Fukang Polished and Etched Slice – An Unparalleled Space Gem

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Lot 1418
Fukang Polished and Etched Slice – An Unparalleled Space Gem

Sold for US$ 36,600 inc. premium

Natural History

1 Jun 2009, 13:00 EDT

New York

Fukang Polished and Etched Slice – An Unparalleled Space Gem
Fukang, Xinjiang Uygar, China
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. 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. Polished and etched on both sides, this slice is from the main mass of the famed Fukang meteorite. The nickel-iron matrix in which Fukang’s space gems are embedded 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. Approximately 5mm thick, this matchless slice is of astounding quality. Virtually every crystal is gem quality olivine. The light passing through its spectacular crystals provides a vision of Fukang’s unearthly mosaic of space gems. This piece is truly a reflection of the beauty of the cosmos. Weighs 1662g
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