meteorite identification (appearance): Meteorites are often recognized by appearance but identified by their accompanying meteoritic properties. Wise sellers/collectors do not make assumptions based solely on appearance or circumstances when basic meteoritic traits are lacking. (At first glance the item below appears to have crust with expansion cracks, but closer examination reveals these are terrestrial weathering features.)

eBay seller 'treasurehunterky'


Auction #250207657977 Ending 1-25-08
unclassified Magnetic low Condroit granular meteorite
"bidding on a unclassified 672g meteorite found in stream in eastern kentucky ...."


Question: Is this item attracted to a magnet?

Seller's Answer: Hi,not all meteorites have magnetic pull,especially thoes found in water.The metal dissolves over time loosing magnetic pull*.I do have meteorites with magnetic pull. Thank you.
[*NOTE: Put on your boots. This is not the reason why this item has no magnetic attraction. 95% of all meteorites are attracted to a magnet. Meteorites do oxidize and weather. If conditions allow, the iron rusts away and the meteorite terrestrializes thus losing its meteoritic and magnetic properties. However, complete oxidation does not happen with the 'crust' remaining intact on a meteorite in water. If this item isn't magnetic it is because it never was. If a seller avoids answering a simple, direct question, BEWARE! Let me try it again and see if I get a straight answer.]

Question: So this item has no magnetic attraction, is that correct? Thanks

Seller's Answer: Hi,refer to this web site it will show you that all meteorites are not
magnetic. /AU/found.html**Thank You.
[** "Does the stone attract a magnet?   If the answer is "NO" to this question then it is probably not a meteorite. Because of their high iron content, the vast majority of meteorites will attract a magnet. A good test is to dangle a magnet on a string and see if it is drawn towards the stone. If the magnet pulls towards the stone then you are on the right track. However there are still a lot of Earth rocks which will also attract a magnet, so by no means is this test conclusive. A very few meteorites will not attract a magnet, so read on and see if any of the other features are present. There's still a very small chance it could be a meteorite..." NOTE: Instead of proving a point, does the reference to Jeff Kuyken's excellent site indicate that 'treasurehunterky' has been deceptive? How so? The seller now seems to be trying to hold to a "'very small chance it could be a meteorite." Was he deceptive in not saying anything about "it is probably not a meteorite" in his Description? But to be fair, he still did not directly answer my question. I'll try a third time.]

Question: Hi, Perhaps you got my question mixed up with another. I did not ask about all meteorites. My question was much simpler. Does the meteorite in your eBay auction (#250207657977) attract a magnet? A 'yes' or "no" is adequate. Thanks.

Seller: No Response

meteorite identification (regmaglypts): Many people envision a meteorite as a burnt rock full of holes (like lava cinders). But meteorites are solid and may have surface pits or regmaglypts. Regmaglypts or thumbprints are elongated depressions like thumbmarks made in soft putty. Caused by ablation, scuplting can take many diferent forms especially when lower-melting-point minerals close to the surface melt away leaving holes (Goose Lake) or interesting shapes (Mundrabilla). Interestingly the size of the regmaglypts is usually proportional to the size of the meteorite. Small meteorites have small thumbprints, large meteorites have large thumbprints in most cases. (The circular depressions below are not regmaglypts.)


Auction # 250210096743     Ending Feb-02-08
Meteorite Unclassified
"This Meteorite has fusion,thumbprints,good density and is magnetic and has visible iron traces of rusted ore,and wieghs 448 grams. Found in eastern ky.Being that most meteorites sell for ten dollars a gram this is a great deal and a great piece for collection or study. Thanks for looking at this item."

Question: Hi, This doesn't look like a meteorite. The indentions are too circular to be regmaglypts. And this does not look like fusion crust. How can you be sure it is not just iron ore?

Seller: unclassified means just that,but we have studied rock fomations for years and believe it to be a meteorite.

My Thoughts: 'Unclassified means just that'? What? That's his answer to why this suspect meteorite is not just iron ore (not what one would expect from one studying 'rock formations for years'). He must have studied where "most meteorites sell for ten dollars a gram"! I won't pursue this nonsense any further.

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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