Scientists and collectors retrieve about 1,000 meteorites a year. If they go on the open market, they are sold by weight and size, though they are worth more according to the specimen’s aesthetic appeal, scientific or historical importance, rarity, condition and provenance.
Meteorites found on the ground by chance are known as finds, while those that are seen before they land are called witnessed falls. A 67-gram (two-ounce) portion of a stony meteorite costs about £50 ($80), but famous ones of the same type – like that from Peekskill which crashed into a parked car in October 1992 – are worth several thousand pounds as they are witnessed by many people.
Pallasites are particularly valuable as they can be cut and polished to show off the beauty of their colourful crystalline structure. They can cost £30 ($50) a gram (0.04 ounces), and a large quality meteorite might be worth £1 million ($1.57 million) or even more.