Many meteorites are found in desert areas where climate, high visibility, and lack of foliage lead to higher levels of discovery. The Sahara Desert and the Arabian Peninsula boast high amounts of meteoric finds, while Australia, Antarctica, and the American plains and Midwest have also had numerous meteorites discovered. Once on the earth's surface, meteorites experience weathering, meaning they are exposed to moisture, wind, and other elements. Meteorites are often found by nomadic people searching for them in the desert so they can sell the meteorites to collectors.
86 percent of meteorites are rocky, stone-like chondrites. They are called chondrites because of the round grains called chondrules that were formed from once-molten droplets in space. Chondrites are sold whole or in slices and are purchased by collectors who appreciate the meteorite's outer fusion crust and inner metallic flecks. The can also be smoothed and shaped into sculptures or jewelry. A sub-type of stony meteorite is the achondrite, so called because this meteorite does not contain chondrules. This stony meteorite is rarer than chondrite; only 8 percent of meteorites are achondrites. They have an igneous, basaltic appearance like that of moon rocks, are also sold whole and in slices, and are admired for their more crystalline interior.Iron meteorites are rare, representing only 5 percent of meteorites. They have ingrowths of iron-nickel metals and are known for their silvery, metallic appearance. These meteorites can be purchased whole or carved down and sculpted to form metallic sculptures. They are also used to make various types of jewelry such as rings, watches, and pendants.
The final type of meteorite is the also the rarest, representing only 1 percent of all meteorites. Stoney iron meteorites are a mixture of iron-nickel metal and silicates; in addition to being rare, the highest-quality stony iron meteorite contains top-grade olivine (or Peridot). When properly sliced with a wet saw into pieces, collectors can enjoy the stained-glass nature of the olivine pallasite. Peridot can also be extracted from stony iron meteorites and cut into gem stones to be place in rings, necklaces, earrings, and other types of jewelry.Meteorites come in different types and are collected in raw, whole form, in slices, and in jewelry. Many collectors appreciate the variety present in the different types of meteorites and collect multiple meteorites in their various forms.