Hammer Stones

Photo by Walt Radomsky. Courtesy of R. A. Langheinrich Meteorites

Hammer Stone: Refers to a specific individual meteorite that has either hit a human, man-made object (e.g. homes, cars, mailboxes and fences) and/or an animal (oftentimes domesticated). These special and rare meteorites are highly collectible and require the utmost care in ensuring provenance. Hammer stones will sometimes retain evidence of their impact displaying paint and roof scrape markings on their crust.

Hammer Fall: Refers to the entire meteorite fall in which one or more stones are considered hammer stones. The Chelyabinsk meteorite is an excellent example of a hammer fall as this was an enormous fall of greater than 1 t but only some of these were hammer stones. Buying specimens from a hammer fall does not imply that the specimen you are purchasing is itself a hammer stone. Be sure to ask the seller for clarification should there be any confusion.

Hammer Artifact: Refers to the object struck by the hammer stone. One of the most famous examples is the red 1980 Chevrolet Malibu smashed by the Peekskill meteorite in 1992. This car has been exhibited around the world, much to the pleasure of visitors. This particular car had just been recently purchased by the owner for $300 and though now seriously damaged, she then sold it for $25,000 to the wife of a well known dealer.

Note: The collector and dealer Michael Blood coined the term “Hammer Stone” as it pertains to meteorites.

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