Michigan meteor: How valuable are meteorites?


DETROIT – Michigan was treated to a sky show on Tuesday night when a bolide flew through the sky, triggered a small earthquake in the region.

The bolide - a special type of fireball which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation - likely dropped debris around the Mt. Clemens area.

Meteor triggers earthquake in Michigan: Here's everything we know

So, if you're in the Mt. Clemens area - or any area that saw the bolide - should you be scavenging the backyard to debris?

TODAY AT 1 P.M. - Paul Gross will show an actual meteor, and tell you the two tests you need to do to determine how to check if you find a piece of last night's meteor. Watch it LIVE on ClickOnDetroit.

As it turns out, there is a decent market for meteorite - which is what it's called once it hits the ground. Here's some analysis from Meteor Lab:

Because meteorites are so scarce, they are priced and sold by the gram. Scarcity, availability, the size of the specimen, and the amount and quality of preparation that went into the piece can all affect price.

Common iron meteorite prices are generally in the range of US$0.50 to US$5.00 per gram. Stone meteorites are much scarcer and priced in the US$2.00 to US$20.00 per gram range for the more common material. It is not unusual for the truly scarce material to exceed US$1,000 per gram. It sounds very intimidating, but comparing meteorite prices to more familiar material puts the prices in perspective.

Meteorites are a very rare commodity and are priced accordingly, but they are not expensive when compared to other rarities. In 1993 approximately 331,000 kilograms of gold were produced in the United States alone. The production for that one year exceeds all the known meteoritical material in the world, excluding Antarctic meteorites, which are not available to the marketplace.

How to Price Your Meteorites

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