January 11-21, 2008
I later learned from the owner that the item has a weak magnetic attraction proving this is not an iron meteorite. This basic test was also overlooked. Why?
| After being informed that the item is suspect, the seller appeared inclined to pursue definitive identification.
However, the seller did not pull the auction or alter the Title/Description to warn potential bidders of any controversy. On Jan. 14, 2008, the seller lowered the initial bid on the suspect item from $10K to $1.5K. The auction ended with no bids. On Jan. 18 , the seller 'jrtxtwo' relisted the item starting at $500 with no change to the Title or Description. On Jan. 19, seller lowered the starting bid on the item to $400. On Jan. 20, seller changed Description to "please do not bid on this item' and raised min. bid to $1M.
After receiving Norbert Classen's warning that this may be arsenopyrite (below), I shared his concerns with the seller. Before the auction quietly ended the seller added this explanation to the Description: "please do not bid on this item it might be a poison arsonic. I cant figure out how to end this auction so I put a big price tag on that nobody in there right mind would bid on. so please no more smartass questions of all you so called scientists. I took this to A scientists that works in A real museum not A so called scientist that got his degree online that runs around the desert with a metel detector finding meteorites just to sell on ebay. thanks for looking and happy hunting."
I have no explanation for the seller's last comments especially when said 'scientist that works in a real museum' provided an incorrect opinion that was the basis for this auction. True, the seller thought he was contacting professional help at this children's museum but a lay person actually experienced with meteorites would have provided much better advice, in my opinion.
Opinions from Others
1-21-2008 Norbert Classen writes:
arsenopyrite - 46% arsenic
|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. This does not mean that they are not meteorites, only 'suspect' in the opinion of this author.|