sikhote-alin iron meteorite for sale

Medium sized Sikhote-Alin exhibiting thumbprints, and fantastic shape.

The most visually intriguing of meteorites are also the heaviest and the most recognizable. 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 crystallize into fantastic geometric structures known 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. Specimens are fully guaranteed and we pride ourselves on outstanding customer service; contact us for additional information. 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.

BAJA CALIFORNIA

Baja California, Mexico
Classified in 2020 as an Iron IIIAB

The Baja California meteorite was found near a ranch in Baja California, Mexico before July of 2017. After being analyzed by research specialists at the University of Arizona, it was officially submitted for classification as an Iron (IIIAB). The 10 kilogram single individual displayed weathered fusion crust with pits over the entire surface, and an unusual cavity where an inclusion ablated away as the meteorite hurtled through our atmosphere. Baja California features an absolutely eye-catching interior and exhibits some schreibersite, a mineral found in nickel-iron meteorites. Some Baja California slices will display delicate ribbons of schreibersite running alongside pinched ends of taenite, accented by fine grains of sulfides and raisin-like inclusions of troilite, a rare mineral. Aerolite Meteorites co-owns the mass and was involved in its classification.

CAMPO DEL CIELO

Few cosmic impacts during our planet’s tumultuous history can have generated such measurable and far-reaching an influence as the gigantic Campo del Cielo meteorite fall. It is aptly named, as Campo del Cielo is Spanish for “field of heaven,” or “field of the sky,” and it must truly have seemed that the sky was falling at the time of impact. About 5,600 years ago dense, nickel-iron cosmic debris rained down over what are today the Argentinian provinces of Chaco and Formosa. It must surely have seemed like the end of the world to any early peoples unlucky enough to have been in the vicinity. The incoming meteoroids (the scientific term for a potential meteorite before it makes contact with the ground), likely had a long and shallow flight path, as evidenced by the lengthy fall zone, or strewnfield. The larger masses formed craters and over twenty have been recorded. Although early peoples likely collected some of the metallic fragments from the surface — perhaps using them as tools or weapons — the first recorded information about this historic meteorite comes from 1576 when the invading Spanish noted the existence of abundant natural iron in Chaco province.

Some large masses of Campo del Cielo remained on the surface, while others were buried over time. Some of those were recovered from significant depths — 12 feet or more — with the help of professional metal detectors.

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.

CAMPO DEL CIELO CRYSTALS

Campo del Cielo shrapnel fragments, also-known-as Campo crystals, are created from a larger specimen being blasted apart. These resulting fragments were then wire-brushed to a high-metallic shine.

CAMPO DEL CIELO SLICES

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

CAMPO/LAS PALMAS

Unclassified Iron

In 2006, Aerolite Meteorites CEO Geoffrey Notkin flew across the continent at no notice to meet a friend and fellow meteorite hunter who had just returned from South America with a significant new meteorite find.

Originally hoping to extend the known boundaries of the Campo del Cielo strewnfield, the hunter had explored far into Formosa Province in Argentina, where he discovered a small and previously unknown meteorite strewnfield 200 miles north of Campo del Cielo and near the town of Las Palmas (“The Palms”). The strewnfield was searched three times using metal detectors: north to south, east to west, and finally at a diagonal, to ensure that all pieces were recovered. The zone produced about 300 kg of small, beautifully-regmaglypted and highly sculptural iron meteorites. Since these irons originated in Argentina, they were assumed by many researchers to be examples of the already-known Campo del Cielo meteorite, even though the strewnfields are separated by 200 miles and the Las Palmas strewnfield is perpendicular to the Campo del Cielo strewnfield. Notkin was so impressed by the beauty and quality of these specimens that he purchased the bulk of them immediately.

Aerolite Meteorites attempted to have the “Las Palmas” meteorite classified three separate times by three different academics and, each time, a different conclusion was reached. One highly respected researcher said he believed Las Palmas to have the same or similar structure and classification as Campo del Cielo, but stated that it was: “On the strange end of Campo.”

It is highly unlikely that two meteorite strewnfields that are perpendicular to each other and separated by 200 miles could represent the same fall, although the falls could have originated from the same parent body, but fallen at different times.

The Las Palmas individuals are very well preserved, with multiple, fine, small regmaglypts, and most uncleaned pieces display clear remnant fusion crust. These characteristics appear different to the majority of Campo del Cielo finds. Aerolite Meteorites CEO Geoffrey Notkin went on record saying that, in his professional opinion and based on the find data and surface characteristics, “Las Palmas” is a different and distinct meteorite from Campo del Cielo, but no official new classification has been forthcoming to date. “Las Palmas” is not an official name and it is not listed in the Meteoritical Bulletin database. It is, however, without any doubt, a genuine iron meteorite.

CANYON DIABLO

Iron IAB-MG, Found in United States, 1891

Meteor Crater is the most recognizable and best-known meteorite feature on Earth and is visited by many thousands of tourists annually. Estimates of its age vary from 25,000 to 50,000 years, but all parties concur that it is the finest and best-preserved large meteorite crater on our planet.

It was also the first proven meteorite crater. Geologist, miner, entrepreneur, and visionary Daniel Barringer was convinced the feature was a meteorite crater, defying the popular opinion of so-called experts at the time. Barringer spent a fortune searching for what he believe to be a giant meteorite buried under the crater. He was right about the crater, but wrong about the meteorite. We now know that the mass fragmented and part of it vaporized upon impact. But Barringer’s insight and determination gave him an honored place in meteorite history and the site is still sometimes referred to as Barringer Crater.

Another key figure in space rock history, innovative meteoriticist H.H. Nininger, conducted many years of important research at the site and also opened the world’s first private meteorite museum alongside nearby Route 66. Meteor Crater was studied by legendary geologist Gene Shoemaker and some of the NASA Apollo astronauts were trained there prior to their moon missions.

Canyon Diablo is a steep-sided ravine some distance west of the crater and meteorites found around the crater take their name from it (the convention being that meteorites are named after the nearest town or geographical feature to their fall location and they could hardly be named after the crater that they, themselves, formed). Meteor Crater is internationally recognized as a scientific site of unique importance and meteorite collecting there is no longer permitted. Older specimens that were found during the first half of the 19th century, or earlier, when collecting was still allowed are, therefore, highly desirable.

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

The Dronino strewnfield is situated close to the Russian town of Kasimov, founded in 1152. In this decidedly rural setting, the archaic pastime of wild mushroom hunting is still practiced. And so it was that the Dronino iron meteorite was accidentally found in the year 2000 by Oleg Gus’Kov, a man in search or earthbound fungi.

Extensive work at the site by professional meteorite hunters followed and it was the site of a third season episode (“Dronino”) of TV’s award-winning series Meteorite Men. Due to the number of masses found, and their size and disposition, it has been suggested by expert hunters that Dronino is a buried impact site (soil crater), though no definitive evidence is currently on record.

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.

MUONIONALUSTA

Iron meteorite, IVA
Arctic Circle, near Muonionalusta Island, Sweden, first known 1906

Meteorites found in remote and nearly inaccessible locales seem to hold a special allure for hunters and collectors alike. Muonionalusta is no exception. The fall site lies north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden and the meteorites found there are so ancient their fall pre-dates at least one ice age. Long-vanished rivers of ice carried meteorites with them for a time, but left the heavy irons behind as they melted, mixing them in with a flotsam and jetsam of mismatched transported rocks known to geologists as terminal moraine. Having been casually “dumped” by retreating ice, the locations and depths at which Muonionalusta meteorites are buried are, therefore, completely random. Conventional meteorite hunting techniques must be thrown out the window by those in search of this ancient and puzzling iron.

The Muonionalusta strewnfield was featured in two episodes of the hit television series Meteorite Men. Much like the Gibeon iron meteorite from Namibia, Muonionalusta displays a beautiful Widmanstätten etch pattern after preparation in the laboratory.

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

Iron, IIIAB Found Morocco, 2008
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.

SAINT-AUBIN

Iron IIIAB-UNG, Found in Aube Champagne, France

Saint-Aubin is a rare European iron meteorite that was first found in France in 1968 by farmers plowing a field. It is an ungrouped octahedrite, meaning it does not fit into any existing iron meteorite class. Months of laboratory work were required to prepare the mass from which this slice was taken. It has not just been cut, polished, and etched, but also meticulously stabilized by an expert in meteorite preservation and preparation.

As noted in the The Meteoritical Bulletin, Saint-Aubin can display shock features, Neumann lines, iron sulfide nodules, and extraordinary schreibersite needles up to 6 centimeters in length. Schriebersite is a rare nickel-iron phosphide mineral that — apart from a single location in Greenland — is not found on Earth, but only in meteorites.

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, February 12, 1947

The Sikhote-Alin meteorite is a famous witnessed fall that landed in Russia on the evening of February 12, 1947. That night, a 70-ton mass blasted through Earth’s warm atmosphere at speeds of 25,000 mph or more. During its flight, experts estimate the surface of the Sikhote-Alin meteorite reached at least 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

As the mass hurtled closer to our planet’s crust, the pressure of ever-denser air forced it to shear and fracture along its crystalline planes, causing a monumental aerial explosion that was heard by human observers on the ground. The shockwave reportedly knocked over forest workers as twisted shards of metal rained down among snowy pines.

Sikhote-Alin meteorites fall into two categories: shrapnel fragments, which are melted, torn, and blasted, resembling the remnants of wartime bombs. Others are complete pieces, their surfaces rounded and sculpted by ablation into fantastical shapes, and covered or partially covered with scalloped indentations called regmaglypts or thumbprints. These sculpted pieces, known as individuals, present beautiful natural formations and comprise only about 20% of all recovered masses.

SIKHOTE-ALIN INDIVIDUALS

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 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 resulting angular fragments starkly illuminate the catastrophic forces inflicted upon incoming meteorites: melted, torn, and blasted, they so resembled the remnants of wartime bombing that they were named shrapnel. Nearly all recovered Sikhote-Alin specimens were cleaned by the finders. Some were wire-brushed, others were tumbled. Unfortunately sometimes in the cleaning process finer surface details were lost forever. Pristine as-found examples, such as some of the ones listed here are extremely rare and much coveted by collectors. With a rich orange-ochre natural patina, these battered visitors from space are an eerie unaltered survivor from the greatest meteorite fall in recorded history.