meteorite identification (vesicles): Meteorites are not vesicular but slag is vescular. Slag (which is not meteoritic but is often magnetic) has vesicles which are small, usually spherical cavities, formed by expansion of a gas or vapor before the enclosing body solidified. (Vesicles are easily spotted in the cut face of the half slice below.)

eBay seller 'sammyandkathy'

Question To 'sammyandkathy'

Auction # 170189480586 (pdf file)    Ending Jan-30-08
"Description: Class -Stony/Iron, Full meteorite specimen with atmospheric shock features includes some fusion crust, melt channel & pockets. Matrix: Dark stone/dark metallic interior – (Magnet will stick easily to this specimen! See pics below). Some terrestrial weathering or fracturing present....Found By: Sam Luciano -Remarks: Untested..."


Question: Hi, Why do you think this is a meteorite and not slag? Thanks

Seller's answer: Dear Sir... Hello and thank you for your question. First of all let's break this question into some logical points to think about. [#1]-Are all "declared" meteorites tested? Even if they have been observed falling, the answer is "No". Some reasons my be:(*)-Owner may not what to cut the specimen but want to leave it intact or (*)-it may just look better this way untouched by the cutting blade (*)-nice features kept as a whole. [#2]-Personally, I've never heard or read a report of any one after declaring, "this is slag" send this to the lab if in doubt. Even some professionals in the fields of meteorites have "declared this is not a meteorite" (Meteor-wrong) only to have this specimen re-declared a meteorite. I have samples of slag I've cut, and the blade just zips right through the slag material, because of the low density and higher porous nature almost always are not true round cavitations but slightly oval like gas pockets from human or machines moving the slag away from the liquid metal then if cools in this oval like shape. Some slag has a high content of calcium because calcium is used as a flux to aid in further binding of the alloy being made, this slag has white inclusions and in some cases slag isolates the molten from the atmosphere to produce a curtain kind of alloy when pored from the bottom port of a high volume production crucible. (This kind tend to look semi-gloss and when cut the inside look dendrick or fibrous.)
If you would like a free sample of Slag I will gladly give and ship at no cost to you or send you pics or both. O?by the way when I cut this specimen thats for sale it took some effort possibly because of the nano diamonds some meteorites may contain. This specimen also weighs way too much for its size;remember this is only ½ of the whole meteorite. Visualize 177gram in this amount of space for this size; you begin too wonder something different about this material. (Weight to size ratio very odd).
I have other comparable specimen

Question: Hi Sam, Thanks for your reply. Let's consider points that actually apply to your auction. No expert has "declared" this "untested" item to be a "Mesosiderite meteorite". Verification and classification can only be properly determined by testing. (Unfortunately, you are mistaken, this is slag, meteorites are not vesicular.) As you pointed out, even experts have been wrong until an item is tested. So what should you and any other suspect meteorite owners do before putting an item on eBay? New England Meteoritical Services will professionally verify and return three items for the shipping and handling cost of $15 (= $5 each).

Do yourself and unsuspecting bidders a favor, pull the auction and have your item tested first. If NEMS says this item is actually a meteorite, I will send you $5. Nothing to lose! A properly verified meteorite would sell for more! (BTW now you heard - Sam, "this is slag" send this to the lab if you doubt me :)

Seller: No Reply.

UPDATE 1-11-2010

French buyer of 'sammyandkathy' auction #170419250588 (pdf file - "Nickle Iron Meteorite Polished") writes that item is "not a meteorite".

More 'untested' suspect meteorite auction by sammyandkathy

Anyone can make a claim that they have found or own an authentic meteorite. It is entirely another matter to offer satisfactory proof of verification or classification from a Meteoritical Society approved institution. The photos or auction #'s on this page may link to meteorite auctions. In the opinion of this author, these auctions may lack either proper verification, credible history or photo, or reasonable supposition to qualify as genuine. This does not mean that they are not meteorites, only 'suspect' in the opinion of this author. The purpose of this site is to help the visitor better understand elementary identification of common meteorites and to gain insight from the misidentifications of others.

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