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Los Angeles Meteorite Sold At Auction

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Los Angeles Meteorite Sold At Auction

Ron Baalke
August 28, 2000

Two fragments of the Los Angeles meteorite were sold at the Butterfields auction yesterday. The meteorites were on display for preview at Butterfields' Los Angeles office prior to the auction. The auction was held concurrently in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and bids were also taken over the telephone and from the Internet. The final bids of both fragments of the Los Angeles meteorite exceeded their estimated price and ended up selling for about $3000/gram, which included a buyer's premium of 15%.

          Estimated            Bid      Bid With    
Weight     Price              Price     Premium  Price/Gram

4.539 g  $6,000-$8,500       $12,000    $13,800  $3,040/gram
1.011 g  $1,400-$2,000       $ 2,500    $ 2,875  $2,844/gram 

The Los Angeles meteorite is one of only 15 known Mars meteorites. Bob Verish, the finder of the Los Angeles meteorite, and his wife, Beth, were present at the auction. Darryl Pitt had teamed up with Michael Casper to buy the larger of the two pieces that made up the main mass of the LA meteorite from Bob Verish. The two fragments at the Butterfields auction were provided by Pitt. The other main mass is currently on display at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. The bulk of the LA meteorite bought by Casper and Pitt has been traded to museums and research institutions, and Pitt mentioned he only has about 10 to 15 grams left of the LA meteorite.

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