[meteorite-list] NWA material (you can't tell just by looking)

Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2007 10:10:37 -0600
To: meteorite-list@meteoritecentral.com
From: Randy Korotev

I have been fortunate to have seen, photographed, and chemically analyzed practically every lunar meteorite that has ever been found. I still can't identify a lunar meteorite "just by looking" at it, however, and I believe that no one else can, either.

I know that some terrestrial rocks from northwest Africa have been sold as lunar meteorites:


I myself bought an alleged lunar meteorite from an experienced and respected European dealer who must, I assume, have obtained it from a "local" dealer or finder [from Northwest Africa]. The sample turned out to be a howardite.

I'm willing to believe that the local dealers [from Northwest Africa] perhaps believed these various stones were lunar meteorites. Nevertheless, they clearly didn't do the obvious, as Greg suggests, and submit a type specimen for an expert to verify first. For what it's worth, I have never been sent a sample of a lunar meteorite by a northwest African dealer with a request to verify its authenticity.

caveat emptor,
Randy Korotev

ALSO SEE: Randy's opinion of "Starchasersmeteorites 'lunar'"