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HOT ROCKS

Hot Rocks are NOT fresh "hot" meteorites. They are instead a term applied to terrestrial minerals that register (hot) on a metal detector or are 'attracted' to a test magnet and to those that visually appear metallic or meteoritic. But upon further inspection, the "hot" expectation quickly cools to a "false alarm." They have been 'cursed at' and thrown away by gold and meteorite hunters for years. ( However, as more is learned about varied meteoritic characteristics, more meteorites been discovered among discarded "hot rocks.') These pages will examine the most common Hot Rocks that are often found.



SULFIDE SLAG

Robert Verish writes:
I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Troy Bell, for his efforts in trying to determine the origin of a particular type of meteor-wrong that is commonly seen on eBay. Troy found his first specimen in the gravel of a parking lot near where he lives in Texas. When Troy told me that the gravel was a typical "slag", I told him to try and find more of this LBR (Little Black Rock) and to take some samples of the slag gravel. He found 2 more "little black rocks", which he sent to me, along with samples of the slag gravel.
My examination confirmed that the LBRs and the slag have a common origin. In addition, these LBRs are made from the same material that I have encountered numerous times from people wanting their "meteorites" identified. And I'm sure many on this List have encountered this, as well. Lately, a third of the meteor-wrongs that I have encountered are of this "sulfide-rich" material. Although there appears to be various sources for this material, I have always contended that this was waste material from an ore smelting process [slag]. But now, Troy's observant eye has found the "smoking gun" evidence that confirms that this material is a slag.
This confirmation also raises the concern that some of these LBRs could have elevated concentrations of arsenic and lead.
The following images show a cut surface of this material. Because of the above concern, BE ADVISED - to never DRY cut or grind this material, and to treat the cuttings and coolant with caution.
Image #1:
SULFIDE SLAG
The interior "looks like" a natural sulfide mineral with a highly specular, metallic luster. But it is not a metal. Mostly crystalline with needle-shaped laths (an atypical crystal habit for sulfides). The exterior has a patina. Having been exposed to the forces of weathering, and over time, the sulfide-rich rock has formed a black tarnish.
Image #2:
SULFIDE SLAG
Close-up of the cut surface. Locally vesicular; cavities will show cleavage for these synthetic (man-made) crystals. There are some inclusions of melted silicates.
As mentioned earlier, this kind of meteor-wrong has long been seen on eBay, but typically being auctioned as "Arizona ?? Meteorite"!!
Now that it has been identified, my curiosity about this material has been satisfied, and I will now move on to the next "mystery rock" (hopefully, it will be a real meteorite;-). But in the meanwhile, it may prove beneficial (since this stuff is so widespread) to have this "identified" material on a meteor-wrong web page in order to educate future meteor-wrong sellers.
Bob V.




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IF YOU HAVE A "HOT ROCK" , THINK HOW EDUCATIONAL TO SHARE YOU EXPERIENCE & PHOTO WITH OTHERS! ENOUGH THINKING! EMAIL ME TODAY...