Meteorite is rare, hence limited
Meteorite, a familiar term for many, originates from outer space comets, asteroids, or other meteors falling towards the earth, passing through the atmosphere, crashing to the ground surface before it is discovered. It may seem like a simple outer space phenomenon, but with a closer look, it is very improbable and coincidental for a meteorite to be discovered.
First of all, as there are many celestial bodies in the universe, and our earth is merely an average-size planet, therefore, the probability of having a collision with earth is not high. Furthermore, as it is a well-known fact that the earth is surrounded by five layers of the atmosphere, any object falling through the atmosphere is likely to be incinerated through friction. According to scientific statistics, there are approximately 500 meteors falling through the atmosphere, and most of them are totally incinerated, but for those able to get through the atmosphere, they are more than likely falling into the ocean, which accounts for 70% of the earth’s surface. Therefore, it is estimated that there are only 5 to 10 meteor that may reach the ground, if and only if they can be discovered and named by the research specialists.
Besides, it is extremely difficult to find a piece of the meteorite with a presentable profile and appearance, as well as a legible surface pattern, which may render the task even more difficult. Usually, the exterior of the meteorite would most likely be thoroughly burned, hence in the color of black or dark black. However, as there may be some fragments which are the inner part of the meteorite, the composition and the pattern of the meteorite can be seen from the surface of these segments, which are of high research value; hence most of them are likely to be collected or held in possession by natural science institutions, geologists, or museums, with minimal quantities out on the market.
Among the history of meteorites falling to the earth’s surface, the Allende meteorite is worthy of being mentioned, as it first came through the earth atmosphere over Mexico at 1:05 am, local time, February 8th 1969. According to the research, the Allende meteorite was initially of the size of a passenger car approaching the ground from the southwest and subsequently incinerated into thousands of flaming segments, which, fortunately, did not cause any fatality. Throughout the wide-reaching search in the last 25 years, scientists successfully collected up to 2 tonnes of samples for their subsequent researches, which rendered it to be the most thoroughly studied meteorite in history. Allende meteorite is composed of ample calcium and aluminum inclusion and is one of the earliest formed celestial bodies in the Solar System, as it has been categorized as a mainly dark-black-colored carbon ball-shape meteorite.
Until today, meteorites are classified into three major categories such as stony meteorite, iron meteorite, and iron-stony meteorite, and pallasite (iron-stony meteorite) is one of the highest rarity, a gem-like meteorite. The first-ever pallasite was discovered, east of the Ural Mountains, by a German natural historian, Peter Pallas (1741-1811), in 1772. Up to 2020, there have only been 61 meteorites discovered and named, all of which are composed of olivine, iron, and nickel. The main composition of olivine is of two colors, i.e., green and yellow-green, which would glow like a diamond under illumination in a pitch-dark environment. Usually, olivine can be found in meteorites, on the moon, mars, or comets. Given its mysterious and unique features, olivine appears in the theme of the movie, “Superman Returns”, as the glowing green-color Kryptonite which the character, Lex Luthor, stole from the Museum of Natural History.
Currently, the largest admire pallasite on the market is 975 grams, and most of the remaining pallasite meteorite on the market are meteorite fragments of smaller sizes, and made into fashion accessories.
As meteorite is no longer the exclusive subject for research, our curiosity towards the mysterious universe knows no bounds, and in the last ten years or so, its unique appearance and appreciation potential are what draws the attention of the collectors. As meteorites are discovered with luck, its pressure-resistance, and coincidence, its unique color, surface pattern, and shape are naturally formed, which are the very reasons making it highly collectible.