[meteorite-list] RE- help me in understand analysis

From: info at moonmarsrocks.com <info_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2017 13:56:46 -0700
Message-ID: <20171006135646.b86ea499b59be1b7298b47d2f1127a77.837a555fd6.wbe_at_email13.godaddy.com>

Thank you Adam for this detailed, appropriate, and timely discourse on
the subject of unstudied, misrepresented and/or fake planetary meteorite
material. This subject came up in another forum recently, and I am glad
to see it here as well. It needs to keep coming up and be repeated until
the crooked line is straightened out. I have seen all of your examples
on ebay and with increasing frequency in the last year. At best it is
sloppy and impulsive, and at worst, it is flat out dishonest. Collectors
and dealers alike need to be steadfast in their vigilance against the
degradation of planetary collections. Indeed Adam, they are not
commodities. We all need to educate our colleagues, students, friends
and clients. Refuse to buy or sell these cheap, unproven, unclassified,
falsely paired, or fake stones, call them out, and stay true to the
protocols of science (after all, we are not politicians are we?!).

Kind regards,

Daniel Noyes
Genuine Moon & Mars Meteorite Rocks
info at moonmarsrocks.com
IMCA #6830

-------- Original Message --------

Message: 13
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2017 12:37:32 -0700
From: Adam Hupe <raremeteorites at centurylink.net>
To: metlist <meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com>
Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] R: help me in understand analysis
Message-ID: <bcd6c7e9-9c64-a2c4-e636-db9ec99a2ce8 at centurylink.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed

Fake, unstudied and untested material which accounts for, in my opinion,

 well over 50% of the material currently running on eBay has become
such a problem that it forced me to write the following guide:

There is so much unstudied and fake material being sold as ?lunar?
meteorites these days that I felt it necessary to comment here since
eBay will no longer allow for direct links to websites in auction
descriptions. Unofficial, untested and unverified material carries a
lot of risks since it is basically worthless in a secondary market where

knowledgeable collectors and museums avoid it. Every statement below
also applies to other meteorites including Martian material which I
stopped listing several years ago due to a high degree of fraudulent
listings interfering with officially studied material. These less than
truthful offerings hurt honest dealers and collectors alike.

Real Lunar Meteorites Are Exceedingly Rare:

I will start off by stating that Lunar Meteorites are not commodities.
There is no set price per gram since they differ greatly from one
another with varying degrees of provenance, scientific importance,
weathering, preparation, history and aesthetic qualities to name few
variables. Genuine meteorites from the Moon are exceedingly rare,
millions of times rarer than diamonds. Would you buy a diamond without
proper certification from a reputable laboratory? I didn?t think so.
The total official mass of all lunar meteorites combined is 177
kilograms or 390 pounds consisting of 139 meteorites while the combined
weight of diamonds can be measured in metric tons.

The Problem Started In 2102 Beginning Around NWA 7XXX:

The few lunar meteorite examples that were discovered before 2012 were
managed properly for the most part. It was not until around 2012,
starting with Northwest Africa (NWA) series numbers exceeding NWA 7000,
that real problems started to take place frequently. Moroccan dealers,
acting as middlemen for the finders in Northwest Africa, began offering
material directly at the big Gem and Mineral shows like Tucson and
Denver with piggy-backed (stolen) nomenclature (NWA numbers.) They
fraudulently adopted these numbers based on visual appearance alone to
official meteorites that were actually studied, peer-reviewed and listed

in the Meteoritical Bulletin. They completely bypassed the Meteoritical
Society and the Nomenclature Committees violating protocols set in place

to protect collectors and scientific laboratories.

Reputable dealers used to acquire ?stones? directly from Northwest
Africa, submit a type specimen to a recognized laboratory, wait for the
laboratory results and then wait some more for the Nomenclature
Committee to assign an official name before placing meteorites on the
market. Notice I used the word ?stones? instead of Lunar Meteorites.
This is because the convention among professionals is that you cannot
call a stone a meteorite until it has gone through the proper protocols.

 Genuine lunar meteorites are far too important to bypass this process
that has been in place longer than these so-called ?dealers? who place
untested and unproven material on the market.

Terms That should Raise Serious Concerns:

Paired ? If the dealer?s name doesn?t match the name listed in the
Meteoritical Bulletin for the pairing number he/she is using, then a
provenance check is imperative. The dealer should provide you with a
complete chain of custody back to the name provided in the Bulletin.
If they cannot provide this information, then it is not worth pursuing.

Likely Paired ? In other words, no scientist or laboratory has looked at

it and likely never will meaning it is worthless.

Provisional ? Is supposed to mean that it is waiting for official
classification and nomenclature assignment. If it were a genuine lunar
meteorite, then why can?t the dealer wait to have it made official?

Classification Pending ? Another way of saying the stone is not official

and has not been formally classified. If a classification were really
pending, a reputable dealer would simply wait before releasing it to the


Unclassified Lunar ? I like this one since it sounds honest at first
glance. A more honest statement is that it looks like a lunar to me but
you will have to send in a 20% or 20 gram type sample to a Meteoritical
Society approved laboratory, pay the fees and wait a year to find out if

it is indeed a lunar meteorite.

Will Be Studied ? I would ask the dealer by who and when?

Identical To ? Means absolutely nothing without laboratory confirmation.

Things To Watch Out For:

No Name ? Means it has not been studied and more than likely is a
terrestrial stone.

Improper Name ? Some use NWA XXXX instead of a number or worse yet, use
official sounding names that they came up with themselves. It is best
to avoid this type of material.

Uncut Stones And Fragments ? How could it have been studied when a cut
surface is required to perform laboratory classification work and
deliver a type specimen to make it official? At the very least, you
should be provided with the scientist?s name and contact information,
for verification purposes, that determined that these exact uncut stones

and fragments that are being offered are indeed lunar meteorites in
their opinion.

Ridiculously Cheap Buy-It-Now Prices ? You have heard the saying ?If it
sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn?t.? Just check on eBay
for real lunar meteorites that predate 2012/NWA 7000 with good
provenance and you will see that the prices are about ten to twenty
times higher. This is because they are much more likely to be genuine,
were managed properly and the correct steps were taken in their formal
classifications. These older NWA lunar meteorites are also
well-established with collectors, museums and the scientific community
who are all now somewhat leery of the most recent offerings with a very
poor track record thus far. The main problem is that would-be buyers
now have to wade through hundreds of listings to find valid,
well-managed and official lunar meteorites. Another old saying is, ?You
get what you pay for.?

Not Enough Information ? Some dealers simply post a Meteoritical
Bulletin entry in their descriptions and do not discuss how they came
into possession of the material. If the person?s name in the entry
doesn?t match theirs, a satisfactory explanation is required for
provenance purposes. Some simply claim, ?from the finder to you? which
means there is absolutely no scientific verification whatsoever and what

they are offering is basically worthless. It is up to the dealer to
provide the entire chain of custody in their auction descriptions up
front. Why should a prospective buyer have to ask for this information?

Number Of Stones Exceeds Meteoritical Bulletin Entry ? It is interesting

that some of these self-paired uncut stones or fragments are being
offered by the dozens under the same NWA number when much less than the
number offered on eBay is listed in the Meteoritical Bulletin.

Lousy Material Preparation - It has been my experience that dealers who
do not have enough pride to finish slices by polishing out saw marks
also take other shortcuts including not getting their material formally
classified. Saw marks are a good indication the dealer is not
interested in presentation, just a quick buck.

Online Provenance Check ? You can get information online by simply
typing in the words ?Meteoritical Bulletin? into a search engine like
Google. You will find the Meteoritical Society?s database where you can
enter the NWA number or name of any meteorite in question.

If concerned about authenticity, ask dealers these simple questions:

?Has this exact specimen you are selling as lunar, been officially

?What is the name of the institution that classified this exact specimen

you have paired to another official meteorite??

?What is its official pairing number or name??

?If paired, what laboratory made the official pairing and what is the
name of the scientist that looked at this exact stone??

?Can I directly contact the institution who studied this stone??

?Can you direct me to the specific official documentation that proves
your offering has been properly studied and classified and not that of
the stone you have this paired to??

?Will you provide a lifetime guarantee that this is indeed what you say
it is?

?How could this specimen have been studied when there are no windows or
cuts to expose the interior?

?Why have you not included an ID card with your name on it, is there
something to hide??

Hope this helps some from being taken!
Received on Fri 06 Oct 2017 04:56:46 PM PDT

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