This specimen originates from a Seymchan meteorite sample that underwent a number of stages of cutting and then grinding and polishing in a sphere-making device. The crystalline habit of the alloys comprising Seymchan’s iron-nickel matrix are seen to great effect adding to the complexity of this three-dimensional presentation. Dazzling amber-hued olivine and peridot crystals are suspended throughout the iron-nickel matrix which has been etched to reveal the beautiful metallic crystalline structure. Modern cutting.
50 mm. in diameter (2 in.) and 360 g. (¾ lbs)
Pallasites, a type of exotic meteorite, are also the most beautiful extraterrestrial substance known. Like all pallasites, Seymchan formed at the boundary of the stony mantle and molten iron core of an asteroid that shattered following an impact with another asteroid. As might be expected, pallasites are extremely rare and, indeed, they represent less than 0.2% of all known meteorites.
Seymchan meteorites are found in the Magadan district of Siberia — the location of Stalin’s infamous gulags. The first two masses were found in a streambed by geologists in the 1960s. Most Seymchan meteorites are non-descript, prosaic masses until they are cut to reveal their internal splendor. To make a sphere of this size requires a mass nearly three times that of the sphere, given the amount of material lost during the grinding and polishing processes. This is a wondrous three-dimensional presentation of a pallasite, revealing aspects of the structure impossible to see in a flat slab. This specimen can rightfully be considered an otherworldly crystal ball with crystals of olivine and peridot (birthstone of August).
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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