maybe then
prices will go down, but it may be a long time before that happens.
(As with other "collectables" I have seen pricey coins and antiques
sit on store shelves for years.)
Then there are the demands of the finders. They, knowing virtually
nothing about metorites other than that they are "worth their weight
in gold", will sit on them for a long time before they sell. And if
they have a good source of income, they may never sell until they get
the price that they want. I have seen this happen.
For years I have urged the "hard core" dealers to agree as
to a set price for wholesale purchases-- A price that is
set and all agree to. They won't do it. They have to outbid
each other in their quest to be "the first" to get the "new one".
Escalating wholesale and retail prices for everyone.
I have even heard of some dealers maliciously overbidding just to
keep the other guy from getting the piece. They never intended to
pay what they offered. Then the owner gets put out when the
overbidding dealer stalls in coming up with the promised cash. The
owner is left with the impression that their meteorite is worth more
than it actually is.
Bad business practice in my opinion.
And with the escalating prices of meteorites come other problems as
well-- Theft from museums. Are major and minor meteorite collections
going to have to have armed guards like what is required for King Tut's
treasure? Most budget strapped museums, and institutions cannot afford
such security measures-- so the result may be that collections will be
locked away for safe keeping. Only the big irons will be out on display.
What a disservice to the public, whose only exposure to meteorites may
be what they see in museums.
We as dealers, and collectors must do something to regulate ourselves,
otherwise government may do so buy putting limits on the meteorite trade,
as has been the case with ancient artifacts. Not only are there domestic
laws that regulate the finding and trading of such items, there are
international agreements (UNESCO), with stiff penalties for violations
of those agreements.
What do you think about Canadian, Australian, or English Commonwealth
laws regulating meteorites? How about such laws in the U.S.?
Though many of you think it is unlikely, with all the exesses I have
seen recently, I disagree.
Continue in the course that we taking, and it is only a matter of
time before such occurs.
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