An exceedingly fresh lunar sample which contains two different types of clasts. The lighter olivine gabbro clasts contain, in part, olivine, zoned clinopyroxene and maskelynite. The darker area is a rare basaltic clast (lunar mare). A mixture of gabbro and regolith are also contained in this select lunar sample. Significantly, the majority of the sample is covered in two sweeping curves of fusion crust, and the gabbro and mare sections exhibit crusts of different character — perhaps a first, as encrusted lunar samples are rare. Modern cutting.
28 x 47 x 31 mm. (1 x 1¾ x 1¼ in.) and 45.69 g. (⅛ lbs)
Material from the Moon is among the rarest substances on Earth, and now offered is a spectacular wedge-shaped end piece of an exotic lunar meteorite: a Moon rock ejected from the lunar surface following an asteroid impact. Lunar meteorites are identified by specific textural, mineralogical, chemical and isotopic signatures. There are less than 350 kg. (750lbs) of lunar meteorites known to exist and a significant fraction is controlled by governmental institutions. Many of the common minerals found on Earth’s surface are rare on the Moon and some lunar minerals are unknown on Earth. In addition, Moon rocks contain gases captured from the solar wind with isotope ratios very different from the same gases found on Earth. While Apollo astronauts returned with only 382 kg. of Moon rocks, not one milligram is available for private ownership. The amount of the Moon not institutionally controlled and available to the private sector can be contained in two suitcases. North West Africa (NWA) 11616 was discovered in 2017. As described by the foremost classifier of lunar meteorites, Dr. Anthony Irving at the University of Washington, this is a polymict fragmental breccia with separate olivine gabbro and rare olivine-free basaltic (lunar mare) clasts in a fragmental matrix. Dr. Irving and lunar geochemist Dr. Randy Korotev completed their analysis of this highly exotic Moon rock in January 2018.
The official classification of this lunar meteorite appears in the 107th edition of the Meteoritical Bulletin. The write-up was done by the world’s most renowned classifier of lunar meteorites, Dr. Anthony Irving, and a copy of the abstract and the write-up accompanies this offering.
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 catalog note.
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
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