Recovered from the Atacama Desert atop the Andes, the highest desert on Earth. This partial slice is wrapped on three sides by its natural external edge along with one long cut edge at the base. Loaded with olivine and peridot suspended in a gleaming iron-nickel matrix, this is a superior example of the most bedazzling extraterrestrial substance known. Modern cutting.
137 x 229 x 3mm. (5⅓ x 9 x ⅛in.)

446.8g. (1lb)
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Lot Essay

Pallasites are widely considered the most beautiful meteorites, and Imilac is among the most coveted. Like all main-group 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 an 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) ranging in hues from amber to emerald. The pallasite designation for this meteorite class is in honor of the German scientist, Peter Pallas, who while traveling through Siberia, examined the first pallasitic mass in the late 18th Century. This is an honor Pallas is fortunate to have received, for he fervently believed that the unusual specimen he found could not possibly have come from outer space.

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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