Suspended in an iron-nickel matrix from the core of an asteroid, highly translucent olivine and peridot crystals are plentiful in this rectangular partial slice. A fine representation of the most bedazzling extraterrestrial substance known. Modern cutting.
73 x 53 x 2mm (2.75 x 2 x 0.1 in.)
Provenance: Natural History Museum, London
Pallasites are widely considered the most beautiful meteorites, and Imilac is among the most coveted. Less than 0.2% of all meteorites are pallasites and, like other pallasites, Imilac originated from the mantle-core boundary of an asteroid that broke apart during the early history of our solar system. The meteorite from which this slice was cut was found in the Atacama Desert atop the Andes, the highest desert on Earth and one of the driest regions in the world. The crystals seen here are the result of small chunks of the asteroid’s stony mantle becoming suspended in molten metal near the surface of its iron-nickel core. The lustrous metallic matrix features crystals of gleaming olivine and peridot (gem-quality olivine crystals) ranging in amber hues.
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 note.
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
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