In collaboration with Trevor Boyd - Archaeological Finds Expert
For thousands of years people have been fascinated by the ‘heavens above’ and especially so with the mysterious objects that have fallen to earth. We now know these objects to be meteorites, but there is evidence that 5,000 years ago the ancient Egyptians prized the iron they contain for jewellery making. Before the mid 40s, meteorites were generally housed only in universities and museums. However in 1946 Harvey H. began selling these amazing items to the public. Since then many meteorite enthusiasts have turned their passion into legitimate businesses opening up meteorite collecting to everyone. Sometimes, these interstellar objects can be sold for interstellar prices too. Let’s explore the most expensive meteorite pieces offered up on Earth so far!
10. The Gibeon Meteorite - €280,000
This giant metallic meteorite is no ordinary one. The space rock was described as an otherworldly resemblance of Edvard Munch’s famous painting 'The Scream'. The meteorite was discovered on the edge of the Kalahari desert in Southern Africa and has an estimated value of €280,000.
9. The Main Mass of Zagami Meteorite - €278,000
The Zagami meteorite crystallised from basaltic magma around 175 million years ago and to date it is the largest Mars meteorite discovered on Earth. In 1962, a farmer in Zagami, Nigeria was almost struck by this big meteorite when it came crashing down. A portion of the mass was offered up for sale and has a value of more than €278,000.
8. Dar al Gani 1058 Lunar Meteorite - €281,000
The largest lunar meteorite ever made available at auction, weighing in at 4 pounds, was found in Libya in 1998. Meteor impacts on the moon eject surface material into space, which can sometimes end up on Earth. Of course, moon rocks have also come to earth through space missions, but the meteorite in question fell to Earth on its own.
7. The Chelyabinsk Meteorite - €336,000
In 2013 a meteor exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. This rock is the only meteorite to have injured large numbers of human beings; over 1,500 people required medical treatment that day. The story behind a meteorite is also important when considering its value. A meteorite that had witnesses when it fell to earth, can command a higher price. The circumstances of its fall have therefore guaranteed greater values for fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite.
6. The Zagami Martian Meteorite - €383,000
The Zagami Martian meteor landed in Nigeria in 1962. The largest piece of the meteorite came up for sale in 2006, and before it was even sold, planetariums from all of the world begged future buyers to make it available to them on loan.
5. The Springwater Meteorite - €511,000
This 117-pound pallasite meteorite was discovered on a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada in 1931. It is believed to be 4.5 billion years old and contains a large amount of the mineral olivine. When sliced and polished the beautiful olivine crystals can be clearly seen, something which can make pallasite meteorites very desirable for collectors. It was purchased by the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto for €511,000.
4. The Conception Junction Meteorite - €724,000
Researchers believe this meteorite was once part of an asteroid which orbited between Mars and Jupiter. It was discovered in 2006 by a farmer in Conception Junction Missouri. The University of St. Louis identified the space rock as a pallasite, with olivine crystals in it. They are sprinkled throughout the iron-nickel surface, like chocolate chips in a cookie!
3. The Willamette Meteorite - €851,000
In October 2007, this million-euro fragment of the meteorite was offered up for sale in New York. It was donated by the American Museum of Natural History. This meteorite is believed to have been one of the largest meteorites found on the earth. Discovered in 1902, it weighed more than 16 tonnes when found.
2. The Main Mass of the Brenham Meteorite - €896,000+
This ‘iron-lace’ pallasite meteorite weighs in at half a tonne and is valued at €896,000. The rock is shaped like a shield and was found in Kansas in 2005. The pleasure of owning a meteorite lies in the romance of having something that is not from earth itself and that could be one the oldest things in the universe.
1. The Fukang Meteorite - €1.7 million
This meteorite is a pallasite made of nickel-iron laced with olivine (green) crystals in it. A really rare find, as scientists believe that only 1% of all the meteorites that have fallen on earth are pallasites. This meteorite is thought to be 4.5 billion years old, meaning that this rock is almost the same age as our planet or older. It was found in 2000 and, like many meteorites, it takes its name from the location where it fell. It’s not only one of the most expensive meteorites in the world, but also possibly one of the most beautiful.
A meteorite is really a valuable find because these rock are becoming more expensive than gold and don’t come around every day. If you are a real meteorite collector yourself, make your way to our auction and be amazed by the extraordinary finds in our weekly Meteorites auction. Or register here to become a seller and profit from your discoveries by offering them up for auction.