Why a rare meteorite could shower auction profits on savvy investors
As the Persid meteor shower dazzles onlookers, we look the asteroids that have dazzled collectors
Tonight, sky-watchers across the country are preparing for an extra special treat. The Perseid meteor shower will reach the second day of its peak and it's promising to be quite a spectacle.
NASA has estimated that the shower could produce up to 80 meteors per hour.
And while no pieces are likely to fall to earth, for collectors, meteors continue to prove a source of fascination and investment.
After all, recent auctions have seen world record prices for meteor rocks of varying types.
A 9g dark, purple-and-greenish-brown Angrite believed to originate from the planet Mercury came up for auction at Bonhams in June 2010.
The meteorite exceeded all expectations at the event, selling for £4,475 ($6,710) - well above its estimate.
And in January 2009, a Martian Chassignite, believed to have come from Mars came up for auction.
Weighing 9.46g, the rock sold for an impressive £23,900 ($35,850). That's almost £2,660 ($4,000) per gram.
Elsewhere, in 2008, Heritage Auction galleries sold a lunar meteorite from the moon for a massive £28,440 ($42,661).
But one of the biggest meteorite sales to happen took place at Bonhams in New York.
Here, collectors witnessed the sale of a huge 99kg Sikhote-Alin octahedrite meteor, originally found in Siberia.
The piece brought a staggering £91,835 ($122,750) and came from the famous Macovich collection. This collection has supplied rocks and meteorites for some of the biggest auctions in the world to date.
And more recently, a piece of acapulcoite space rock has emerged on the market.
Named after its first fall site in Acapulco, Mexico back in 1976, these rocks are rare, old and most significantly not of planetary origin.
Today, a 127.2g piece with olivine showing sharp extinction and few irregular fractures is available to buy.
So as you enjoy tonight's show, it's certainly food for thought to consider the value of an investment in your own unique display of meteors.
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Images: The Meteorite Market, Heritage