|City or Nearest City||
|State / Province / Region||
|Your Membership Type||
Knowledge & Background
|Enter Your Business Name||
|Number of Meteorites Sold or Traded||
Many per month (Full Time Dealer)
|Level of your meteorite knowledge||
Intermediate – Understand basic differences between most meteorite types.
|Required Meteorite Dealer/Seller/Broker/Hunter Information||
My name is Sean Mahoney, and I have been a dealer of gemstones and minerals since 1991 when, whilst working as a photojournalist in Afghanistan, I purchased a parcel of Lapis Lazuli which I sold for a tidy profit a few weeks later. Ever since that moment, the trading of rocks and minerals became my primary source of income.
I moved from the UK to Australia in 1997 and established my first warehouse-based wholesale business, â€˜The Wizard Of Auz Jewellery & Gemstonesâ€™. The core to our existence were the principles I outlined above. We were the first gemstone & mineral business in the southern hemisphere to be accepted into the International Fair Trade Association, having challenged the FTAANZ (Fair Trade Association of Australia & New Zealand) because of their refusal to admit us, based on our industryâ€™s association with big mining multinationals. So I set up a rival organisation, invited 20-30 good ethical dealers from around the world to join then asked the FTAANZ if they were OK with us recognising them as an affiliate organisation based on a shared vision. The next day my business (and several others) was welcomed into their organisation.
The reason for this lengthy introduction is because in my opinion (and experience) the only proven effective way to change things is through integrity & leadership by example. The meteorite world is precariously lacking in strong leadership. There is a surprising absence of industry rules & standardisation, considering its science base. An unfortunate consequence of this is too much factionalism. The bandits have no problem getting on board and selling their meteor-wrongs to the rapidly growing market, pseudo-experts start making up their own rules even if they defy all known facts, opportunists pull prices out of the air that have no tangible foundations, gross misinformation gets reported in major publications, and as a result of all of this everyone gets screwed. Perhaps the worst victim is the industry itself, which gets progressively harmed as things spiral out of control.
I already mentioned some environmental and human rights groups above, and no matter what one thinks about these organisations per-se, there are no doubts that they have brought attention to their causes, and through persistence and focus have created knowledge where there was ignorance, compassion where there was ambivalence, order and structure where there was chaos.
Our industry so desperately needs this. There is a certain irony that an industry comprising mostly of better educated people with a fascination in meteoritics, cosmology, astronomy, geology, geography, and a host of other learned fields has been unable up until now to organise itself into a coherent group with a single dynamic voice and clear forward-vision that is intent on bringing order to the chaos. This is all symptomatic of a new industry finding its feet. The IMCA became a springboard for order to exist, but unfortunately fell short as can be seen by its continued lack of action as the industry continues to succumb to all the ailments I listed above.
The GMA appeals to me as a businessperson because it seeks to address the points I have raised and is starting on the right foot. It has a dream-team of pro-active individuals from all around the world who will be able to shape this organisation into something that can truly bring that much needed order to the chaos. I want to be part of this.
My goal in business to this end is to be part of the rising surge of interest in meteoritics and all its associated sciences and fields of interest. I want to be part of something that stimulates minds and creates wonder and excitement. Something that promotes the importance of facts and the dissemination of truths. To submerse myself fully in this, I also have to derive my familyâ€™s income from it. But in my experience, when you are a â€˜doerâ€™ and you catch a good wave, everyone around you reaps the benefits.
Goals are easiest achieved as part of a mastermind. I found that by walking my walk and talking my talk with all the other members of the FTAANZ, our business benefited greatly. As a result, all my staff & suppliers benefited. It was very apparent that the cause for all of this was that we were doing â€˜the right thingâ€™, and our customers liked that. They could tell their customers and â€˜doing the right thingâ€™ was passed down the line. News of good deeds spread quickly, and soon enough demand/supply favours those who do â€˜the right thingâ€™. When the meteorite business has some solid standards and a strong voice that stands behind them, everyone in the industry and all customers and suppliers of the industry will benefit.
It is early days to be delving deeply into how the GMA can â€˜improveâ€™ in ways that will help me to achieve personal growth and business goals, but if we look though all that I have written above, I would have to pick out education and transparency as being the most important driving forces. With these two concepts at the helm, all visions and goals will be easier to achieve.
During my 29 years sourcing and wholesaling gemstones and minerals, many meteorites came through my hands. The first was in Odessa, Texas, when I bought a bag of small irons from someone working in a truck-stop whilst I was on a Greyhound from Tucson to Houston. I didnâ€™t know about Odessa meteorites until that moment but I knew my customers would love them, so I bought them. I have no idea what I paid (not much) and would love to have that bag again. Over the years that followed, I bought many other meteorites as part of my broader mineral business. In the 90s I bought quite a few large Gibeon specimens which I sliced and made into jewellery stones for setting in silver. I was working closely with Arne Christopherson from Starborn Creations during that period, and he was one of the first to bring jewellery of this sort to the market in the USA. But it wasnâ€™t until we sold our Australian warehouse business in 2016 that my specific interest in meteorites really ignited. Suddenly, with time and money, we left Australia (where in addition to everything else we had a farm, bakery, and gemstone cutting shop) and headed for a new life in Europe.
One of my oldest friends in the US is Anders Karlsson, and it was he whilst visiting us in Spain who suggested we go up to North Sweden to spend the summer hunting for Muonionalusta meteorites. Andersâ€™s brother Kenneth had first brought Muonionalustas to the market over 20 years ago when he was on a fishing trip in Lapland and brought one from a local who showed him where they were sticking out of the ground. We went up for three months, had a brilliant time, and I acquired (found and purchased) around 350kg of Muonionalustas. More to the point, I was hooked. A week after getting back to Spain I went to Morocco where I hunted and purchased in the Sahara with many of the dealers I now know today as brothers.
I dislike the concept of favourites, but naturally I have a soft-spot for irons. Muonionalusta especially because of the blood & sweat spent, and the joy at finding them up to two metres deep under glacial moraine. Showing them the light after nearly a million years is a joyous thing. I also love history, so I would add to my favourite-list any historical meteorites like Cape York, Wold Cottage, Ensisheim, and some of those other European ones I find historically fascinating but can never remember the name of. These days, most of my interest has been in Carbonaceous Chondrites and Primitive Achondrites. With gemstones and minerals I always preferred the peculiar that has a story and this has transposed itself to the kinds of meteorites I am drawn to. From my own meteorite collection, my current â€˜favouriteâ€™ meteorites would probably be some big slices of Muonio, a nice big Gibeon Anvil slice I got from Steve MM Arnold, some good size Aguas Zarcas hammer stones, some nice winonaites that Iâ€™m currently having classified, and my big collection of Moldavites, which I have been collecting since long before my Odessa purchase.
Following on from my dislike of the favourites-concept, I can only offer a list of people within the industry from who I have benefited either as a friend, as a supplier, or through the sharing of knowledge. So this is my shout-out list (in no particular order); Anders Karlsson, Kenneth Karlsson, Juan Poblador, Miguel Angel Contreras Gomez, Ricardo The Pizzaman (Avo Cardo), Dima Sadilenko (and his team), Tomas & Micaela Davidsson, Georgi Penneff, Michael Kingsbury, Jose Garcia, Said Youseff, Abdeltif Mechaguen, Mustapha Oulkouch, (too many in Morocco to name), Dustin Dickens, Mark Lyon, Mike Farmer, Adam Arrundson, Topher Spinato, Josh & Buddy Eisler, Marlin Cilz, Steve MM Arnold, Daniel Sheikh, (too many in the US to name), and I know Iâ€™ve left some important people out.
This is how I really want to mention everyoneâ€¦ https://youtu.be/7_JUBgPHYmY
Thankyou for your consideration,
|Attended trade shows||
Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, Denver Show, Munich