A common question newcomers to the world of collecting meteorites ask is, “Can I really collect meteorites?” The short answer is yes, you can. Meteorites are not reserved just for scientists or museums, they can be enjoyed by anyone with nearly any budget. There are thousands of meteorites available for you to purchase for your collection from a number of established and trusted dealers all over the world, including SkyFall Meteorites. Whether your purchase is a one time gift or the beginning of a collection, there is nothing more exciting than holding in your hand a meteorite that is likely (much) older than the Earth and to then think about its travels, history and secrets it holds within. Buy one now and once in your hand, you will find there is no other experience quite like it.
You can buy, sell, trade, collect, hunt and own meteorites – Real rocks from space!
Can I really own and collect meteorites?
Of course you can. It’s a rock, only this rock has an extraterrestrial origin. Just as minerals like gold, diamonds, rubies and sapphires are sold by mineral dealers all around the world, so too are meteorites sold to all kinds of people from every walk of life. Though you cannot legally purchase or own a moon rock brought back to earth by NASA astronauts, you can buy, sell and enjoy moon meteorites that came to Earth on their own. You can even own a meteorite that originated from Mars.
Rocks from space, like fossils and minerals, can legally be bought and sold from most parts of the world. Meteorites are not the sole domain of scientific institutions and museums. However, like these other natural history categories, different countries have different laws and it is therefore imperative to work with a respected dealer that can explain and understand these laws to ensure that your meteorite was obtained legally.
eBay can be a great source of authentic meteorites from well respected dealers. However, eBay is also full of fakes (e.g. hematite, magnetite and man-made slag being sold as meteorites) and more insidious, real but cheap meteorites being misrepresented as much rarer and more expensive meteorites. Buying from trusted dealers will ensure that what you are buying is exactly what it is supposed to be. SkyFall Meteorites guarantees the authenticity of its specimens forever. You can read more about our commitment to this important topic on our Lifetime Authenticity page.
SkyFall Meteorites caters to a large and diverse customer base which includes universities, museums, scientific institutions, and private collectors worldwide. If you’re not a member of our meteorite newsletter sign up now to receive updates and notices when new items are posted to the website, and for news and information from the meteorite world.
Basic meteorite information
Where do meteorites come from?
Scientists believe that most meteorites come from the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter. In rare cases meteorites sometimes come from Mars and the Moon. Simply put, meteorites are rocks that originate from within our solar system. They are witnesses to the earliest days of the formation of our solar system and we continue to learn from them how our solar system formed, the role they played in establishing life on Earth and give us insights into the deepest regions of our planet.
How do rocks from the Moon & Mars get to Earth?
Anyone who has ever viewed the Moon has seen that it’s pock-marked with craters all over it’s surface. These craters are formed by impacts of meteoroids onto the Moon’s surface over millions of years. Sometimes these impacts are so powerful they expel lunar material out into space. This is relatively easy to do on the Moon when compared to Earth as the Moon has no atmosphere and 1/6th the gravity of Earth.
So when a larger sized meteoroid impacts the Moon, material is blasted out into space at thousands of mile per hour. This material can float around in space and find an orbit around the Sun. Sometimes this material crosses the path of Earth’s orbit and if the Earth is there when it does the meteoroid then enters the Earth atmosphere thereby becoming a meteor. If the meteor survives impact with the ground then it becomes a meteorite. This goes for ALL meteorite on Earth.
How do meteorites from the asteroid belt impact Earth?
Meteorites from the asteroid belt take a similar path but their origin is slightly different. The asteroid belt lies between the planets Jupiter and Mars and surrounds the Sun in a never ending belt of space debris. This debris consists of billions upon billions of asteroids and meteoroids orbiting around the Sun like a wheel around a hub. Within this belt, space rocks are flying around at thousands of miles per hour and sometimes they bump and crash into one another. This changes their orbit around the sun and chunks of meteoroids can be sent into Earth’s orbital path. Sometimes when this happens it produces meteorites on the ground. Not all meteors turn into meteorites. Most burn up in the sky during entry. A meteoroid (a rock floating in space) turns into a meteor when it enters Earth’s atmosphere. It must survive the extreme heat and pressures exerted on it during atmospheric entry, to impact the ground and therefore become a meteorite.
What do meteorites look like?
They look like rocks on fire! No really, they look like you would expect them to look after being subject to the intense heat of flying at thousands of mile an hour through our atmosphere. Meteorites look like they’ve been burned, and usually resemble a piece of charcoal right after they fall.
This outer black crust is called Fusion Crust. This black crust is a thin layer of oxidized iron and other minerals which gives it it’s black color. Meteorites also exhibit what’s called in the scientific world as regmaglypts, or thumbprints as seen here.
Fusion crust is usually black or very dark brown in color. Over time a meteorites fusion crust can change color or disappear completely depending on the type of meteorite it is. This is caused by weathering and the erosion of the outer surface of the stone when rain wind, sand and other inclement
If you look closely at this photo you’ll see little lines radiating outward from the center of the meteorite. These lines are formed from molten material “flowing” along the surface of the meteor toward the outer edges and are called flow lines .
This particular meteorite is “oriented”, in that it entered our atmosphere and stayed in one position during most of it’s flight rather than tumbling through the air until it impacted the ground. Oriented meteorites are especially collectible within the meteorite community and are highly prized by collectors and scientists alike due to their rarity.
The Start of a Collection
We have a large selection of very collectible meteorites for sale from many falls and finds from around the world. However, more than 90% of our stock is not listed online so if you have a specific request, do not hesitate to contact us.
Unclassified meteorites from North West Africa (NWA) make great gifts and are also great starter specimens for collectors on a budget, or the frugal dealer looking for a bargain. Today, NWA meteorites are still plentiful and they offer collectors great value for their meteorite buying dollar. Take a look at our unclassified NWA meteorites and you’ll agree that for such a price they are an out of this world bargain.