Caveat emptor

Some rocks offered for sale on the internet as meteorites are plain-old earth rocks. Really!

Below are photos and text that I have found on the internet from advertisements for rocks being sold as lunar meteorites or possible lunar meteorites.  None of these rocks even look like a lunar meteorite.

This rock, described as “North American Lunar Meteorite,” was offered for sale on the internet for $7.9 million. Ridiculously high offering prices and spelling errors are field marks of meteorwrongs.

Here are the words the seller provided

Here’s a terrific recipe for you! Imagine taking the finest shatter cone ever recovered from a terrestrial impact site; say Sierra Madre limestone shatter cone, and change the limestone into lunar regolith. In this case, the lunar regolith is “Osbornite,” or Titanium Nitride, along with Plagioclase Feldspar, or Anorthosite, and a sprinkle or Troilite (Iron-Sulfide). Now encase your new recipe into a meteorite, with an exterior having beautiful regmaglyptic thumb prints, ablative pits and directional-flow thread lines, along with a bit of desert varnish, terrestrail oxidation, and a dash of caliche. You now have one of the beautiful lunar specimens ever found on Earth!! Question: What was the “gunpowder” material that covered Neil Armstrong, Buss Aldrin and the cabin of the LEM, after they finished their historic first trek on the lunar surface? Answer: Seriously. You don’t have a clue? If this is the case, a little researcher on your part should help. In the meantime, we have a rock to sell. At $5,000.00 per gram, this 1.567 kg Lunar Achondrite Enstatite, is a bargain for those who know their lunars. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany your purchase. The Australian Calcalong Creek Lunar meteorite sold for $40,000.00 per gram in 1992! What are you waiting for? Tucson? By then, this fine specimen will be in the hands of someone else! Thanks for your interest in our program & All the Best.

This rock, described as “Lunar mars meteorite or meteorwrong,” was offered for sale on the internet for $5000.


Here are the words the seller provided

I bought this as a Gobi Desert meteorite a few years ago from a guy In Thailand who Deals in all kinds of rock meteorites etc ,he told me he had sent some to Germany where it has been Classified as genuine ,I bought 2 pieces from him which he said were the last 2 ,I tried to get some more but he did not have any, Any way I have sent pieces to a number of experts High in the field They have all come back to me with different answers , I sent a piece to Switzerland where it was inconclusive and also to another museum ,no one could confirm wether this was authentic with out doing oxygen Isotopic analysis ,posted below is what I have been told ,So if you want this piece have a bid. The weight is app 4kg. … So, lets summarize what we know. 1) I am really confident that it is a real staff. Never put a 100% bet on it, but on a scale of 10 lets say 9 is an estimate of my confidence. …

This rock, described as “North American Lunar Meteorite,”
was offered for sale on the internet for $250,000.


Here are the words the seller provided

If you are looking to avoid having NASA knocking on your door at midnight to retrieve their Lunar stone, and you wish not to get immersed in a legal confrontation with the Federal government; but you still have a yearning for a genuine Lunar stone, you’ve come to the right place. Our 187 gram, North American Lunar Anorthositic Impact Melt Breccia, will, certainly, become the centerpiece of your collection, without these concerns. Recovered in the Great State of Texas, this meteorite has everything you have ever imagined a Lunar Meteorite should have. If you are in doubt, please refer to NASA’s Lunar Meteorite Compendium, where you will find a perfect match to several meteorites recovered from Northwest Africa, Oman, and the Antarctica. All we ask, is that you do your research & due-diligence to confirm our findings. If you are not satisfied with your research, just give a buzz, and we will help you find this match. If you are going to spend $1500.00 per gram on a Lunar meteorite, we would encourage you to know, exactly, what you are purchasing. By the way, the $1500.00 per gram is not just a price we dreamed up. It is the “established” low price per gram for Lunar meteorites by the IMCA. If we were in business just for the money, we could be asking $40,000.00 per gram! If you have a problem with this pricing, you may want to contact one of the several officials of the IMCA. We will not be held responsible, now will we apologize for, the size, or of the quality of our specimens; even if they are far superior to what is on the lunar meteorite market, today. Please know, too, that you will recieve a “Certificate of Authenticity” with your purchase. You are welcome to take the meteorite & the “Certificate” to any US University lab, or research center, within 30 days of receipt of your purchase for verification. You are also welcome to take both the meteorite & the certificate to your personal attorney, should you challenge the authenticity. We welcome their input! Just be sure to have a reliable scientific source before engaging.

This rock, described as “Possible USA match to Dhofar meteorite breccias!,” was offered for sale on the internet for more than 2 years. Initially, the cost was $750,000. Later the price is was down to $331,440. I hope nobody bought it.


Here are the words the seller provided
(Too many words and lots of CAPITAL LETTERS is another sign of a meteorwrong )

See at bottom, the 7 point checklist in favor of this stone. 17,000 views, up to 50 watchers. This incredible claim to be USA-L1 survives now over a year and a half on eBay because THIS STONE HAS GOT WHAT IT TAKES. Any weaker claim would have been shot down in flames within 3 months. I only hope to remember where I found it and get MORE. A jeweler who has dealt in rarities for 40 years said “it is a crowned jewel”. There have been over 50 offers. One off-the-record offer of nearly $10,000 and many in the 100’s. Weight: 16.57 grams (remaining weight after test cut), Size: 34x20x18 mm (widest dimensions). “USA-L1” Broken fragment, pyramid-shaped. Hard, clastic, fused as one stone. Absolutely vivid color. Three lithologies: (a) larger tan clasts; (b) porcelain-white clasts; (c) smaller slightly bluish white clasts. At the top they are floating in a black void, lightly tinted of lavender (it is this ubiquitous quality of color in the matched Dhofars that can be found most auspicious in this specimen); this seems to shift to a tan matrix on the far wall of this “pyramid”. Plus the clasts have triangular, rhombic, square, pentagonal and hexagonal faces showing. Also showing wavy flow-lines on one side, crust smoothed away. An overall tendancy of orange hues could mean it sat in a hematite/limonite-rich terrestrial environment after falling. I found this in my rock collection, stuff from about 15-20 years ago. I’ve strained to recall where I got it, but it is just a stray from one of my 3 trips in the 90’s, all in the US, but unfortunately all thrown into one box. I do know that none of these trips were to breccia fields, I was hunting artifacts at the time. It may have been in Texas. It has an UNCANNY RESEMBLANCE to a few Dhofars, wouldn’t you say?!? This stone has a very faint magnetic spot near that beautiful top clast! (N40 magnet found it; one photo shows it barely holding there). Of course, NO BRECCIAS from earth look like this. They have much more gravity to their order than this. This colorful pyramid could be a parent-body match to a large group of paired meteorites found in Dhofar, Oman. Specifically: (DHO) 303, 305, 306, 307, 309, 310, 311, 489, 730, 731, 908, 909, 911, 950, 1085. These kinds of meteorites would be super rare because of the forces at work to make them, other impacts many years apart being preserved here and there in the solar system, or in this case the moon. They show this utter chaos of lithology and a total snapshot of time (or several times). But mostly they are rare because upon arrival to earth they were preserved correctly in a deposition environment that was mostly dry – or else they’d be dust by now. That is one good reason lunars have never been found in the USA before. I would be fascinated to find that this fell at the same time as the Dhofars 360,000 years ago, and was preserved on this side of the world in it’s own way. It will take tests, many tests. The price-setting is as it should be for a truly anomalous stone from the United States of America, that can for now visually pair with the Dhofar set. ****You will find no better match through images to this stone than a Dhofar lunar. Also, you will not find any visual match to a terrestrial stone, ever. If you do I’d love to see it, and please be certain. But first, does it have a magnetic spot?**** I tried artificial light, but as you can see sunlight was by far the best way to go for photographing. Very important because comparing clasts is key in this particular case. All I can say is go back and look at your rock collections! Maybe it is a very important find. I invite you to Google “Dhofar 908” images. NO SHIPPING. PICK UP ONLY. And once again, firmly favorable to the argument that this is the first USA lunar meteorite: 1) There are no rounded clasts, as with lunar meteorites. ) There are no rusty clasts, only a rust-haloed clast; as occurs in some Dhofar lunar meteorites. 3) The matrix to clast hardness is exact. Shearing this material creates continuous fracture relief, as is the case with lunars. 4) This material does seem to scratch some glass with great force applied, and not all glass, and not without damage to itself. Earth breccias would easily scratch all glass. 5) This material has a magnetic spot or spots. Earth breccias do not. Lunar breccias have varying degrees of magnetic attraction to a magnet, from medium to practically none. And in certain spots. 6) There is a remnant of flow lines on one side, wavy lines with crust long gone, as is the case in some Dhofar lunar meteorite fractions. The specimen in this listing has a side with these wavy lines. 7) The specimen in question has among the most visually matchable characteristics to the Dhofar set that any meteorite could have to another, and by looking at a photograph and by way of these tests.The advertisement above is honest in not claiming anywhere that the rock is really a meteorite. But, you’ll never find a square clast with a sharply bordered orange-pink rim in a Dhofar lunar meteorite. This rock is stained with hematite, as are many terrestrial rocks. It’s likely that at least some of the white clasts are quartz, not feldspar, as in a lunar meteorite.

This rock, described as “Rare Lunar Meteorite Moon Rock Huge 3800 Grams Basalt.” The asking price was $50,000.


Here are the words the seller provided

Wow, here’s your chance at an incredibly rare lunar basalt meteorite, this space rock was found in Weston Connecticut back in the 50’s by my Grandfather. this meteorite is massive at 8.5 pounds, nasa values these rocks at $50000.00 a gram and on ebay it is worth approximately $3000000.00. Don’t miss your chance on this incredible basalt lunar meteorite. My gramps always told us this is a meteorite, I have sent in a piece to for documentation and authentication, I will have results and post on tuesday 19th . Thank you for looking and bidding.

These rocks were advertised as “Meteorite: Lunar Rocks -found together” The asking price was $2,500.


Here are the words the seller provided

Unclassfied Lunar Meteorites, found together 100 grams total, Great for research.