My Best Advice for Meteorite Identification

 As a meteorite hunter the first thing you have to do is figure out how to identify the meteorites you are looking for, among all the millions of earth rocks laying around. We use a metal detector sometimes to point out the iron in a meteorite. But the first thing you find will almost always be a hot rock. So wherever you go the hot rocks will look similar to each other. A place like franconia has half a dozen common hot rocks so you need to identify each one and as you get the signal your eye says"yep another hot rock" This is a visual determination done very quickly without picking up the rock. I like to kick them or bump them with my coil to verify they are the hot rock in my brain.

People will tell you about all these tests that you can do to see if it is a meteorite, I call BS. The streak test on tile is completely unreliable. If it ever works it fails just as often as it is correct. So it is not a test at all, then we have the magnet test. Well as most people know earth rocks are attracted to a strong magnet by the millions, most likely by the billions. The real way to test a meteorite is to learn what they look like. Lean what Hematite looks like, learn what slag looks like, learn what lava rock looks like. Then go back to looking at and handling as many meteorites as possible. Your eyes can cull out 95% of all you questions. Then since you have handled so many meteorites in the course of your studies, you can identify some wrongs by the density. Sometimes a suspect rock looks like an iron meteorite to your eye, but the magnet does not stick hard enough, or the density of the stone is not that of iron so, not a meteorite. Then when all else fails, ask the expert or cut the stone in half. But at that point you have to look at the interior of real meteorites. But you can at least learn what free bright fresh metal looks like on a cut surface, that is a dead give away. Also chondrules are a dead give away. But again you have to use known meteorites to identify these features not just imagine what a chondrule looks like. If you have to tell yourself it might be a lunar or Martin meteorite to fit into the requirements to be a meteorite, it is not going to be a meteorite. If you find 6 different kinds of meteorites in one area, none of them are going to be meteorites, if you have a whole backpack full of meteorites, they are not meteorites. Just my 2 cents