Iron meteorite, IAB. Chaco province, Argentina, first known 1576. “The Tiger’s Paw.” Substantial complete individual with appealing surface features and very rare natural hole. Weighing 5,205 grams (11.5 lbs) and measuring 166 mm x 136 mm x 88 mm. Meteorites that land upon the Earth’s surface without shattering into shard-like fragments (known as shrapnel) are described as complete individuals and are often regarded by collectors as being more desirable. Individuals can frequently be recognized by undulating surface indentations caused by ablation in Earth’s atmosphere and known scientifically as regmaglypts (or “thumbprints”). Occasionally, softer internal inclusions, such as graphite, may melt out of a meteorite during flight, forming a natural hole. Such features are extremely rare, and are probably seen in less than 1 in 1,000 meteorite specimens. Once part of the molten core of a long-vanished asteroid the gnarled, naturally-hammered surface of this appealing Campo del Cielo exhibits all of these desirable features and, when viewed from the side, is reminiscent of a tiger’s paw. Please note a small piece of metal wire visible in the photos. This wire was attached by the finder to indicate the presence of a rare natural hole. The wire is not permanently fixed and can easily be removed by the purchaser, if desired.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.