[meteorite-list] Shirokovsky

From: Michael Gilmer <meteoritemike_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 21:04:06 -0400
Message-ID: <CAKBPJW9g2Y-yk1d5apO5gDS6BMUg8HKRM0mbJEAcMePFWA-F0Q_at_mail.gmail.com>

Hi Adam and List,

If you could melt down and recycle an old Ford engine block into
something that looked close enough to a pallasite to fool many people,
then it would be worth money to some collectors. Heck, it would fetch
a premium because *you* made it in an overt attempt to show up
Shirokovsky and make a pseudo-pallasite. We could call it "Hupilac
Pallasite" ;)

Seriously though, Adam's strong negative reaction to Shirokovsky is
proof positive of two things - it evokes a passionate response in the
meteorite collector community (from a veteran respected member no
less), and that makes it collectible to some people. Like it or not,
Shirokovsky has become an infamous member of the meteorite community -
lovely horrid phoney thing that it is. It might be made from 3 parts
Russian beer cans and 1 part yellow ale, but when sliced and polished
properly, it can be quite beautiful in it's own fraudulent way. That
is why so many people spent good money on it when it was first
misrepresented as a meteorite. If it was absolutely terrible to look
at, from an aesthetic standpoint, very few people would have bought it
and would probably wouldn't be talking about it now.

The problem with Shiro is not it's fake nature, it is how/why it was
represented as a meteorite. I do not know the entire back story yet,
but the material was knowingly offered as a meteorite by
sellers/finders who knew (or strongly suspected) it was not a real
meteorite. They lied about tests being done and the nature/results of
those tests. It scammed a lot of people who thought they bought a new
pallasite and instead owned a piece of smelted engine block with
olivine windows. Had Shiro had been an accidental slag creation (like
Mendota probably is), then it would not have such a negative
connotation. What many people find objectionable about Shiro is not
the material itself, so much as the way it ripped people off through
fraudulent misrepresentation.

To me, it is an interesting meteorwrong and it sits in a cabinet
drawer I have dedicated to meteorwrongs - there are all clearly
labeled as such. They are used for comparison purposes to trying to
explain meteorite identification to others and for my own personal
enjoyment for compiling many types of wrongs.

I will freely admit - if I had been duped and got ripped off on a
Shiro specimen while thinking it was a real meteorite, I would have a
sour taste for it and I would rather toss it into a deep lake. So I
understand the other point of view. But I am curious what the recipe
is for Shiro, how exactly it was made, and the nefarious story of
shady characters that led to it's emergence as a new "pallasite".

Best regards,


Galactic Stone & Ironworks - Meteorites & Amber (Michael Gilmer)
Website - http://www.galactic-stone.com
Facebook - http://tinyurl.com/42h79my
News Feed - http://www.galactic-stone.com/rss/126516
Twitter - http://twitter.com/galacticstone
EOM - http://www.encyclopedia-of-meteorites.com/collection.aspx?id=1564
On 8/19/11, Adam Hupe <raremeteorites at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I guess collecting artifacts has made me leery about fakes. Get caught with
> one fake artifact and it will put your entire collection in question.  It is
> best to get artifacts papered and destroy any that have been "killed" by an
> independent authenticator. I see Shirokovsky as being off topic since it is
> not a meteorite and is was only produced in order to defraud honest
> collectors out of their hard earned money.
> If you want a piece of a recycled old Ford motor block in your collection,
> that is your business.  To me, it is garbage and so are the people who
> produced it!
> Adam
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Bernd V. Pauli <bernd.pauli at paulinet.de>
> To: meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
> Cc:
> Sent: Friday, August 19, 2011 1:50 PM
> Subject: [meteorite-list] Shirokovsky
> Hello All,
> Shirokovsky is terrestrial, it is a pseudo-meteorite, it is man-made!
> - does not contain typical accessory phases of stony-iron meteorites
> - accessory phases completely atypical
> - Olivine has a terrestrial oxygen isotopic composition
> - Pt/Ir ratio similar to that of terrestrial Cu-Ni ore deposits
> - has never been in space (noble gases no cosmic component!)
> - absence of cosmic-ray tracks corroborates noble gas study results (=
> best?tigen)
> - Olivine TL spectra similar to terrestrial peridotites
> Conclusion: Shirokovsky is manufactured, man-made!
> As for its nickel contents, see also the entry in the (online) Met.Bull.
> ... and, yes, I have a thin 2.7 gr slice of Shirokovsky with translucent
> olivines.
> I got that pseudo-pallasite in 2003 from Eric Olson. It doesn't pollute my
> collection but it sure looks a bit "pale-faced" when sitting next to a
> genuine
> pallasite like Esquel, Brenham, Admire, etc.
> Cheers,
> Bernd
> ______________________________________________
> Visit the Archives at
> http://www.meteoritecentral.com/mailing-list-archives.html
> Meteorite-list mailing list
> Meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
> http://six.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/meteorite-list
> ______________________________________________
> Visit the Archives at
> http://www.meteoritecentral.com/mailing-list-archives.html
> Meteorite-list mailing list
> Meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
> http://six.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/meteorite-list
Received on Fri 19 Aug 2011 09:04:06 PM PDT

Help support this free mailing list:

Yahoo MyWeb