This is a partial slice of a meteorite from the mantle/core boundary of an asteroid. The crest of this partial slice is a rim of the meteorite’s exterior surface. The sides sloping downwards are cut. The bottom edge not seen in the pedestal is irregular and the partial slice itself is slightly beveled. Copious translucent olivine and peridot are suspended in the metallic matrix. Both sides of the specimen are polished to a mirror finish. This captivating example of the most dazzling extraterrestrial substance known is accompanied by a custom pedestal. A catalog number on the edge of a cut face reads, “WZ 184”. Modern finishing.
163 x 207 x 3mm (6.33 x 8 x 0.1 in.)
444.1g (1 lb)
Pallasites are the most dazzling extraterrestrial substances known, and Esquel is among the most coveted. Esquel’s highly translucent olivine crystals were not heavily shocked; they range in hue from amber to emerald. This specimen also contains gem-quality olivine or peridot (the semi-precious birthstone of August). Pallasites formed at the core-mantle boundary of an asteroid after stony olivine (a magnesium-rich silicate mineral) mingled with the molten metal core. When this asteroid broke apart following a catastrophic collision with another asteroid, pallasites were liberated from the deep interior and flung into interplanetary space. Some material eventually drifted into an Earth-crossing orbit. This partial slice has a Macovich Collection provenance — as does the giant complete slice of Esquel on display at the American Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center for Earth & Space. As a result of their sheer beauty, pallasites, which constitute just 0.2% of all known meteorites, are the most sought after of all meteorite types (see lots 1, 14 & 26), and Esquel is regarded by all to be among the most preeminent.
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.
Robert Haag Meteorite Collection, Tucson
Macovich Collection of Meteorites, NYC
Private Collection, NYC
Need Help? Email our Specialists or call +1 212 636 2000 with questions.