Gift shop prices tend to be high, but so do prices elsewhere. Cost also depends on the kind of meteorite. There are three basic types: stones, irons, and stoney irons. Stones consist of ordinary chondrites, which sell for between $3 and $10 per gram. Carbonaceous chondrites fetch about $8 per gram and up. The rare achondrites begin at $10 to $12 per gram for a Millbillillie (a portion of the asteroid Vesta) but can go up to $700 per gram for a Zagami (from Mars), $2,500 per gram for a DAG 476 (also from Mars), and $25,000 per gram for a DAG 400 (from the Moon).
Two types of people tend to buy meteorites: those who want to own a meteorite or two and collectors. If you are the first type, I would recommend one or more of the following:
- a Gibeon or Canyon Diablo iron;
- an ordinary chondrite, which sells for about $1.50 per gram;
- a small slice of Allende, a CV3 carbonaceous chondrite, which runs about 7 to $10 per gram.
If you want an achondrite, purchase a Millbillillie. And if you get this far, you might want to have a Pallasite, preferably an Esquel.
If you buy from a dealer, be cautious. Dealers can be very pushy. A good place to go first is the Meteorite Exchange website at www.meteorite.com. — JIM PHILLIPS