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Lot #8021
Sikhote-Alin Iron Meteorite Jewelry

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Estimate: $400+
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Three handsomely presented Sikhote-Alin iron meteorite 'shrapnel' pieces that were torn apart during flight, decoratively transformed with 14K gold wire into a pendant necklace and pair of earrings. The pendant meteorite measures approximately 60 mm x 30 mm x 14 mm, and is wrapped in an ornate gold-wrapped curly mount, suspended from a linked gold chain necklace. The earring meteorites measure approximately 9 mm x 17 mm x 5 mm and 14 mm x 18 mm x 5 mm, and are wrapped in matching gold wire with earring hooks. Combined, with the jewelry mounts included, the collection weighs 73 grams. Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Geoff Notkin of Aerolite Meteorites Inc. and the TV show Meteorite Men.

A favorite among meteorite collectors, Sikhote-Alin is an extremely rare witnessed fall iron and many pieces display classic characteristics of meteorites: regmaglypts, orientation, rollover lips, and even impact pits from in-flight collisions with other meteorites. The Sikhote-Alin fall was observed by eyewitnesses, and the USSR Academy of Sciences sponsored a series of expeditions to the site between 1947 and 1970. The fall site, known technically as a strewnfield, was studied in detail and Russian scientists excavated 180 of 200 identified impact pits. Noted Russian scientist E. L. Krinov studied Sikhote-Alin for many years and estimated that the incoming bolide had a mass of some 70 tons. In the Handbook of Iron Meteorites, Buchwald states: 'It split finally at an altitude of about 6 km and scattered thousands of fragments within an elliptical area‚Ķa large number of the smaller fragments [such as the one offered here] had time to develop deeply sculptured regmaglypts on all surfaces. Perhaps one-fifth of the total mass came down this way.' In later years, amateur and professional meteorite hunters scoured the fall site using metal detectors while braving ticks, snakes, Siberian tigers (and, some claim, the Russian mob) in order to recover these individual specimens. No new meteorites from this—the world’s largest crater field—are being found today, and these attractive pieces of meteorite jewelry make for an outstanding presentation.

Auction Info

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