(Some) Meteorites auctioned in Edinburgh
I’d been hoping the BBC would follow up on a story about meteorites being auctioned in Edinburgh, on August 20, 2013:
Part of a meteorite that looks “a bit like a fruit cake” and is thought to be the UK’s most expensive rock from outer space is to be sold at auction.
The Hambleton meteorite is a rare pallasite, a stony-iron meteorite, and the only one to be found in the UK.
A 2,900g slice of the Hambleton rock has been valued between £7,000 and £10,000 ahead of its sale at Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh later.
But I didn’t notice any later stories, on what was sold, or for how much. I was curious, since the concluded by noting, “According to the auctioneers, if the Hambleton meteorite part reaches the price of £10,000 it will become the most expensive meteorite sold by Lyon and Turnbull, the only auctioneers known to specialise in meteorite sales.”
As it happened, the meteorite featured failed to sell as it did not meet its reserve, and I had to go digging around to find a report on the auction elsewhere.
Shards of rock from outer space fetched 11,460 pounds ($18,000) at an auction as a British meteorite collector raised money for his next hunt.
The pieces included a 27.1 gram (0.96 ounce) nugget of the Russian meteor that landed in Chelyabinsk in February this year, which sold for 700 pounds, according to the results on auctioneer Lyon & Turnbull’s website. The sale in Edinburgh, the third by Robert Elliott since 2009, made less than forecast as some of the most highly estimated meteorites didn’t lure buyers.
The auction was forecast to reap between 50,000 pounds and 100,000 pounds, Strang said yesterday. A 2.9 kilogram (6.4 pound) piece of Hambleton meteorite was among the lots bidders passed up. It had a guide range of 7,000 to 10,000 pounds.
Interesting to note that while the meteorites alone didn’t do as well as expected, jewellery made from them exceeded exceptions, “Among the 32 of 85 lots that did sell were rings with mounted pieces of meteorite and an astronaut’s mission patch, according to Lyon & Turnbull. The most expensive was a chunk of Seymchan pallasite from Russia found originally in 1967, which sold for a hammer price of 3,200 pounds compared with a guide range of 1,200 to 1,800 pounds, the results showed“, which may tell us something about who was buying.
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