Fukang main mass
Lot 9042W
The World’s Most Spectacular Meteorite – A Magnificent Space Gem Discovery
Auction Details
Natural History New York
30 Apr 2008 13:00 EDT

Auction 16422
The World’s Most Spectacular Meteorite – A Magnificent Space Gem Discovery Fukang main mass
Lot Details
The World’s Most Spectacular Meteorite – A Magnificent Space Gem Discovery
Stony Iron - Pallasite
Fukang, Xinjiang Uygar, China

Containing spectacular olivine crystals, which are sometimes referred to as gemstones from outer space, this specimen is the main mass of the peerless Fukang Meteorite.

Widely acknowledged as the world’s preeminent pallasitic meteorite, Fukang is destined to become one of the most magnificent meteorite discoveries of the 21st century. Weighing over 925 pounds (over 420 kilograms), it exhibits large, highly refractive translucent olivine crystals unmatched by other pallasites. Fukang’s nickel-iron matrix is replete with the outer space gemstones, which are highly prized in this rare category of meteorite. The quality of the golden-green crystals is so fine that they may be classified as the gemstone, peridot.
Pallasites are extremely rare even among meteorites. Only about 1% of all meteorites are this type, and of all, they are, by far, the most alluring. Pallasites composed of approximately 50% olivine (peridot) crystals and 50% nickel-iron – are thought to be relics of forming planets.

The present specimen is not only the main mass of the meteorite - a distinction which is highly regarded among meteorites collectors - it is the only Fukang specimen that was found, augmenting its value greatly. Meteorites typically explode after entering the Earth’s atmosphere, often blasting the original body into tiny pieces. Impact with Earth sometimes vaporizes the main mass of a meteorite completely. Yet, this massive survivor endured tremendous atmospheric and impact forces to transport its bounty of rare olivine crystals to Earth. Its rarity, size and quality combine to make this piece one of the most valuable meteorite specimens in history.

The nickel-iron matrix in which Fukang’s space gems are imbedded is classified as medium octahedrite based on the size of the crystalline structures. These structures, known as Widmanstatten patterns, are diagnostic of extraterrestrial nickel-iron metal. In order for Fukang’s crystal structure to form, the metal matrix cooled at a rate of only a few degrees per million-year period. Fukang is thought to be 4.5 billion years old – the same age as our solar system.

Meteorites are named after the region in which they fell. Fukang was discovered near Fukang, Xinjiang Uygar Province, China in 2000. It is classified as a Stony Iron Pallasite.

Displaying, to our knowledge, the largest cross section of pallasitic material on earth, the meteorite is cut and polished to provide a 36 x 19-inch window into its wondrous mosaic of extraterrestrial crystals. This unparalleled discovery is an astounding treasure - a phenomenal and prestigious centerpiece for any natural history collection.
Weighs approximately 420 – 427 kilograms

Estimate Upon Request.