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METEORITES
Meteorite

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Meteorites

Few minerals in this world (and beyond!) capture the imagination as do meteorites. One only need recall the recent spate of movies featuring civilization-destroying meteor impacts to realize the awe and fear these natural phenomena inspire in us all. While the rhetoric regarding the chances of our imminent demise may have subsided, the realization how meteors have literally impacted upon life on earth cannot be underestimated. Once dismissed as flights of fancy, most serious earth scientists now concur that meteorite impacts have repeatedly changed the course of the development of life over the eons, often causing the destruction of over 90% of life on earth on more than one occasion. Furthermore, one respected theory exists that meteorites may have transported from space the necessary organic molecules to start life here on earth! Heady stuff, indeed!

When still in outer space, these objects are referred to as meteoroids. When they are burning through earth’s atmosphere they are known as meteors, or ‘shooting stars’. Finally, if any remnants survive the fall and land on earth, they are categorized as meteorites. If they are seen descending to earth and are recovered, those meteorites are called ‘falls’. Conversely, if the descent is never seen they are referred to as ‘finds’.

‘Falls’, or ‘finds’ can be further broken down into meteorites categorized by composition. The most common type of meteorite, comprising of fully 86% of the material which reaches earth, are chondrites, which are mostly silicate material mixed with organic compounds - the same material which formed most of our planets. Comprising of 8% of meteorites are the achondrites, which are primarily igneous rocks which come mostly from asteroids. The last two types of meteorites, iron and stony-iron, make up only some 6% of meteorites which fall to earth, but constitute the most sought after meteorites for collectors. The beautiful forms and burnished patinas which these meteorites take on are true natural works of art. When sliced, the insides reveal nickel-iron crystalline matrixes of breathtaking patterns suitable for display. Cut into jewelry, they make incredibly unique items of almost unparalled strength!

Gibeon 1L Meteorite 2
Pallasite 1 Pallasite 3
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