Recovered from the Atacama Desert atop the Andes, the highest desert on Earth. The slice with one natural external edge and three cut edges. Loaded with olivine and peridot suspended in a gleaming iron-nickel matrix, this is a fine representation of the most bedazzling extraterrestrial substance known. Modern cutting.
60 x 60 x 4mm. (2⅓x 2⅓x ⅛in.)

The Natural History Museum, London
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Lot Essay

Pallasites are widely considered the most beautiful meteorites, and Imilac is among the most coveted. Pallasites are rare with which to begin; less than 0.2% of all meteorites are pallasites. Like all pallasitic meteorites, Imilac originated from the mantle-core boundary of an asteroid that broke apart during the early history of our solar system. The crystals seen here are the result of small chunks of the stony mantle becoming suspended in molten metal near the surface of the asteroid’s iron-nickel core. Cut and polished to a mirror finish, the lustrous metallic matrix features crystals of gleaming olivine and peridot (gem-quality olivine crystals) ranging in emerald to amber hues.

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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