Campo del Cielo

Chaco and Formosa, Argentina
Iron, IAB-MG

In 1576, an expedition in northern Argentina discovered a large mass of iron after hearing native legends of its existence–they claimed the mass had fallen from the sky in a place called “Piguem Nonralta,” which translates to “Field of Heaven.” The mass was forgotten until it was rediscovered in 1774 by Don Bartolomé Francisco de Maguna, who believed it to be the tip of an iron vein. Another expedition in 1783 estimated its mass at 15 tonnes and concluded it was a volcanic formation. Samples were later analyzed and found to contain 90% iron and 10% nickel, confirming a meteoritic origin. In 1969, the second-largest mass, El Chaco, was discovered, weighing around 37 tonnes. More than 100 tonnes of fragments have been found, making it the heaviest set of such finds on Earth. Attempts to steal the meteorites have been foiled, with El Chaco now protected by provincial law. In 2016, the largest-known meteorite of the strewn field was unearthed, the Gancedo meteorite, with a mass of approximately 67,902 pounds (30,800 kilograms).

On January 1, 2008 Argentina implemented a law prohibiting the exportation of meteorites. All of our Campo del Cielo specimens were legally obtained prior to the enactment of that law. We do not trade in illegally exported meteorite specimens.

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