A) Shape and Beauty
Perfect shape is of course considered superior. Complete specimens or nice endcuts are more coveted than broken fragments. Perfect terminations on crystals or fresh (looking) fusion crust with flow lines on a meteorite and thumbprints usually also attracts more buyers.
The overall appearance of individuals is as important as the quality of etching on certain iron meteorite slices and endpieces.
The thickness of a slice is also considered in evaluating the price of a meteorite. Thinly cut slices cause more cutting loss, and thus they are more expensive.
C) Scientific Significance
Certain meteorites, such as planetary material (i.e., meteorites of Martian, lunar,
or suspected Mercurian origin) are of major scientific
importance. They bear significant clues to the history of
the Earth and our solar system, and they are handing us invaluable
knowledge for future space missions, space mining
projects, and our future relationship to other planets, and the universe.
Some meteorite types, and classes are more rare and unique
than others, and they usually yield substantially higher
prices than more common meteorite types, such as ordinary chondrites.
Some meteorite falls or finds are harder to get
than others, and the availability of a certain meteorite is also an
important price constituent. Rare meteorites with a low total known
weight are often much more expensive than
meteorites of the same classification but with a larger total known
weight. Most samples of certain meteorites are also locked away in
museums or institutions, and thus the few pieces
that reach the market are highly coveted by private
collectors. Mainly, it's supply and demand.
E) Historical value of the stone
Witnessed falls, and especially meteorites that hit houses, or lunar meteorites are considered very valuable because of their special historical significance.
Of course, meteorites with a fresh interior, well preserved crust, and appearance are considered more valuable than those which appear very old, weathered, and fragmented. Very few meteorites also contain special mineralogic components which cause inner corrosion, and these special irons, and stony-irons are usually considered less valuable than
more stable specimens.
by: ErichHH and. N.Classen, 2003