SLICE OF A GIBEON METEORITE — AN OTHERWORLDLY MOSAIC
Gibeon, Great Nama Land, Namibia
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.
The condition of lots can vary widely and the nature of the lots sold means that they are unlikely to be in a perfect condition. Lots are sold in the condition they are in at the time of sale.
Overall in excellent condition. Please note that weights and dimensions are approximate only and that the appearance and surfaces of meteorites might change if not appropriately cared for. Proper handling and humidity control are easy to accommodate and will ensure condition is maintained, please contact the department if you would like further advice on how to live with meteorites in your collection.
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.
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