IRON METEORITES

Iron Meteorites 2018-11-06T00:00:18+00:00

The most visually intriguing of meteorites are also the heaviest and the most recognisable. They come to us from large asteroids with molten cores that once orbited the sun between Mars and Jupiter. Extremely slow cooling of those cores, over millions of years, allowed nickel-iron alloys to crystallise into fantastic geometric structures knows as Widmanstätten Patterns. Much like snowflakes, the pattern of every iron meteorite is unique. Catastrophic collisions within the Asteroid Belt shattered some asteroids, sending pieces in all directions. Some of them eventually encountered Earth’s gravitational pull, resulting in a fiery journey through our atmosphere at speeds up to 100,000 miles per hour. Superheated to thousands of degrees Fahrenheit, the surfaces of these fragments melted to form beautiful sculptural indentations called regmaglypts or thumbprints — features that are unique to meteorites.

Our catalog of iron meteorites for sale is presented here, in alphabetical order. Click on any image for additional photographs. All specimens are fully guaranteed and we pride ourselves on outstanding customer service. Please contact us for additional information. And we hope you enjoy this look at the remnants of the hearts of ancient asteroids.

AGOUDAL

Iron IIAB, Found in Morocco, 2000
 
Find from the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco in 2012. Known also by the provisional name of Imilchil, this meteorite was classified as a IIAB iron. The vast majority of Agoudal pieces are very small (10 to 20 grams) and so slices are hardly seen. Individuals display a beautiful natural patina and, when cleaned, some reveal orientation and flow lines with tiny regmaglypts. The vast majority of recovered pieces are too small to cut in the laboratory, but a single, unusually large mass produced remarkable sliced specimens with a rare concurrence called recrystallization as a consequence of, what we believe to be, a secondary asteroidal collision that reheated the material. An interesting desert iron with attractive shapes and rich natural patina.

ALETAI

Iron IIIE, found in China 1898

History: A large iron was found by a local farmer in a valley in a mountainous area of Aletai County. It was surrounded by rocks and half buried. A small specimen was taken for analysis. Heavy machinery was used to move the meteorite from the valley to the discoverer’s home. Physical characteristics: The kamacite bandwidth is 0.89±0.41 mm. Petrography: The major phases of the meteorite are kamacite, taenite, and plessite. Minor phases include schreibersite, daubréelite, troilite, and haxonite.

Aletai is an anomalous IIIE. It has the highest Gold concentration in the group, and its Iridium concentration is much higher than that inferred through the trend of the other group members.” 

-As stated by the Meteoritic Bulletin

CAMPO DEL CIELO

AN IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING THE LEGALITY AND AVAILABILITY OF CAMPO DEL CIELO

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. The Campo del Cielo irons we currently have in stock are all we will ever have. Experienced collectors know that prices on this excellent, historic meteorite have risen dramatically during the past year, so if you are thinking of acquiring one for your collection, now is the time.

CAMPO DEL CIELO SLICES

Rarely seen sliced, Campo del Cielo displays a truly lovely and captivating etch pattern.

CAMPO/LAS PALMAS

Unclassified Iron

Discovered by a close friend and colleague of ours, this little-known iron meteorite was found in a tiny strewn field in South America. Never officially offered to the public, it has undergone analysis by UCLA, the Center for Meteorite Studies at ASU, and the University of Arizona. Our provisional name for this meteorite is “Las Palmas.” In our professional opinion, Las Palmas is not only a different meteorite from Campo del Cielo, but is one of the loveliest looking irons we have ever had the pleasure of offering.

We are determined to pursue the official naming issue until we receive a definitive answer, but — in the meantime — you can collect these exceptionally beautiful irons, at a discounted price.

CANYON DIABLO

Iron IAB-MG, Found in United States, 1891

50,000 years ago a giant meteorite traveling at 26,000 mph struck the desert floor forming a massive crater 0.74 miles in diameter and 550 feet deep, now known as Arizona’s celebrated Meteor Crater. These amazing iron meteorites are part of the cosmic impactor. The groundbreaking meteoriticist H.H. Nininger studied Meteor Crater for many years during the 1940s and 50s and found specimens miles from the point of impact. Ancient Native Americans are also believed to have used and transported fragments of the meteorite, and may have regarded them as sacred objects which fell from the sky. The crater is not a national park, but a privately owned feature. A ban on meteorite hunting is now strictly enforced by the owners and specimens of this historic and important meteorite are difficult to obtain, these pieces come out of an old collection and were legally collected before the ban. Meteor Crater was the world’s first recognized meteorite crater and was also a training ground for Apollo astronauts who went to the moon in the 1960s and 70s.

CANYON DIABLO SLICES

We are pleased to have quite recently acquired very few Canyon Diablo slices. These spectacular specimens would perfectly accompany an individual.

CHINGA

Iron Ungrouped, Found in Russia 1913

German chemist Justus von Liebig is credited with inventing the modern mirror in the 19th century. Today, meteorite collectors will refer to their trusty ataxites, such as Chinga. An ataxite is a meteorite with no internal structure, such as Widmanstätten patterns or Neumann Lines. This meteoritical marvel displays a rich abundance of the mineral taenite which is often seen in harmonious geometrical Widmanstätten patterns within other types of iron meteorites. As a result, Chinga produces a heterogenous, mirror-like surface when it is cut and polished. Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the shiniest meteorite fall?

DRONINO

Iron Ungrouped, Found in Russia, 2000

Dronino is named after the village in which it was found by a mushroom collector. Scientists later embarked on an exploration of the area and 600 fragments were recovered. It is thought due to the distribution of fragments found that the meteorite impact formed a now-buried crater. Unlike most iron meteorites, Dronino does not display a Widmanstätten pattern when etched. Rather, it reveals remarkable iron sulfide inclusions with an ameboid shape on a mirror finish background. Full individuals are gnarled and are a clear reminder of their extraterrestrial origin!

DRONINO SLICES

Prepared in the lab in a special manner, the slices have an unusual and very attractive silver/grey color.

GEBEL KAMIL INDIVIDUALS

Iron Ungrouped, Found in Egypt, 2009

While searching for ancient Egyptian settlements on Google Earth, Italian scientist Vincenzo De Michele, a former curator of the Milan Natural History Museum, accidentally discovered a new meteorite crater! An expedition to the remote site determined that the crater was, indeed, of meteoritic origin and probably about 5,000 years old. 800 kilos of material was recovered by academics and much of that is curated at the Egyptian Geological Museum in Cairo. Despite languishing in the deep desert for fifty centuries and acquiring a bronze-colored patina, Gebel Kamil irons are very well preserved due, no doubt, to the area’s dry climate. Its angular shapes are typical of crater-forming irons, but the “lizard skin” texture is unique to this meteorite. When sliced open Gebel Kamil reveals a surprising interior, a brilliant mirror finish when polished and no Widmanstatten pattern! Gebel Kamil is an ungrouped iron, meaning it does not fit into any existing classification.

GEBEL KAMIL SLICES

When sliced open Gebel Kamil reveals a surprising interior, a brilliant mirror finish when polished and no Widmanstatten pattern! Gebel Kamil is an ungrouped iron, meaning it does not fit into any existing classification.

GIBEON

Iron IVA, Found in Namibia, 1836

The Gibeon iron, from the Namib Desert, has long been a favorite of collectors because of its sculpted appearance, stability, attractive etch pattern, and lovely, rich desert patina. Some years ago, Gibeon meteorites were relatively common in the marketplace, but a ban on collecting in, and exporting from, Namibia has made these excellent irons almost impossible to obtain. Gibeons make outstanding display pieces and this desirable iron continues to increase in value as available pieces become more and more rare.

HENBURY

Iron IIIAB, Found in Australia, 1931

The Henbury iron was discovered in 1931 and is associated with fifteen impact craters in central Australia. Henbury irons display an attractive desert patina — a reddish-crimson color slowly acquired over hundreds of years. The crater field is now a protected area and collecting is prohibited. As a result Henburys have all but disappeared from the marketplace. We filmed an episode of our multi award-winning TV series “Meteorite Men” at Henbury in 2010.

All of our Henbury meteorites have legal export permits from Australia.

MOUNT DOOLING

Iron IC, Found in Australia, 1909

Mount Dooling was originally discovered in 1909 in Western Australia. This find holds an intriguing back story. In 1960, a small 1.6 kg mass was found about 400 km from the original find site. After chemical analysis, it was proven to be a match to the 1909 discovery, which lead scientists to believe this may be the first meteorite to be transported by Aborigines. This amazing iron has an intriguing classification — IC — a rare type, with only 11 other meteorites in this small class.

MORASKO

Iron IAB, Found in Poland, 1914

Morasko is associated with the exquisite field of impact features in Poland, near the city of Poznan. The site is protected and some of the larger craters, lying deep in lush woodland, are filled with water and green algae giving them an otherworldly feel. We filmed an episode of our multi award-winning TV series Meteorite Men at Morasko in 2011 and discovered a 75-lb complete iron which was, at the time, the second-largest meteorite ever found in Poland (and the most deeply buried). Morasko irons are very rarely seen on the collectors’ market and these fine, full slices were prepared by an expert iron meteorite cutter and show a lovely etch. Note the arresting, angular shapes and crisscrossing schriebersite inclusions. The Morasko craters lie in a battlefield that saw multiple conflicts during WWI, WWII and the Napoleonic era. A real prize for collectors of crater-forming meteorites.

MUNDRABILLA

Iron IAB-ung, Found in Australia, 1911

A remarkable Australian iron, Mundrabillas are known for their unusual zoomorphic shapes. During it’s long flight through our atmosphere, soft areas of the meteorite melted away leaving behind a weird and wonderful animal-like resemblance. We lovingly refer to them at alien animal crackers. Mundrabilla displays an attractive etch pattern and is found in a very remote part of Western Australia, known as the Nullarbor Plain. It is such an unusual iron meteorite that it does not fit with any know class as is described as ungrouped (UNG). All specimens are as-found, with an orange/ochre patina.  

All of our Mundrabilla meteorites have legal export permits from Australia.

NANTAN

Iron IAB-MG, Guangxi, China

The Nantan meteorite (sometimes called “Nandan”) is a main group iron, first recorded in Guangxi, China in 1958. Individual pieces typically display a rich and attractive bronze patina. Initially classified as a IIICD in the year 2000, it was reclassified as a IAB-MG in 2006. There is some speculation that Nantan irons may be remnants from a significant fireball witnessed in Guangxi Province in the year 1516 which — according to some sources — showered a large area with iron meteorite fragments. The “Meteoritical Bulletin,” however, does not list Nantan as an observed fall, and an association with the 1516 fireball has not yet been proven.

NWA 6903

IIIAB iron
Northwest Africa (NWA) 6903 is a scarce but very attractive desert iron originally acquired as a single mass in the vicinity of Khourbiga, Morocco during 2008. Along with widely-known iron meteorites such as Henbury and Whitecourt, 6903 belongs to the group IIIAB, but its compositional structure indicates it is not paired with any other known iron, meaning it is likely a unique and independent fall. NWA 6903 is a medium octahedrite and its bright and shimmering etch pattern displays striking, lacy, interwoven lamella somewhat reminiscent of Toluca (Mexico). Some slices show the presence of the nickel iron phosphide schriebersite, a rare mineral that is only found in one locality on Earth.

NWA 8370

Iron IIIAB, Found in Morocco, 2012

Only one piece on NWA 8370 was recovered, these spectacular slices are from that mass. This full and part slices showcase a phenomenal Widmanstätten pattern. The Meteoritic Bulletin describes the single whole iron meteorite as a, “Complete specimen with regmaglypts. Minor weathering. No oxidation on the outer surface, probably reflecting natural sandblasting; the buried surface possesses a deep ocher patina.” Lovely!

ODESSA

Iron IAB-MG, Found in United States, 1922

Odessa is one of the most famous craters in the world. It was where some of the very first metal detecting for meteorites took place during the 1940s and also the site of the fan-favorite “Odessa Crater” episode of Meteorite Men. These outstanding individuals come from the collection of the University of New Mexico. Each piece carries a hand-painted collection number and is accompanied by an original UNM Collection card. A rare opportunity to acquire an example of this historic meteorite, with institutional provenance.

SANTA ROSA

Iron IC, Found in Columbia, 1810

The main mass of Santa Rosa — at a massive 612.5 kilos — and other smaller specimens, were discovered on a hill in a small town in the Andes Mountains. Other larger individuals were obtained from a miner in a nearby village. It is noted a few specimens were used as anvils. During the 19th century these pieces were distributed, and scientific studies on the meteorite ensued. There was a lot of confusion during the initial studies, because several wrought iron specimens were included as meteorites. In addition, it was deduced that a few specimens appeared to have been reheated (thought due to their use as anvils). 

An adventurous gentleman by the name of Henry A. Ward made a long journey to Santa Rosa in an attempt to clear up the mess.

Ward was able to negotiate and purchase the main mass, where it was displayed in the village marketplace on a pillar. Ward wasn’t allowed to export the entire meteorite, he instead took a 150 kilogram end cut, of which part was smooth from the bashing of a sledge hammer. Ward cut up his end and distributed the pieces for continued study. 

From 1926-1942 the remaining pieces of this important fall were discovered, and thanks to Ward’s hard work, the final studies of the Santa Rosa meteorite were completed. As described in Buchwald and Wasson’s paper: etched sections are anomalous — displaying no clearly identifiable Widmanstätten structure, the cohenite is decomposed to graphite, the Neumann bands are decorated, numbers subboundaries and partial recrystallization are introduced, and the phosphides display rounded edges and detached taenite islands. In addition, there are troilite-daubreelite-schreibersite assemblages which suggest a high-intensity shock.

Final studies of the recovered masses has left us theorizing about this rare and unusual space rock’s history — there are surprising microstructure variations from specimen to specimen thought to be caused by sustained high heat with temperatures from 500-550° Celsius. These differences are not thought to be caused by artificial reheating, however. As it is unlikely that an anvil could be 500° Celsius for extended periods of time. So alternatives are theorized: the meteorite, while inside its parent body or circling in the cosmos, suffered a decomposition of cohenite at one end while next to nothing happened at the other. Or, the deceleration and rupturing during it’s flight through our atmosphere was so violent that some of the masses were reheated. And finally, that a shock event that produced the melted troilite was weakened in force in one area, while others were heated selectively and sharp temperature gradients took place around them, causing the bizarre structure. 

While Santa Rosa has been known to science for many years and its total recovered weight is significant, it is extremely unusual to see this beautiful and historic iron on the collectors’ market, as most examples belong to research institutions. Santa Rosa is one of only eleven meteorites in the IC class. We have less than five superb part slices of this intriguing meteorite available. Note its exquisite and unique Widmanstätten pattern. Please note that these slices are etched and finished on one face only.

SEYMCHAN

Pallasite, Found in Russia, 1967

Though Seymchan was originally classified as an iron (IIE), newer Seymchan finds produced fabulous ballistic material with an abundance of colorful olivine clusters. The majority of Seymchan material is ballistic and most are familiar with slices containing those lovely olivine crystals. However, Seymchan as an iron is an exceptionally attractive meteorite and features a spectacular etch pattern. We are pleased to offer iron siderite part and full slices.

SIKHOTE-ALIN

Iron IIAB, Witnessed fall in Russia, 1947

The Sikhote-Alin shower of 1947 took place in a remote area of eastern Russia and was the largest single meteoric event documented in modern times. It is an extremely rare witnessed fall iron, and many individuals display the classic characteristics of meteorites: regmaglypts, orientation, rollover lips, and even impact pits from in-flight collisions with other meteorites! Sikhote-Alin is an extremely stable meteorite. Once relatively available in the marketplace, intensive hunting at the fall site has resulted in the area being completely hunted out, and no new specimens now make it into collectors’ hands. 

SIKHOTE-ALIN ORIENTED SPECIMENS

Most incoming potential meteorites spin and tumble as they plummet through the atmosphere. Occasionally, one will maintain a fixed orientation towards the surface of our planet, causing the leading edge to ablate into a shield, nose cone, or bullet shape. When meteorites ablate, some of their mass is removed as a result of vaporization. Meteorites which display such features are quite rare, highly collectible, and are described as oriented. Oriented meteorites were studied by early NASA spacecraft designers and the leading edges of such meteorites are reminiscent of the heat shields on Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space capsules.

SIKHOTE-ALIN FLOWLINE SPECIMENS

As a meteoroid hurtles through our atmosphere, its surface may melt and flow in tiny rivulets known as flow lines. The patterns formed by flow lines can be minute, often thinner than a strand of human hair, and they are one of the most unique and intriguing surface characteristics of meteorites.

SIKHOTE-ALIN MUSEUM GRADE SPECIMENS

When we say “museum quality,” we mean it. The meteorites featured on this page are among the best of the best and will add spice to any major collection. Layaways and payment plans available, please inquire.

SIKHOTE-ALIN SHRAPNEL SPECIMENS

These meteorite specimens acquired their unique surface characteristic during flight through our own atmosphere. They are known as a shrapnel specimen; a fragment which exploded during flight, due to atmospheric pressure or collision with another meteorite.

TAZA

Iron Ungrouped, Found in Northwest Africa, 2001

A colleague of ours in Europe calls this gorgeous meteorite “The Princess of the Irons” and the title is well deserved. Found near the Moroccan town of Taza in 2001, this rare desert iron is an ungrouped (UNGR) plessitic octahedrite and is also known as Northwest Africa 859. Taza irons display a lovely caramel colored patina; many specimens retain some original blue-grey fusion crust, and many also show features of orientation. Although similar in appearance to Sikhote-Alin individuals, the Taza shower was tiny in comparison, with a total known weight of approximately 100 kg. The majority of Taza irons are very small — less than 20 grams. The popularity of this iron has increased recently, significantly depleting our available inventory. We have a few 200 gram or less specimens available please email to inquire.

TAMBO QUEMADO

Iron IIIAB, Found in Peru, 1950

Tambo Quemado was found in Peru in 1949 with a total known weight of 141 kilos. Tambo has an usual history for several reasons. Due to local superstitions, the find was not reported until late 1950. It is believed this incredible meteorite was artificially superheated to 1000 degrees celsius for less than one hour at some point after it’s arrival on Earth. Tambo is known to contain large inclusions, which makes cutting and preparing slices extremely difficult.

TOLUCA

Iron IAB-sLL, Found in Mexico, 1776

First discovered in 1776 in Mexico, Toluca, as known as Xiqipilco, is one of the oldest-known meteorites on Earth. Found in the hills west of Mexico City, there are numerous documented instances of Toluca being used in colonial times (and possibly earlier) as natural source material for making weapons and tools. The Toluca strewn field was also the site of meteorite pioneer H.H. Nininger’s first great expedition, making it an historic and collectible iron on two counts. We have a few Toluca in back-stock, please email to inquire. 

TWANNBERG

Iron IIG, Found in Canton of Bern, Switzerland, May 9, 1984

Twannberg has a great find story, and upon study, was identified as an incredibly rare meteorite type! Six total Twannberg masses were recovered between 1984 and 2005. The first was discovered by a local while ploughing fields. It was turned over to the Bally Museum, where the curator of their meteorite collection immediately identified it as authentic and started an investigation, which upturned the second mass — located in the attic of a 17th century house. The third was discovered in a rock collection in 2005, where it was being transferred from the Schwab Museum to the Natural History Museum Bern. This mass was labeled  incorrectly as hematite, by a gentleman who reorganized the collection in 1932. Masses four, five and six were discovered in the summer of 2007 in the Twannbach canyon by a gentleman while prospecting for gold, and by another who was searching for unusual and interesting pebbles. Since the original six finds, there are a few smaller newly-discovered specimens which have been clearly paired with the original Twannberg I mass. Nearly 100 hours of additional searching with metal detectors haven’t produced any more Twannberg meteorites.

Upon study, Twannberg was classified as a IIG. This rare group has only six meteorites in its class. As stated in a study conducted by John T. Wasson, “The members of this group have low-Ni [Nickel] contents in the metal and large amounts of coarse schreibersite ((Fe,Ni)3P); their bulk P [Phosphorus] contents are 17–21 mg/g, the highest known in iron meteorites. Their S [Sulfur] contents are exceptionally low, ranging from 0.2 to 2 mg/g. We report neutron-activation-analysis data for metal samples; the data generally show smooth trends on element-Au [Gold] diagrams. The low Ir [Iridium] and high Au contents suggest formation during the late crystallization of a magma.”

URUAÇU

Iron Meteorite (IAB-MG)

Uruaçu (pronounced “Oo – roo – ah – SUE”) is an interesting iron meteorite first found on a ranch in 1992 in Goais, Brazil. It has a comparatively low total known weight, and a significant number of recovered specimens were very large. The entire strewnfield lies on private land and has been hunted exclusively by the owner and his agents over a period of many years. As a result, Uruaçu irons appear only occasionally on the market. It is a coarse octahedrite and when cut and etched it displays a highly attractive Widmanstätten pattern, somewhat similar to Sikhote-Alin. These individuals are in as-found condition with natural yellowish-ochre patina.

WABAR

Iron IIIAB, Found in Saudi Arabia, 1863

The Wabar crater field in the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia is one of the most elusive and mysterious impact sites on Earth. The world’s only known sand craters of significant size were formed by the impact of a IIIAB iron meteorite weighing many tons. It has a possible fall date of 1863, although some estimates put the age in the thousands of years. The heat and pressure generated by the event formed a diverse and remarkable collection of impactites, including exquisite black glass spheres known as Wabar Pearls. The site has always been nearly inaccessible and has only been visited a few times in history. Shifting sands have slowly filled in the craters over time and they are, today, almost obliterated. First discovered in 1932, differing reports place the number of craters between three and five.

Political events in the Middle East have made the area extremely dangerous and we have been advised by local experts that it is now impossible to reach under any circumstances. As such, we are extremely fortunate to be able to offer this rare and beautiful material, acquired directly from the son of the finder.

Rare as Wabar impactites are, pieces of the actual meteorite are so uncommon as to almost be a thing of legend. We have one or two more exceedingly rare specimens that came from the collection of the son of an oil company geologist, Mr. Edward L. Elberg, who worked in the empty quarter between 1947 and the early 1960s, preparing maps and seeking drilling locations. In 1951, Mr. Elberg visited the Wabar craters (in the area locally known as Al-Hadida) and personally collected these specimens. He returned to the United States in 1967 and donated some of his collection to an American museum. We acquired all the remaining pieces.

In more than twenty years in the meteorite business we have only once offered Wabar for sale and that was in the form of a single slice. This is the first time we have ever presented individuals and fragments and this is likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire material from this fascinating and now-unreachable meteorite site. Travel in the region is now so hazardous — and as the craters continue to experience in-filling — we never expect to see such examples again. Email for the last remaining Wabar. 

Most of these meteorites appear to be small individuals and a couple even show traces of faint thumbprinting and orientation! These are well-preserved iron meteorites, not weathered shale!

WHITECOURT

Iron IIIAB, Found in Canada 2007

The identification of a new crater in northern Alberta, and its attendant shrapnel fragments in 2007, was a significant meteorite discovery in recent years. The area surrounding the crater is a national preserve and there is a $50,000 fine for removing meteorite fragments. Two episodes of Meteorite Men were filmed at Whitecourt. These specimens from outside the preserve have been granted official export permits from the Canadian Government.

WOLF CREEK

Iron IIIAB, Found in Australia, 1947

Wolf Creek, in the wilds of Western Australia, is one of only about 15 craters on Earth that have produced recoverable meteorites and is also one of the oldest, with an age of ~300,000 years. It was made famous by a horror film of the same name and is revered by Aborigines as a site of mythic importance. Meteorite hunting is no longer allowed at the site, making these old-collection specimens a must for those who are intrigued by crater-forming irons. 

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