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#51 2012-07-18 19:49:46

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,286

Re: Creating the Cis-Lunar economy

Mark Friedenbach wrote:

That market would implode or become inaccessible the moment you bring back a sample with the promise of more on the way. Meterites are fetch high prices because they are a rare, naturally limited product. The people who are paying $20-30 a gam for pallasite have no interest in buying it from you (trust me, I know many of them). Either the entire collectors market will disappear, or more likely it will be come like diamonds: only 'natural' meteorites will continue to have value, and rigorous documentation of the fall is required to sell one.

Meteorites are rare on Earth and will be rare on the Moon, but more accessible.  Also, ordinary regolith will have value.

On the Moon meteorites of types never found on Earth will be found.

One very rare meteorite may be worth million of dollars though weighing only a kg or so.

In terms of lunar tourism I think the Apollo 11 heritage site (together with the other Apollo sites) will become incredible tourist attractions.

I have pointed out before that the value of the world economy GDP is $60,000 billion.  The idea that the two big celestial bodies of the Moon and Mars can't skim a little of that each year - say 0.01%, or $6billion  - seems to me daft. It might take a little while to get to that figure, but from the get-go there will be many millions of dollars to be made.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#52 2012-07-20 09:06:54

NeoSM
Member
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: 2012-07-16
Posts: 28

Re: Creating the Cis-Lunar economy

Mark Friedenbach wrote:

That market would implode or become inaccessible the moment you bring back a sample with the promise of more on the way. Meterites are fetch high prices because they are a rare, naturally limited product. *cut* Either the entire collectors market will disappear, or more likely it will be come like diamonds: only 'natural' meteorites will continue to have value, and rigorous documentation of the fall is required to sell one.

Agreed

louis wrote:

Meteorites are rare on Earth and will be rare on the Moon, but more accessible.  Also, ordinary regolith will have value.

On the Moon meteorites of types never found on Earth will be found.

One very rare meteorite may be worth million of dollars though weighing only a kg or so.

The regolith will have value, but as stated before, "the market would implode or become inaccessible the moment you bring back a sample with the promise of more on the way" - especially when you're bringing atleast 20 tonnes yearly (I stand by this view unless that 20 tonnes number that was put down is fixed - it's the only thing that's making you wrong)
There's too many assumptions here (hypothetical meteorites that weigh only a kg and are worth millions); you can't fix prices.

Last edited by NeoSM (2012-07-20 09:09:05)

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#53 2012-07-20 12:34:43

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,286

Re: Creating the Cis-Lunar economy

NeoSM wrote:
louis wrote:

Meteorites are rare on Earth and will be rare on the Moon, but more accessible.  Also, ordinary regolith will have value.

On the Moon meteorites of types never found on Earth will be found.

One very rare meteorite may be worth million of dollars though weighing only a kg or so.

The regolith will have value, but as stated before, "the market would implode or become inaccessible the moment you bring back a sample with the promise of more on the way" - especially when you're bringing atleast 20 tonnes yearly (I stand by this view unless that 20 tonnes number that was put down is fixed - it's the only thing that's making you wrong)
There's too many assumptions here (hypothetical meteorites that weigh only a kg and are worth millions); you can't fix prices.

Repeatedly asserting something is not the same as arguing it. 

If your argument were true, the huge increase in meteorite finds in recent decades (thanks to commercialisation of searching and improved technology) would have led to a collapse in prices, but there is no evidence of that. On the contrary interest in private collection of meteorites, increased per capita wealth, more opportunities to trade and the huge growth in higher education have cancelled the effects of increased supply. What is your explanation for the healthy state of the meteorite market on Earth?

There is no reason to suppose that demand for lunar regolith will continue indefinitely at high levels but I see no reason why 50,000 institutions across the planet might not over a period of a few decades generate demand of say 10 kgs per institution (bearing in mind that the larger universities will have substantial collections running to hundreds of kgs). An overall market of around 500 tonnes with continuing demand in later years, especially with respect to meteorite finds, sounds plausible to me, far more plausible than the idea the price of lunar regolith, currently $1000s per gram will collapse below $10 per gram. 

In addition there is every opportunity to build a huge industry in lunar jewelry either made on the lunar surface or from regolith brought back to Earth. No one can predict how much regolith woudl be returned as part of that trade but you only need to sell 100,000 items of 30 grams each across planet Earth (that's about 300 a day, or about 2 per UN state) and you've used 3 tonnes.  I don't think it's impossible that could be more like a million sold and 30 tonnes in total (or a lot more).

There will be others interested in purchasing larger pieces of regolith e.g. companies wanting a bold statement for their company HQ. They might shell out $500,000 on 5kgs of lunar rock as well as $500,000 on a sculpture by a well known sculptor. Famous artists whose wealth is in the 100s of millions will also be interested in using lunar materials and will pay v. large sums for big lunar rocks to work with, which they will be able to sell for even higher values than usual.

I find it hard to believe when billions of tonnes of regolith are being moved around Earth less than 20 tonnes per annum will be moved from the Moon to Earth. Does that really sound likely to you?


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#54 2012-07-20 15:53:37

NeoSM
Member
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: 2012-07-16
Posts: 28

Re: Creating the Cis-Lunar economy

I'm trying to teach you how the worldwide economic model of price determination works, i'm not making any assumptions, just trying to get you more informed.
I'm not making any predictions or assumptions on who will buy what. I'm also not setting concrete prices (especially ones that seem too optimistic)

louis wrote:

If your argument were true, the huge increase in meteorite finds in recent decades (thanks to commercialisation of searching and improved technology) would have led to a collapse in prices, but there is no evidence of that. On the contrary interest in private collection of meteorites, increased per capita wealth, more opportunities to trade and the huge growth in higher education have cancelled the effects of increased supply. What is your explanation for the healthy state of the meteorite market on Earth?

louis wrote:

Repeatedly asserting something is not the same as arguing it.

You're right, I feel like i'm beating a dead horse; Mark and I have reinforced how supply and demand works via our previous postings.

louis wrote:

There is no reason to suppose that demand for lunar regolith will continue indefinitely at high levels.

Yup

Last edited by NeoSM (2012-07-20 16:02:40)

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#55 2012-07-20 17:14:51

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,286

Re: Creating the Cis-Lunar economy

NeoSM wrote:

I'm trying to teach you how the worldwide economic model of price determination works, i'm not making any assumptions, just trying to get you more informed.
I'm not making any predictions or assumptions on who will buy what. I'm also not setting concrete prices (especially ones that seem too optimistic)

louis wrote:

If your argument were true, the huge increase in meteorite finds in recent decades (thanks to commercialisation of searching and improved technology) would have led to a collapse in prices, but there is no evidence of that. On the contrary interest in private collection of meteorites, increased per capita wealth, more opportunities to trade and the huge growth in higher education have cancelled the effects of increased supply. What is your explanation for the healthy state of the meteorite market on Earth?

louis wrote:

Repeatedly asserting something is not the same as arguing it.

You're right, I feel like i'm beating a dead horse; Mark and I have reinforced how supply and demand works via our previous postings.

louis wrote:

There is no reason to suppose that demand for lunar regolith will continue indefinitely at high levels.

Yup

I note you gave no answer as to why the price of meteorites on Earth hasn't collapsed despite a huge increase in meteorite recovery.

Essentially you are underestimating the extent to which availability of regolith will create its own market and sustain prices.

Supply and demand is a very poor tool for examining price movements. You could never predict price movements with that tool. But you can predict price movements pretty accurately if you know that a technological innovation has been introduced which reduces the labour costs of a product.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#56 2012-07-21 06:49:21

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,947
Website

Re: Creating the Cis-Lunar economy

Ahem. As I pointed out earlier, Pandora has revenues in the scale of billions (Pandora annual report for 2010), with prices starting at, I believe, $50. That's just one company; the industry as a whole will be worth much more. With the right marketing - and that is the critical part - I see no reason why Lunar jewelry won't be able to skim £1-2 billion of the market each year. It's not going to be regular Lunar rock, after all - we're talking about the interesting stuff that the geologists find, smoothed, polished, and set into rings and necklaces by professionals. For a ring, I can't see why we'd need more than a few grams, and such a ring could sell for a couple of hundred dollars at the very least.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#57 2012-07-21 08:00:19

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,286

Re: Creating the Cis-Lunar economy

Terraformer wrote:

Ahem. As I pointed out earlier, Pandora has revenues in the scale of billions (Pandora annual report for 2010), with prices starting at, I believe, $50. That's just one company; the industry as a whole will be worth much more. With the right marketing - and that is the critical part - I see no reason why Lunar jewelry won't be able to skim £1-2 billion of the market each year. It's not going to be regular Lunar rock, after all - we're talking about the interesting stuff that the geologists find, smoothed, polished, and set into rings and necklaces by professionals. For a ring, I can't see why we'd need more than a few grams, and such a ring could sell for a couple of hundred dollars at the very least.

I agree entirely with all you say - the moon is still a very strong romantic symbol for people on Earth and jewelry items are intimate tokens of affection. It is such a strong marketing platform! The first items of lunar jewelry will fetch huge sums. You have to factor in that these are all "firsts" and will become instant collector items. The first ring made on the moon, the first necklace....etc It all adds to their saleable value on Earth.

I have mentioned previously in relation to Mars that there could be room as well for "made on Mars" watches assembled on Mars using some Mars materials and then exported back to Earth. We might see similar with watches from the Moon using some lunar material.  I think that in contrast to Mars where there will be a strong association with watches for men, I can see a strong marketing association with women for the Moon. So delicate (very light weight) ladies watches could find a strong market. Perhaps the watch mechanisms manufactured on Earth would be taken to the moon and there assembled in some casings embellished with lunar jewels.

How about some perfumes made with a little lunar water as well? 

The right marketing:

  "From time immemorial the Moon has been the ultimate symbol of love and femininity. Now Pandora's  Lunaresence range jewelry gives you the chance to show in an utterly unique way how you appreciate the one you love - with exquisite jewelry fashioned from the finest moon materials..."  

I can see the ad - guy close to girl admiring her necklace - dark night sky behind with big moon. LOL


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#58 2012-07-21 18:25:27

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 14,093

Re: Creating the Cis-Lunar economy

NeoSM you have hit the head of the nail right on with regards to sample returns ( does not matter what they are) for use via the assumptions of quantity and rate of demand that will follow if you know there is more coming back on other missions.

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#59 2012-07-21 19:45:34

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,286

Re: Creating the Cis-Lunar economy

SpaceNut wrote:

NeoSM you have hit the head of the nail right on with regards to sample returns ( does not matter what they are) for use via the assumptions of quantity and rate of demand that will follow if you know there is more coming back on other missions.

This is nonsense.  The market for lunar regolith at the moment is effectively non-existent. There is no supply and so no demand.  Once the regolith becomes available there will be demand.  Where from? Places like universities, research institutes, private individuals, schools, jewelry firms, artists and so on.   Unless you can say with certainty that there is say only demand for 5 tonnes and the first mission will satisfy that demand. Once one jewelry company makes a profit from moon jewelry, others will become interested. People who already collect meteorites will be fascinated to own lunar regolith and meteorites.   

I estimated there are probably at least 50,000 institutions - universities, schools, research institutes and space agencies - around the globe who would be interested in acquiring lunar regolith at $100 a gram. Do you really think Cambridge will hang back for 10 years and let Oxford get the lunar regolith first? Think of all the big companies who will pay to have chunk of regolith outside  their HQ. I think many of the lead universities would be interested in taking 100s of kgs of material.

As for individual collectors, they are mortal beings. They aren't going to wait 20, 30 years for prices to come down. They want to expand their collections NOW while they still have time to enjoy them.

And this is all before you have factored in things like use of lunar regolith in jewelry, as lucky charms in India and elsewhere.  What if 1 million people around the world per annum decide they like the idea of a 0.5 gram lucky charm.  That's another 5 tonnes each year. 

Are you really proposing that we can't skim off some of that $60,000 billion world economy in terms of people purchasing rare (it will remain rare for many decades) lunar regolith for these many purposes?

I am not sure you understand supply and demand. The technological demands of rocket launches necessarily place some limits on supply.  As long as demand exceeds supply, it doesn't matter whether it exceeds it by 10% or 5000%, if the supply remains fixed. The regolith will remain scarce.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#60 2012-07-22 15:46:48

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,947
Website

Re: Creating the Cis-Lunar economy

Hmmm, I suppose we shall see soon enough, anyway...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#61 2012-07-22 16:04:12

Mark Friedenbach
Member
From: Mountain View, CA
Registered: 2003-01-31
Posts: 307

Re: Creating the Cis-Lunar economy

@louis, I don't think you're wrong per se, just extraordinarily optimistic. Those extrapolations are mostly reasonable for a mature lunar economy many decades down the road, but it is completely unrealistic to assume that a first product would get even within the order of magnitude of full-market penetration.

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