Glorieta Mountain — Superb Complete Slice of a Distinguished Meteorite

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Lot 9056
Glorieta Mountain — Superb Complete Slice of a Distinguished Meteorite

Sold for US$ 16,800 inc. premium

Natural History

30 Apr 2008, 13:00 EDT

New York

Glorieta Mountain — Superb Complete Slice of a Distinguished Meteorite
Stony-Iron – PAL-ANOM
Glorieta Mountain, New Mexico

This is the superlative complete slice of the famed Glorieta Mountain meteorite. 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 desired. 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 subsequently made dozens of trips to the rugged environs of Glorieta Mountain. After seventy searches 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 the cutting, grinding and polishing processes, only 11 kilos of this historic meteorite exist—and fully half of this material is in the world’s most eminent museums. This past October, at Bonhams most recent Natural History Auction, a similarly-sized companion slice of Glorieta Mountain whose image appeared in the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Meteorites sold for $84,000.
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. Provenance: Macovich Collection. 192 x 171 x 3mm (7.5 x 6.75 x 0.1 inches) and 258 grams (0.5 lbs)
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