Glorieta Mountain — Superb Complete Slice of a Distinguished Meteorite
Lot 12
Glorieta Mountain — Superb Complete Slice of a Distinguished Meteorite
Sold for US$ 82,750 inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Glorieta Mountain — Superb Complete Slice of a Distinguished Meteorite
Stony-Iron – PAL-ANOM
Glorieta Mountain, New Mexico

This is the finest complete slice of the famed Glorieta Mountain meteorite. It is among the largest slices taken from the main mass, and a photograph of this specimen appears prominently on the frontispiece of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Meteorites—a copy of which accompanies this lot. Less than 1% of all meteorites are pallasites (a stony-iron meteorite which contains crystals of olivine suspended in a nickel-iron matrix)—the most resplendent of all meteorites—and Glorieta Mountain is among the most coveted.

In 1965 "Father of Meteoritics," Dr. H.H. Nininger, befriended a teenage Steve Schoner and regaled him with tales of Glorieta Mountain. Years later, Schoner's recovery of tiny pallasitic fragments at the site fueled his belief in the existence of a larger mass. In an ongoing treasure hunt, Schoner made dozens of trips to the rugged environs of Glorieta Mountain. While some experts believed the large mass for which he was searching did not exist, for Mr. Schoner and most meteorite enthusiasts, the fabled main mass of the Glorieta Mountain pallasite was an extraterrestrial Holy Grail.

After seventy searches of two to three weeks each over a period of fifteen years, Schoner's efforts finally paid off with the discovery of the 20-kilogram mass from which this complete slice originated. As material is lost from cutting, grinding and polishing, only 11 kilos of this historic meteorite exist—and fully half of this material is in the world’s most eminent museums. (The world’s largest intact pallasite is the Brenham main mass—see lot NH28).

While pallasites are extremely rare, Glorieta Mountain is rarer still as it is chemically and morphologically anomalous—so much so that researchers were compelled to classify Glorieta as its own subtype. Crystals of olivine and peridot (birthstone of August) are surrounded by bands of kamacite and taenite—the two alloys of nickel-iron that comprise most iron meteorites (see lots 13 and 20). This notable specimen was the cover image for an issue of the periodical Meteorite and possesses a Macovich Collection provenance.
223 x 183 x 3mm (8.75 x 7.25 x 0.1in) and 350 grams (0.75 pounds)