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Frankenstein's Meteorite Monster...

Hi All,

Nice of AOL to *finally* let me back onto the List again...!  Although we
AOLers have been unable to communicate with you directly for a little while
we've been eagerly following the prices debate... and I'd like to add my
contribution if I may...

Okay... can everyone pleeeeease calm down about prices? It all comes down to
personal choice and circumstances. There's no point in whining that you can't
afford a Portales... it's kind of called Life, you know? No-one on this list
is being *forced* to buy a piece of anything, no-one's having their arm rammed
up behind their back. And, you know, no-one on this list has a God-given Right
to it or ANY meteorite, just as none of us has a right to that top of the
range Porsche advertised on the TV or in a magazine. There's no point whinging
about it - as with everything else in life, from paperbacks to hi-fi's, we get
what we can afford at that moment in time. No-one on the list would dream of
going into a motor dealer's and complaining that it's not fair that they can't
afford that car over there, it just doesn't work that way! Yes, it would be
nice if it did, and I wish the world was that nice a place... but, to my
disappointment, the last time I looked I didn't live in a gingerbread cottage
in an enchanted wood, and there weren't unicorns prancing across my lawn...!

Yes, I want more meteorites, and oh yeah, when I leaf through a catalogue or
scroll down a website I *That one and That one and *definitely* That one...
but hey, I also want to drop a stone down into Valles Marineris, and to wake
up and make Shania Twain breakfast... :-)

So, reading all this stuff about prices is a little frustrating, you're all
talking fantasy figures to me... but I don't begrudge any of you dealers out
there your dollars - your hard-earned dollars - because as well as
appreciating how rare meteorites are I'm thankful to you all for going out
there and getting the little critters! And I also know that sooner or later
there's going to be another Holbrook shower which will bring specimens in my
price range onto the market, so I can wait, and be happy for the rest of you.
Besides, I'm a firm believer in the ability of the Universe to balance and
even things out, so I figure it'll be okay. And, you know, Ron's recent
personal news should remind us all that... excuse my blasphemy... meteorites
aren't  the most important thing in the world...

And I  for one ENJOY reading all about the hunts and the trials and
tribulations of you rock hounds! It takes me out of my everyday life and with
you on your adventures! I like to feel you're representing me Out There, and
I'm grateful to you for your haggling and bidding.

We face a much worse problem than our own internal market - investors, the
people who are just beginning to wake up to the fact that meteorites are Worth
Something, and are going to move in and snatch them all up and stuff them away
in safe deposit boxes twenty stories below ground to let them increase in
value, never seeing the light of day, never being touched, never been seen or
shared... they're our enemy, not each other. Jealous and frustrated
researchers (mention no names of course, but I'll give you a clue: one's name
begins in "P" and ends in "rofessor Archie Roy"... !!) who think we're
depriving them of study material. They're wrong, of course, and the time is
fast approaching when we will have to stand up to that. But that's old

I've only been a member for a few weeks but it's obvious that the people on
this list are good people who want to ensure meteorites are appreciated by
fellow enthusiasts, and want to keep prices within reach (the generous
response I had to a recent posting astounded me, and proved that the
collectors in this community, at least, are great people, and thank you all,
you know who you are!)... but we have to accept that we are the victims OF OUR

What do I mean? Well, we can't go on and on about how wonderful and special
and important meteorites are as a sales pitch in catalogues and on web sites
(or in person, to visitors to our homes, and come on, admit it, we all puff
out our chests when showing others our collections, it's only right to be
proud!) and THEN moan when people take us at our word and see $$$$$ signs when
one falls in *their* backyard!  This spiralling price situation is, partly, a
monster of our own creation, so let's not get too indignant about it, hmm?

All that's happening is that the rest of the world is finally catching on to
how much meteorites are worth, that's all. It's absolutely no different to
someone charging a collector the Earth for a rare Elvis LP or a tattered Civil
War banner... it's greed, it's human nature. Face it, if you've been reading
reading for months - maybe years - about how valuable meteorites are, and one
falls - literally! - into your yard, prompting a flood of desperate rock-
hounds, what are you going to do? Give it away to them?!! 

For us, the members of this list, meteorites are things of beauty and
aesthetic value; but to a celestially unaware farmer who's being hounded by
the bank and is one post delivery away from bankruptcy they are a Chance,
they're a big bundle of dollars wrapped in stone. And it comes down to this:
they have them, and we want them, and because we've done such a good job of
popularising them they know how much they're worth. They know that they can
charge the Earth and if it's something special someone will eventually pay up.

But guys... we have power too! If we know a meteorite isn't worth what's being
asked then we don't pay it!! Simple! Or am I missing something..? 

It really is like anything else in life: it all comes down to just how badly
you want it, and how much you're prepared to pay to get it. 

So... let's not fight among ourselves, pleeeeeeease? We're all on the same
side, we all gaze up at the sky on a clear night and wish with all our hearts
that we'll see a fireball cut across the heavens and thud a piece of Mars into
the ground a few feet away... we all have a little flame of pride burning
inside us that we are among the very, very few people on this world who can
hold pieces of others... and we all appreciate our place in the Universe much
more fully because of the pieces of metal and rock we've found or bought.

So, let's stop taking shots at each other and get back to healthy debate and
exchanges of information.

"Bygones people!!"

Stuart A

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