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Silicated iron meteorite slice.
An example of the element Iron

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Silicated iron meteorite slice.
One of the really neat things about meteorites is that often the exact time and place they fell out of the sky is known, because people don't forget when something like that happens. This slice is from the "Lueders" meteorite of 1973, which fell in a cotton field outside Lueders in Shackleford County, Texas. It is a class IAB silicated iron meteorite, and this slice weighs weighs 34.9 grams.

A strange properly of meteorite collectors is that they have no qualms about cutting the meteorites, which I would personally consider to be historical artifacts, into dozens of small slices and trading them with each other. For example, a total of 34.5 kilograms of this particular meteorite has been recovered, but it's typically sold in 10 to 100 gram slices, which means that what used to be a solid chunk of iron is now dispersed into something like a thousand pieces. (For example, my slice is almost exactly 1/1000 of the original.) It seems odd to me: They don't cut Napoleon's coat into one inch squares of cloth so everyone can have a piece, but I guess it's a cultural thing.

I have noticed another thing about meteor collectors: People who bid on meteorites on eBay are sophisticated users of sniping services (which place your bid seconds before the end of the auction so no one can respond by raising their bid). This is not an issue when bidding for most other sorts of element samples (which of course means that, as a user of a sniping service, I have an advantage), but if you're trying to win a meteorite, expect the price to skyrocket in the last few seconds of the auction.

Source: eBay seller meteoritesandmore
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 10 October, 2005
Price: $180
Size: 1.5"
Purity: >90%
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