Selling Stardust: 10+ Ways to Make Money from Meteorite Hunting

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy
a meteorite

Discovering pieces of outer space on Earth may seem like an endeavor reserved for astronomers, but meteorite hunting offers a unique opportunity to make money while unearthing celestial treasures.

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Meteorites, fragments of asteroids or comets that survive their journey through our atmosphere, hold immense scientific and commercial value.

In recent years, the market for meteorites has soared, with collectors, researchers, and enthusiasts willing to pay substantial sums for these extraterrestrial marvels.

This blog post delves into the world of meteorite hunting, exploring the steps to get started, the best tools for the trade, potential selling avenues, and essential tips for success.

What is Meteorite Hunting?

Meteorite hunting is the thrilling and rewarding pursuit of locating, identifying, and collecting meteorites that have landed on Earth from space. 

These cosmic rocks, remnants of asteroids or comets, survive their fiery journey through our planet’s atmosphere and end up scattered across the globe. 

Meteorites come in various shapes, sizes, and compositions, offering a glimpse into the vastness of our solar system and beyond.

Steps on How to Find a Meteorite

Finding a meteorite requires careful planning, research, and a keen eye. 

Here are the steps to guide you on your meteorite hunting journey:

1. Research and Education: Learn About Meteorites

Before embarking on a meteorite hunting adventure, it’s essential to acquire knowledge about meteorites, their types, characteristics, and common hunting areas.

A great starting point for learning is the Meteoritical Society, which offers resources and databases for meteorite enthusiasts. 

Explore books, online articles, and scientific papers to deepen your understanding of meteorites and their significance in understanding our solar system’s history.

2. Choose Suitable Hunting Locations

Selecting the right hunting locations is crucial for increasing your chances of finding meteorites. 

Research and identify places with a history of meteorite discoveries, such as Meteoritical Bulletin Database and official meteorite catalogs that provide information on known fall sites.

In addition to documented areas, consider geological features conducive to meteorite preservation, like dry lake beds or arid plains. 

Remember, obtaining permission from landowners or authorities before searching on private or protected land is essential to avoid legal issues.

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3. Obtain Permission to Hunt

Before venturing onto private or protected land in search of meteorites, always seek explicit permission from landowners or relevant authorities. 

Gaining permission not only ensures you are legally allowed to hunt on the property but also fosters positive relationships with landowners and local communities.

To request permission, approach landowners with respect and a clear explanation of your intentions. 

Show them your interest in meteorite hunting and willingness to follow ethical guidelines. 

Respecting private property rights is crucial in preserving access to potential hunting areas for future enthusiasts.

4. Acquire Proper Equipment

Investing in the right equipment is essential for effective meteorite hunting. 

The primary tool is a quality metal detector with discrimination capabilities, allowing you to distinguish between valuable meteorites and common rocks. 

Additionally, a GPS device helps record the exact location of your finds for scientific purposes and provenance.

Consider using a strong magnet to help locate iron-rich meteorites, as they often exhibit magnetic properties. 

Carrying specimen containers or zip-lock bags will help preserve and protect your finds during the hunt.

5. Scour the Area Methodically

Once on-site, approach your search methodically. Walk in a grid pattern, covering the area comprehensively. 

Keep an eye out for any unusual-looking rocks, particularly ones with a dark fusion crust and regmaglypts, which are telltale signs of a meteorite. 

Utilize your metal detector to detect potential meteorite fragments buried beneath the surface.

Stay patient and focused during your search, as finding meteorites can be time-consuming. 

Be prepared to invest multiple days or even weeks to increase your chances of success.

6. Identify Potential Finds

Differentiating meteorites from terrestrial rocks requires careful observation. 

Look for key characteristics such as a dark, smooth fusion crust resulting from the intense heat during atmospheric entry. 

Regmaglypts, thumbprint-like indentations, are another essential feature found on many meteorites.

Use a magnet to test for magnetic properties, as many meteorites contain iron-nickel metal. 

However, not all meteorites exhibit strong magnetism, so visual inspection remains crucial. 

If you believe you have found a meteorite, document its location and appearance to verify your discovery later.

7. Document the Find

Recording accurate and detailed information about your meteorite discovery is vital for scientific research and provenance. 

Document the exact GPS coordinates, date, and time of the find. Take photographs from different angles to capture the meteorite’s appearance and potential fusion crust.

Maintain a field notebook to jot down any relevant observations or notes during your search. 

Proper documentation contributes to the meteorite’s scientific value and history, making it more desirable for collectors and researchers.

8. Contact Experts for Verification

If you believe you have found a meteorite, reach out to experts or meteorite specialists for verification and classification. 

Professional meteorite hunters, universities, and meteorite clubs can provide valuable insights and expertise in identifying potential meteorite finds.

Sending clear photographs or physical samples to reputable meteorite experts allows for thorough examination. 

Verification by experts adds credibility to your discovery and can help determine its rarity and scientific significance.

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9. Preserve and Handle Carefully

Handle meteorites with care to preserve their scientific and monetary value. Avoid unnecessary contact that could cause contamination or damage. 

Use clean gloves and tools when handling meteorites to prevent introducing foreign materials.

Store your meteorite finds in a dry and controlled environment to prevent deterioration. 

Individual specimen containers or acid-free envelopes are ideal for safe storage and display.

Additionally, contribute positively to the meteorite community by sharing knowledge, supporting scientific research, and assisting with education initiatives.

10. Ethical Considerations

Ethical behavior is paramount in meteorite hunting to preserve the environment, protect property rights, and foster a positive community. 

Adhere to the following ethical guidelines during your meteorite hunting expedition:

  1. Respect Private Property: Always obtain permission from landowners before entering private land for meteorite hunting. Seek consent in writing to avoid misunderstandings and legal issues.
  2. Adhere to Local Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations regarding meteorite hunting in the area you plan to explore. Follow all guidelines and restrictions to ensure responsible hunting.
  3. Minimize Environmental Impact: Be mindful of your surroundings and minimize any disturbance to the environment. Avoid trampling vegetation, disturbing wildlife, or leaving behind trash.
  4. Leave No Trace: Clean up after yourself and leave the hunting area as you found it. Remove any trash or debris, and consider picking up litter left by others.
  5. Protect Sensitive Areas: Avoid hunting in ecologically sensitive areas or protected habitats. These areas play a crucial role in preserving the environment and biodiversity.
  6. Collaborate with Landowners: Foster positive relationships with landowners, offering information about your intentions and the importance of preserving meteorites for scientific research.

Online Platforms that Buy Meteorites

Several online platforms buy meteorites, providing opportunities for meteorite hunters and collectors to sell their finds. 

Here are some popular online platforms where you can sell meteorites:

1. eBay

eBay is a widely recognized and well-established online marketplace that allows individuals to buy and sell a diverse range of items, including meteorites. 

With millions of users worldwide, eBay provides a vast audience for sellers to showcase their meteorite specimens. 

Sellers can create listings with detailed information about their meteorites’ origin, classification, and any unique features to attract potential buyers.

Meteorite enthusiasts and collectors frequently browse eBay, making it a popular platform to buy and sell meteorites. 

To ensure a successful transaction, sellers should verify the authenticity of their meteorites and describe them accurately in their listings. 

Pricing competitively and providing high-quality images can also increase the chances of attracting interested buyers.

2. AsteroidShop

AsteroidShop is a specialized online platform dedicated to buying and selling meteorites and space-related collectibles. 

This niche platform caters specifically to a targeted audience interested in meteorites and celestial artifacts. 

Meteorite hunters and sellers can showcase their finds on AsteroidShop, connecting with a community that shares their passion for space-related objects.

One of the advantages of using AsteroidShop is the ability to reach serious collectors and researchers seeking unique and high-quality meteorite specimens. 

This targeted audience increases the likelihood of finding interested buyers who appreciate the scientific and aesthetic value of meteorites.

3. Meteorite Exchange

Meteorite Exchange is an online marketplace exclusively focused on buying and selling meteorites. 

The platform offers an extensive collection of meteorite specimens from various classifications and fall locations. 

Sellers can present their meteorites to a specialized audience of meteorite enthusiasts and collectors.

Meteorite Exchange provides a secure and reputable space for both experienced sellers and beginners to showcase and sell their meteorite finds. 

With a strong emphasis on meteorites, this platform attracts buyers who are genuinely interested in expanding their meteorite collections or acquiring unique pieces for research and display.

4. Meteorite Market

Meteorite Market is another online platform that offers a diverse selection of meteorites for sale. 

Sellers can create listings featuring their meteorite specimens, accompanied by detailed information about their classification, weight, and provenance. 

The platform provides a reputable venue for connecting sellers with a broad audience of meteorite enthusiasts, researchers, and collectors.

Listing meteorites on Meteorite Market enhances visibility and increases the chances of attracting potential buyers from around the world. 

With a wide variety of meteorite types available, this platform caters to buyers with different interests and budgets.

5. The Meteorite Exchange, Inc.

The Meteorite Exchange, Inc. is an established online platform specializing in the trade of meteorites. 

Sellers can feature their meteorite specimens on this platform, benefiting from a site with a long-standing reputation in the meteorite community.

The Meteorite Exchange, Inc. boasts an extensive network of collectors and researchers, facilitating transactions and providing valuable exposure for sellers. 

Trust and authenticity are crucial factors when dealing with rare meteorite specimens, and this platform’s reputation adds credibility to your listings, making it an attractive option for selling high-value meteorites.

6. Top Meteorite

Top Meteorite is an online marketplace that connects meteorite sellers with potential buyers from around the globe. 

The platform offers a user-friendly interface, enabling sellers to present their meteorite finds clearly and attractively.

Top Meteorite’s global reach extends to a diverse audience, including collectors, enthusiasts, and educational institutions interested in acquiring meteorite specimens. 

By utilizing this platform, sellers can reach a broad customer base, increasing the likelihood of finding the right buyer for their meteorites.

7. Galactic Stone & Ironworks

Galactic Stone & Ironworks is an online retailer specializing in meteorites and other space-related products. 

The platform allows sellers to submit their meteorite specimens for consideration.

Galactic Stone & Ironworks takes pride in offering verified and genuine meteorites to its customers, ensuring that sellers must provide accurate information about their meteorite listings. 

This platform attracts buyers who appreciate the scientific significance and aesthetics of meteorites.

8. Impactika

Impactika is an online store dedicated to selling meteorites and impact-related products. 

This platform welcomes sellers who have authenticated and properly documented meteorite specimens to offer.

Impactika caters to a community of meteorite enthusiasts and collectors, providing a reputable space for sellers to connect with potential buyers. 

This platform’s focus on meteorites ensures that sellers can reach an audience genuinely interested in acquiring these rare and fascinating objects.

9. Aerolite Meteorites

Aerolite Meteorites is an established online retailer of meteorites and meteorite-related products. 

The platform sources its meteorites from reputable sellers and sources, making it a suitable platform for experienced sellers with genuine meteorite finds.

Sellers can submit their specimens for consideration, benefiting from Aerolite Meteorites’ curated selection and dedicated customer base. 

Buyers browsing this platform are likely to be serious collectors and researchers seeking high-quality meteorites with reliable provenance.

10. MILE High Meteorites

MILE High Meteorites is an online retailer specializing in meteorites and related materials. 

Sellers can submit their meteorite finds to this platform, which caters to both collectors and educational institutions.

MILE High Meteorites ensures that the meteorite specimens it offers are genuine and well-documented, making it an attractive platform for serious sellers with authenticated meteorite finds. 

Sellers can take advantage of this platform’s diverse customer base, which includes both enthusiasts and educational institutions seeking meteorites for display and research purposes.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, venturing into the world of meteorite hunting offers a unique opportunity to turn a passion for space exploration into a profitable venture. 

By following ethical guidelines and arming yourself with knowledge about meteorites, you can embark on an exciting cosmic adventure. 

Platforms like eBay, AsteroidShop, and Meteorite Exchange provide access to a vast community of enthusiasts and collectors, creating a potential market for your finds. 

With careful research, proper equipment, and perseverance, you can not only discover celestial treasures but also share the wonder of meteorites while making money from this awe-inspiring pursuit.

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