Lake Murray features one of the most robust coarse octahedral crystalline patterns known and this is a superb example. Large kamacite grains, schreibersite, artifacts of Neumann bands and troilite nodules are all prominently on display; granular areas of plessite abound. The troilite nodule in the upper right is circumscribed by schreibersite in what Buchwald described as being “rosette-like”, and this is a classic presentation. The meteorite’s natural exterior surface delimits the rim. Portions of schreibersite are ornamented with bright taenite in this rare offering of Earth’s oldest known visitor.
158 x 321 x 5mm (6.25 x 12.66 x 0.2 in.)
1.719kg (3.75 lbs)
On Earth, unaltered, for 110 million years. Among the most captivating iron meteorites known, Lake Murray has been on Earth longer than any other meteorite. While a handful of “fossil” meteorites identified in an impact crater and limestone deposits are older, the original components have suffered partial-to-complete replacement with terrestrial minerals. That is not the case here. Lake Murray is the oldest unaltered meteorite known. It was found in a layer of Antler Sandstone of the Lower Cretaceous period which was 110 million years ago. When discovered in the 1930s, Lake Murray was covered in iron shale approximately 5-6 inches thick. In effect, the oxidation of the outermost portion of the meteorite insulated the interior and impeded further terrestrial degradation. The Lake Murray meteorite landed when dinosaurs ruled the world. Not only is this choice example of Earth’s oldest meteorite, but one of the finest slices of an iron meteorite ever.
Christie's would like to thank Dr. Alan E. Rubin at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles for his assistance in preparing this catalogue.
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
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