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.
Diamonds are sold by the carat,
which is 200 milligrams. In other words, a one carat diamond weighs 1/5 gram.
The approximate historic worldwide production of diamonds is 400,000 kilograms
and increases annually. This includes all grades from industrial to gem
quality. The majority of diamonds are not gem quality, but a good grade one
carat diamond can cost several thousand U.S. dollars or $25,000 to $30,000 per
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