Dazzling crystals of olivine and peridot (birthstone of August) are seen to great effect in this three-dimensional presentation that has been lightly etched to reveal the robust Widmanstätten pattern in the metal. The crystals appear as continents on an otherworldly globe — and reminiscent of a half-moon from certain angles. This specimen originates from a meteorite that underwent a number of stages of cutting, grinding and polishing.

The most beautiful extraterrestrial substances known are pallasites. They formed at the boundary of the stony mantle and molten core of an asteroid. Upon shattering following an impact with another asteroid, this “borderline” material became liberated, and a bit has landed on Earth. As one would then expect, pallasites are extremely rare and, indeed, they represent only about 0.2% of all known meteorites. The first Seymchan meteorites were found near a streambed in the Magadan district of Siberia — the location of Stalin’s infamous gulags. Most Seymchan meteorites are non-descript, prosaic masses until they are cut to reveal their splendor.

The amount of material lost during the grinding and polishing processes to make a sphere this size requires a mass nearly three times that of the sphere. A sphere provides a view of aspects of the intricate structure impossible to see on a flat surface, and now offered is a wondrous three-dimensional presentation of a pallasite — a specimen that can rightfully be considered an otherworldly crystal ball.

Christie's would like to thank Dr. Alan E. Rubin at the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles for his assistance in preparing this catalogue.
65 mm (212 in.) diameter
Special notice
This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at and our fees for storage are set out in the table below - these will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Christie’s Park Royal. All collections from Christie’s Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.
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Meteorites from the collection of Michael Farmer
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