After an indispensable journey through time and place, a large gray rock fell to the ground, and landed in the Sahara. No one has seen it fall, and no one knows how long it lay in the soil before the nomadic people were discovered three years ago.
James Hyslop, head of science and natural history at Christie & # 39; s, plans to sell the stone at the next meteorite auction, temporarily planned later. This month.
It's part of the moon, and her recent trips here on Earth – from Northwest Africa to Christie's & # 39; s in New York, where he and more than 40 other meteorites are expected to be part of the sale – show market trends. rare and exotic class of collections: rocks from the outside.
"The number of collectors is really increasing," Mr. Hyslop says, "but not the number of meteorites."
Meteorites used to be at the core cosmochemists in search of clues about the universe and the starry-eyed rock star who wants to touch the other world. Prices are often assigned weight. Only about 60,000 meteorites have been known to come down to earth, according to experts, but many are split hundreds of pieces when it crashed in the atmosphere, or the cut pieces off a bit.
Collecting any economic model can afford meteorites – it can be as cheap as $ 5, said Mendy Ouzillou, vice president International Meteorite Collectors Association. He started collecting in 2011 after posting a video of his presentation on the scene: "Meteorite Men" on the Science Channel. "Sometimes I'll open one box and go through it, and when I have time to think it still amazes me where these things come from."
But it is what makes this look, too, that the last few years have come to determine their worth. "Collecting meteorites is basically three different markets," said Darryl Pitt, a photographer and music manager in New York whose interest began when he visited Meteor Crater in Arizona as a boy, who got his first 1980 -s: part of the Canyon Diablo meteorite that made that humorous. "There are adults who want to find something foreign that is not a collection instead, and there are those who will appreciate the science and the meaning of meteorites."
And then there are those who see them as world-class artists, just as he did when he began collecting what he described as "the most beautiful iron ore in the world." (His collection is so large that it contains not only a small piece of meteorite that has crashed into the trunk Chevy Malibu in Peekskill, N.Y., 1992, but Malibu itself.)
Some of them – who are remembered for their portraits of Henry Moore and Umberto Boccioni and Alberto Giacometti – were auctioned off by Phillips in 1995 that helped the eyes of the market. Mr. Pitt later became a consultant to Bonhams, Heritage and Christie & # 39; s when these auction houses entered the meteorite market. Many meteors are at Christie's auction.
Craig Kissick, director of nature and science at Heritage in Dallas, said "These items will be considered for their excellent quality as well as their value based on their scientific significance," said Craig Kissick, director of Nature and Science. science at Heritage in Dallas, which sells several hundred meteorites every year. through weekly auction and sale. Its highest sales rose $ 300,000. "We are pleased that there is an active market of meteorites for several hundred thousand dollars."
That's the number of Sahara meteorite which is the marquee attraction at Christie's auction, with the exact range being $ 300,000 to $ 500,000. It weighs three pounds and looks like a dark moon, but it didn't fall off the ground. It was once part of a giant moon that exploded into an asteroid earthquake that collapsed when it hit the Earth's atmosphere and spread hundreds of miles of what astronauts call "massive invasions" in Mauritania, the Sahara and Algeria.
Since its discovery in 2017, the stadium has, according to Mr. Pitt, nearly double the size of Earth's spacecraft in space, stands at 1,500 pounds. (From 1969 to 1972, NASA's Nrootrouts restored 900 pounds of spacecraft, making it illegal for private citizens to own.
The cutting of the meteorite does not die for the meteoricist as cutting off Pietà's toe will turn into a historian. Carl Agee, director of the company, said: "As long as there are enough things to change, I have no problem." The Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico, which classifies many new meteorites.
There is a tradition among collectors, museums and science institutions that cut stock and trade bets, which, as a meteorite, say, a British museum may be at auction. "The fact that there is a vibrant market for the purchase and sale of meteorites as well as hunting of new meteorites is a benefit to the & # 39; s scientific community," Dr. Agee said. "It's a baseless relationship. I guess you can call it that."
Prices have gone up, and peasants are looking for black stones that are sticking out of the sand in the desert. "Meteorites have become like a major cash crop for nomads," Mr. Pitt.
Christie & # 39; s, which has conducted at least one meteorite auction every year since 2014, attracts more customers than any other brand, Mr said. Hyslop, and they seem to be especially popular with young & # 39; s buyers who "have attracted high levels of artistic value as well as a good story."
Like the mind-blowing story behind another lot of auction, part of it The Murchison meteorite hit Australia in 1969: "The rock itself was made 4.6 billion years ago, and it is absolutely the oldest material you can really touch," said Mr. Hyslop. But in it he describes what he describes as "small, small flights" that scientists have shortened to seven billion years. "It's about half as long as the time itself."