Three of the four sides of this meteorite have been cut. The fourth exhibits the meteorite’s exterior surface—as does the rim of the seeming perforation—deep ochre patina with cinnamon accents. The hole seen is the result of slicing this meteorite on either side of a deep socket in the mass. The fine-octahedral crystalline structure of its metallic alloys is robust—and discontinuous. This indicates this meteorite formed from different large taenite crystals. A fascinating example.
81 x 49 x 4 mm. (3 x 2 x 0.1 in.)
This is a select partial slice of a 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 partial 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 among different meteorites (the result of chemical composition and cooling rate), all Gibeon meteorites exhibit the same crystalline habit.
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 catalogue note.
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
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