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Albrecht Dürer: ‚Melencolia I‘ with a comet, 1514

Campo del Cielo

Gran Chaco Gualamba, Chaco, Argentina
Found 1576
Tkw: >30t
Octahedrite, coarse (3.0mm), with silicate inclusions  IA
(6.62% Ni, 90.0ppm. Ga, 392ppm. Ge, 3.2ppm. Ir)

Campo del Cielo is one of the earliest historical finds. First mentioned by Hernan Mexia de Miraval and later on, in 1783, by Don Rubin de Celis, there was a mighty iron mass of 15t, which the locals referred to as "Field of Heaven" (in Spanish: Campo del Cielo). - So maybe they were well aware of its cosmic origins? At the site of the find there is a field of 122 pits and craters, the largest of which measures 70m across and is 5m deep. Over the last two centuries, numerous masses, sometimes weighing several tons, were recovered, so that the total weight is estimated at 30-50t, which confers on Campo del Cielo the rank of third largest meteorite around, after Hoba and Cape York. Which means it shouldn't be lacking in any collection! Despite its impressive Total Known Weight, Campo del Cielo isn't offered that often. This piece isn't exactly a beauty, but it will make good cutting material, for the rust is only superficial. (If, on cutting, corrosion should be found to go deeper, I will of course take the meteorite back.) 0.30$/g.

Rough specimen             ca. 12.5cm x 10cm x 6cm              2454g           $736.20

Cañon Diablo

Coconino County, Arizona, USA
Found 1891
Tkw: ~30t
Octahedrite, coarse (2.0mm)  IA
(6.98% Ni, 81.8ppm. Ga, 324ppm. Ge, 1.9ppm. Ir)

The irons of Cañon Diablo are found in a range of 15km around the famous Meteor or Barringer Crater in Arizona. The Meteor Crater is arguably the most spectacular and impressive impact crater on earth. It is comparatively young, according to recent indications some 50 000 years, and only little eroded, thanks to the favourable geological and climatic conditions. It has a diameter of 1186m, its depth being 170m. Even though it plays a prominent rôle in the myths of the local indigenous population, it wasn't mentioned by white folk until 1871, and it was only around the turn of the century that a post master, by the name of G.K.Gilbert, started considering it of meteoritical origin. The estimates as to the impact meteorite vary, depending on impact angle and speed: impact speed 15-20km/s, mass of the meteorite 150 000 - 5 mio t,

Diameter of the meteorite 25-30m, impact energy 4,5-17,5 megatons TNT. 11,5t of the original mass are in meteorite collections (Buchwald), the total finds are estimated at 30t (Nininger). Today the crater is private property, and meteorite search forbidden. Still, Cañon Diablo remains available everywhere, and as it stems from the famous crater, it is highly coveted, especially by beginning collectors or those who desire to own but one meteorite. This specimen has a pleasant form and is moderately weathered (it has a natural rusty hole on the lower side). 0.40$/g.

ca. 8.2cm x 7cm x 3.5cm      401g        $160.40






Tanna Tuva, Turvinskaya, Russia
Found 1913
Tkw: >80kg
Ataxite, Ni-rich  IVB-ANOM
(0.181ppm. Ga, 0.082ppm. Ge, 3.6ppm. Ir)

Ataxites show a very high nickel content - Chinga 16.38%. The beam width of the kamacite lamellae decreases with the increase of nickel content in the total metal, and above about 15% Ni content, they disappear altogether, so that there is no more Widmanstätten pattern present (gr. a taxis = without order). In 1913, in the Chinga River, several masses of this ataxite were found, with a total known weight of more than 80kg. For the most part they are heavily rusted and have the torn appearance characteristic of those of Henbury. Ataxites are very rare among iron meteorites and therefore the mind boggles at seeing them offered so cheaply. 1.50/g.

Thick fullslice with one polished side
ca. 8.5cm x 5cm x 1cm                      174g               $261


Great Nama Land, Namibia
Found 1836
Tkw: >26t
Octahedrite, fine (0.30mm)  IVA
(7.68% Ni, 1.97ppm. Ga, 0.111ppm. Ge, 2.4ppm. Ir)

The earliest tidings of the meteorites of Gibeon were referred in 1838 by the English army captain and explorer Sir James E. Alexander, who sent a small piece to Sir John Herschel, the director of the Cape Observatory. In 1856, at the Lion River, and in 1899 near Bethany, the next specimens were discovered, and soon the Gibeon meteorites, usually under the denomination "Iron of Mukerop", found their way into museums all over the world. In 1911, Paul Range, at the behest of the Imperial Governor in Windhoek, set out to search and buy up all masses. In total, he collected 37 specimens, weighing 12,5t. Some of these can be visited in the "Alte Feste" at Windhoek up to this day. Furthermore, there are 31 pieces placed in Poststraße, to the end and purpose of bestowing upon the locals the occasion of disrespectfully rubbing their buttocks against them (cf. photograph).


The Gibeon strewnfield, with its 390x120km², is the largest in the world. It has by now been combed, without much further yield in recent times; at least 26t were found. Gibeon, due to its accessible price, should by no means be disregarded: Once polished and etched, it shows an exquisite Widmanstätten pattern!


At present, I have two specimens on offer: G1 is an etched piece, the back shows the natural surface. It bears a few rust traces, so that, if one should take offence at these, it could be sanded and etched again some day or other; for which one would have to invest some $30 to $40. That's why I am offering it at a reduced price - for etched Gibeons usually cost 1$/g, due to the cut loss of about 25% and the time-intensive treatment. 0.40$/g.

G2 is an individual, of very beautiful, natural shape, like a modern sculpture.  It is of A quality, i.e. optimum condition, without any weathering traces. 0.30$/g.

G1 Endcut, etched
ca. 10.7cm x 8.2cm x 2.5cm     705g     $282

G2 Individual
ca. 19cm x 11cm x 6.5cm        3265g     $979.50









Northern Territory, Australia
Found 1931
Tkw: 1.3t
Octahedrite, medium (0.9mm)  IIIA
(7.47% Ni, 17.7ppm. Ga, 33.7ppm. Ge, 13ppm. Ir)

At some 130km to the Southwest of Alice Springs lies the crater field of Henbury, which was recognised as meteoritic as early as in the 1930ies. 13 impact and explosion craters with diameters ranging between 160m and 6m and depths of up to 15m are grouped together in a classic scattering ellipse of 700m length. The Henbury craters, with their age of 4700 years, rank among the most recent known impact structures. In their surroundings pretty breccias and dark-brown nickeliferous silica glass are to be found. As for the meteorites themselves, they were utterly blown to pieces on impact, which gave them Henbury's characteristic deformed, torn shape, which can also be seen in this interesting piece in which the working of strong mechanical forces is manifest. This item, of about a finger's length, was found in 1971 and bears the number H342. Today, there are hefty fines on taking meteorites from Henbury. 1$/g.

ca. 6.5cm x 2.5cm x 1.5cm     51.1g     $51.10




Poznan, Poland
Found 1914
Tkw: 255kg
Octahedrite, coarse (2.5mm)  IA
(6.56% Ni, 98.9ppm. Ga, 496ppm. Ge, 1.0ppm. Ir)

Morasko has a sad find history: In 1914, after the outbreak of WW1, soldiers, while digging trenches 10km to the North of Poznan, unearthed an iron lump of 77.5kg. Over the following decades further pieces were discovered from time to time, but it wasn't before the late 1950ies that it was thought upon that the ponds and pits next to the find locations might be of meteoritic rather than of ice-age origin. The crater field consists of 8 craters, some of which are full of water, their diameters range between 5m and 110m; further impact holes were probably ploughed under. The fall of the meteorite will have occurred some 10 000 years ago.

In general, the number of iron meteorites found in Europe and Asia, lies below average. Especially iron meteorites are supposed to have been used as sources of raw material in times even before mining and iron smelting were known, as has been well documented from archaeological finds. Accordingly, in Poland, the museum of Czestochowa Rakow holds two bracelets made from meteoritic iron, which date back to the 7th - 5th century B.C. (However, at Ni contents of 12,47% and 18,25%, they do certainly not consist of Morasko iron). 3.50$/g.

Etched Partslice
ca. 4.3cm x 2.5cm x 0.6cm     42.94g     $150.30



Nullarbor Plain, Western Australia, Australia
Found 1911
Tkw: >18t
Octahedrite, medium (0.6mm), with sulphide and silicate inclusions  IRANOM
(7.72% Ni, 59.5ppm. Ga, 196ppm. Ge, 0.87ppm. Ir)

Between 1911 and 1918 the first three pieces were discovered, but the two main masses, two fragments that fit together, weren't until 1966. Apparently the weight of these masses has so far been estimated only, for the references given range between 10t to 16t for the larger and 4t to 6.1t for the smaller one. The larger fragment is in Perth, the smaller one was taken to Heidelberg, sliced up and distributed. In 1979, another two pieces were found, weighing 1.6t altogether.   A 275kg slice of Mundrabilla is a chief showpiece in the permanent meteorite exhibition of the British Museum of Natural History. The two items offered, an entire and a pretty little fullslice, stem from the Walter Zeitschel Meteorite Collection. 2$/g.

MB1 Individual
ca. 3cm x 2cm x 2.2cm      55g       

MB2 Fullslice, etched
ca. 4cm x 2.7cm x 0.5cm  24.6g     $49.20




Odessa (iron)

Ector County, Texas, USA
Found 1922
Tkw: 1t
Octahedrite, coarse (1.7mm)  IA
(7.2% Ni, 74.7ppm. Ga, 285ppm. Ge, 2.2ppm. Ir)

The irons of Odessa are associated with a field of four craters. The main crater with a diameter of 165m and a depth of 5m is a typical explosion crater and was recognized as meteoritic back in 1929. At the crater rim and in the surroundings, many small iron pieces were found, about 1t have been collected so far, as well as loads and loads of iron shale. The age of the crater field is 50 000 years. The individual offered stems from the Zeitschel Collection. 0.60$/g.

ca. 4cm x 3.2cm x 1.8cm                       67g              $40.20


Maritime Territory, Federated SSR, Russia
Fell 1947, February 12, 1038 hrs U.T.
Tkw: 23t
Octahedrite, coarsest (9mm)  IIB
(5.87% Ni, 51.8ppm. Ga, 161ppm. Ge, 0.029ppm. Ir)

Sikhote-Alin is the most tremendous fall of an iron meteorite ever to have been watched. A glaring ball of fire, as bright as the sun and trailing dark clouds of smoke behind it, was travelling over Eastern Siberia on February 12th, 1947. The impact had the Taiga tremble, window panes were blown out by the air pressure. Fortunately the shower descended upon a scarcely populated area and the strewnfield, at 1 x 2.1km², was comparatively small, so that no one was hurt. More than 8500 fragments, the largest weighing 1.7t, and with a total weight of 23t, were collected until 1975. Among these fragments both shrapnel-like, torn iron pieces and intact meteorites with marvellous remaglypts and a blueish-black fusion crust were found; thanks to the latter Sikhote-Alin has been given the title "The Queen of Irons". From the differing outward appearances of the meteorites and the position and size of the 106 craters and holes - the largest is 28m across and 6m deep - it was possible, for the first time, to reconstruct the various stages of the explosion and fragmentation of a meteoride during its transition through the atmosphere. The shrapnel piece offered stems from the large explosion craters of the front part of the strewnellipse, from the so-called 4th fragmentation. This metal scrap gives a drastic impression of the immense force with which the larger fragment must have been torn to pieces even on impact. Shrapnel pieces are the cheapest material one can get from Sikhote-Alin, still such a specimen should be present in every collection, especially as the Sikhote-Alins are sharp-edged and little weathered, as opposed to, say, the scraps of Chinga and Henbury. 0.45$/g.

ca. 7.8cm x 6cm x 3cm           320g              $144


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 Saturday,  11-Nov-2000