Meteorite finds. How to identify

Good news: 5000-6000 kilograms of meteorites fall to the Earth in 24 hours. It’s a pity most are submerged, but there are also enough of them in the soil.

Meteorites are a super category of targets for hunting. They are expensive and regularly replenished. The only problem is how to identify a meteorite. The finds similar to rocks and giving a metal detector’s response are not uncommon at hunts. How to distinguish a meteorite from the artifact of terrestrial origin. Photo, meteorites and similar to them.

How to identify a meteorite


Two important features. A meteorite never has an inner horizontal structure (layers). A meteorite does not look like a river rock.

Surface with a fusion crust. If it has such, it is a hopeful sign. But if a meteorite has lain in the soil or outside, the surface can lose its glaze (by the way, it is mostly thin – 1-2mm).
Shape. A meteorite can have any shape, even square one. But if it is a regular-shaped ball or sphere, most likely, it isn’t a meteorite.

It magnetizes. Almost all meteorites (about 90%) adhere to any magnet. But there are a lot of natural rocks on the Earth having the same features. If you see it is a metal which doesn’t adhere to a magnet, it is the 99% find of terrestrial origin.


Appearance. 99% of all meteorites don’t have quartz inclusions, as well as ‘bubbles’. But the grain structure is often present. A hopeful sign is ‘plastic depressions’ resembling thumb-like imprints in plasticine (their scientific name is Regmaglypts). Meteorites most commonly contain iron, which, having fallen to the Earth, begins to oxidize, it is outwardly a rusty rock))

Photo of finds






4 Responses to Meteorite finds. How to identify

  • Pour moui meteorit

  • I live in southern California and have found two possible meteorites one of which marbled with gold. Before i refine the gold to sell i would like to get them validated and appraised. Who would i contact in order to do so?

    • What I do for metal and nickel meteors cut a flat peace to expose the inside and shine it to a mirror finish drop some drops of meratic acid at least 76% to the mirror finish and it should like etch the separation lines between the iron/nickel the only way for it to be deemed a meteorite is its tested by proper people probably find on the net .you have to disclose GPS location name ect.

  • I lived in California for a year while working in San Jose . I lived in a town called Gilroy. I am certain that I have found several meteorites. If someone would be willing to help me find a person who good identify some of the 2500 lbs of rocks that I have, I Would be delighted to share profits from the ones you could sell for me.

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