The natural exterior rim of this complete slice encompasses the glimmering octahedral crystalline matrix of a Gibeon meteorite. Signature inclusions of gray troilite (iron sulfide) are scattered throughout. Modern cutting.
187 x 104 x 3mm. (7⅓ x 4 x ⅛in.)
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
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This is a select complete slice of the Gibeon iron meteorite. It originated from the core of an asteroid that existed billions of years ago between Mars and Jupiter. Less than 2% of all meteorites are of the iron variety. Namibian tribesmen located the mass from which this slice originated with the aid of a metal detector. When cut and etched, Gibeon meteorites exhibit an octahedral latticework of its two principal alloys, troilite and taenite. This exquisite natural design is known as a Widmanstätten pattern. As this pattern does not appear in terrestrial iron ores, its presence is diagnostic in the identification of iron meteorites. While there are different patterns amongst different meteorites (the result of chemical structure and cooling rate), all Gibeon meteorites exhibit the same crystalline habit, among the most desired of all iron meteorites.
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.