Imilac Meteorite — Complete Slice of a Meteorite With Space Gems

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Lot 9055
Imilac Meteorite — Complete Slice of a Meteorite With Space Gems

US$ 2,500 - 3,500
£ 1,800 - 2,500

Natural History

30 Apr 2008, 13:00 EDT

New York

Imilac Meteorite — Complete Slice of a Meteorite With Space Gems
PAL – Pallasite
Atacama Desert, Chile

Pallasites are the most sought-after meteorites, and this select complete slice amply reveals why Imilac is among the most coveted. Imilac occasionally contains—as does this specimen—gem-quality olivine or peridot-—the birthstone of August. Similar to lots Fukang, Brenham and Glorieta, all pallasitic meteorites originate from the mantle-core boundary of a planetary body that broke apart during the formation of our solar system. The olivine crystals seen here are the result of small chunks of stony mantle becoming suspended in molten nickel-iron and slowly cooling and crystallizing over a million years in the vacuum of outer space. With homogenous amber-hued crystals, this is a dazzling example of this renowned meteorite: for decades the Imilac main mass was the centerpiece at the British Museum of Natural History. Found in the Atacama Desert in Chile, the source material has dried up and it has become difficult to obtain complete slices of what is inarguably some the most resplendent extraterrestrial material known to exist. The term pallasite is in honor of the German scientist Peter Pallas, who discovered the first pallasitic mass in 1749 in Siberia. This is an honor Pallas is fortunate to have received, for he fervently believed the unusual specimen he found was not from outer space. Provenance: Macovich
Collection. 89 x 213 x 2mm (3.5 x 8.25 x 0.1 inches) and 126 grams (0.25 pounds).
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