Lot #8019
Seymchan Pallasite Meteorite Slice

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Estimate: $1200+


Gorgeous Seymchan pallasite meteorite slice, consisting of approximately 70% nickel-iron alloys and 30% extraterrestrial olivine gemstones. Beautifully polished and etched on both faces, the partial slice weighs 180.8 grams and measures approximately 130 mm x 81 mm x 2.5 mm. Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Geoff Notkin of Aerolite Meteorites Inc. and the TV show Meteorite Men, as well as a specimen identification card.

First discovered in 1967 by the Russian geologist F. A. Mednikov, Seymchan was originally classified as a IIE iron meteorite. In later years, meteorite hunters associated with the Vernadsky Institute in Moscow returned to the site in the hope of finding additional specimens. They were amazed to discover not iron meteorites, but pallasites—stony-iron meteorites abundant in olivine crystals. Seymchan has an unusual structure: some areas consist of olivine-rich clusters, while others consist almost entirely of nickel-iron. During its tumultuous flight through the atmosphere and subsequent impact, it is easy to imagine the meteoritic masses shearing at the nickel-iron/olivine borders. Some masses, therefore, appear to be entirely metallic, while others appear pallasitic. This explains the confusion between early and late Seymchan finds, but the Meteoritical Bulletin now recommends it be listed as a pallasite, and the partial slice presented here is clearly of that type. Small, abundant olivine crystals are suspended in a polished nickel-iron matrix. Olivine crystals of sufficient quality are also known as the gemstone peridot, which is the August birthstone.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Apollo 11 50th Anniversary
  • Dates: #559 - Ended June 20, 2019