Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Rockin It From Space

Last year Upper Deck introduced the “It Came from Outer Space” meteorite relic cards which were inserted in to packs of 2012 Goodwin Champions at an insane 1:3,986 packs insert ratio. When they started showing up for sale they were topping the $400-500 range, now that the redemptions are being filled the actual cards are going for a much higher amount. There is only one currently up for auction and it is posted with a $750 BIN price tag.
Like many collectors I have trouble putting up $750 for any modern card so I went a more realistic route and started looking at meteorite specimens. There are plenty of options when looking for specimens like eBay, Craigslist, Gem & Rock Shows and even swap meets. I ended up picking up this mesosiderite (a stone-iron meteorite) for $8 and that included the display case.
This piece came from the Vaca Muerta strike in Chili. The history was pretty difficult to track because it was initially discovered in 1861 by mining surveyors, who immediately (and incorrectly) identified the shining metallic pieces as silver and the area was picked through by the mining company and then left abandoned. It was rediscovered in 1985 and it has since been cleared of samples.
I finally found a NASA paper that was published in 1991 that covered the history of the meteor beyond the 1861 mining company. It is believed that Vaca Muerta (Dead cow, cool name huh) hit around 3,500 years ago, it weighed 6 tons but was only about 3-4 feet across. The strike zone was 34 feet across and 6 feet deep with some pieces found over 2 ½ miles away from impact.
My sample is pretty small, only about the size of a pinkie nail, but it still pretty neat to have a space rock sitting next to my computer.

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