Nininger Five Sided Star – Large


1 in stock

  • Meteorite Type: Canyon Diablo Spheroids
  • Weight: 86.9 grams
  • Approximate dimensions: 159 mm x 159 mm x 3 mm 
  • Additional information: Last remaining star in inventory

1 in stock


Harvey Harlow Nininger, the godfather of modern meteoritics is a hero to both meteorite scientists and private collectors alike. He was a founder of the Meteoritical Society, started the world’s first full-time commercial meteorites business, opened the world’s first private meteorite museum, and carried out decades of groundbreaking, pioneering work in understanding craters, meteorite fall characteristics, and also developed meteorite recovery techniques that we still use today. His long-out-of-print autobiography, “Find A Falling Star” is an important and adored memoir, and meteorite specimens carrying Nininger collection numbers are extremely valuable and sought-after.

Always the entrepreneur, Dr. Nininger also developed the world’s first celebrated meteorite collectible — the Nininger Star. He laboriously collected thousands of minute spheroids — tiny, drop-like globular pieces of iron meteorite from the famous Meteor Crater site in Arizona — and ingeniously adhered them to stars, which he cut from sheet metal aluminum. These stars are incredibly rare and highly collectible today, not just because Nininger fashioned and designed them, but also because collecting spheroids is no longer allowed at the impact site.

For decades, it was believed by historians and collectors that only two styles of Nininger Stars existed. We recently discovered that there are, in fact, five styles, including an extremely rare six-sided star, of which only a few are known to exist.

By very special arrangement with one of Dr. Nininger’s grandchildren, we are extremely honored to present the last known available Nininger Stars, embossed with a galaxy of iron meteorite spheroids and accompanied by a signed certificate of authenticity.

An extraordinary offering from the dawn of modern meteorite history, and something that is not likely to come around again.

Copy from Nininger:
(from an unpublished manuscript by H.H. Nininger)

At the end of December, 1954, we traveled to Berkeley, California, for the A.A.A.S. meeting, at
which I read a paper. We remained in California for several weeks, meeting with groups and
setting up lecture dates for the future.
We received a long distance call from an old Los Angeles acquaintance while we were in
Fresno. By a call to our museum in Sedona he had located us and he had a very exciting
proposition for us.
A multi-million-dollar hotel was being built in Las Vegas, Nevada, to be named the “Stardust.”
The caller wanted to know if we could and would be interested in supplying the little metallic
spheroids for a decorative motif for this great structure. He believed that he and his partners
could sell the material if we could supply it in suitable form.
I assured him that I could supply the material but would have to do some experimenting before I
could know with certainty about making it attractive as a decorative medium. We agreed to meet
and discuss the matter further. After two or three meetings and much correspondence, terms
were agreed upon. It was obvious we would need help for this new assignment. Margaret and
her husband, Glenn Huss, agreed to join us in Sedona and serve as our assistants, both for the
Stardust project and the museum.
We began to gather the spheroids and mount them on aluminum stars in a closely packed layer
which then was covered with plastic. After curing, the plastic was ground away, along with the
oxide shell of the pellets, leaving the bright metallic exposed faces of the spheroids polished to
a brilliant chrome-like sheen.
We had estimated that the several hundred stars desired could be furnished at a price of
$8,400, and we required that half of the amount be furnished in advance to cover our costs. Our
job was finished by the appointed time, but meanwhile there was a reorganization of the
company; then the firm’s president died suddenly and there was another reorganization, and the
new management declined to recognize the agreement made by the former leadership. We
made repeated attempts to deliver and collect for our product with no success. The stars were
stored and never were disposed of, with the exception of a few individuals.”

Additional information

Weight 450 g


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