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Mars Meteorites Sold At Auction



Ron Baalke
December 16, 1996

Four Mars meteorites were up for auction at the Phillips auction house in New York on December 14. Three of the four meteorites were sold. A bid of $11,000 was made on a 7.6 gram piece of Zagami, but it did not meet a predetermined minimum price, and so there was no sale on this particular meteorite. No bids over the minimum suggested price were made for the larger Mars meteorites.

                     Suggested          Actual Bid
Meteorite   Weight   Price              Price

Zagami      7.6 g    $14,000-$18,000    $11,000 (no sale)
Zagami      0.1 g    $275-$350          $550
Zagami      1.3 g    $2,500-$3,500      $2000
Nakhla      2.57 g   $4,000-$5,000      $4000

It is interesting to note that the suggested price for Zagami and Nakhla were both at around $2000/gram, which is quite remarkable because Nakhla is clearly the rarer of the two meteorites. The 0.1 gram Zagami was the only one to sell above the minimum suggested price, but it only consisted of meteorite crumbs in a vial. The 1.3 gram Zagami was sold at $1538/gram. The 7.6 gram Zagami's bid was at $1447/gram though as noted before, there was no sale. The Nakhla meteorite sold at the minimum suggeted price, which translated to $1556/gram, and this was a steal compared with the Zagami prices.

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