Small meteorites are slowed by our atmosphere and, when they land, often make shallow indentations in the ground known as impact pits. Larger meteorites may form craters, while the most massive space rocks produce gigantic impact features called astroblemes, or “star wounds.” The biggest astroblemes on Earth are millions of years old and more than one hundred miles across, making them greater in area than some countries. Those meteorite impacts generated atomic bomb-sized levels of heat and pressure that melted Earth rocks into unique materials known as impactites. Most times, meteorites that made those giant craters have long since weathered away, but the ghostly footprints of their cataclysmic collisions with Earth remain with us to this day —as impactites.
Impactites include impact glasses, tektites, impact breccias, and shatter cones that have been formed by the heat and pressure of a meteorite impact.
Pseudo tektites known as Agni Manitite (also referred to as “Pearl of the Divine Fire” or “Fire Pearls”) come from the island of Java in Indonesia. Agni is Sanskrit for “fire” and the name of the god of fire of Hinduism. In Indian religions, fire is one of five inert impermanent elements, the other four being space, water, air, and earth. Translations for “mani” in ancient Sanskrit are closest to the English word for “jewel.”
Agni Manitite specimens vary in size but are characterized by the delicate grooves that cover their surface. In his book titled “Agni Mani: Magic Gem from the Moon,” purported to be non-fiction, Baron Richard J.H. de Touche-Skadding writes that Agni Manitites were presented to Winston Churchill, Lord Louis Mountbatten, and Queen (then Princess) Elizabeth in the 1940s with hopes that they would be blessed with their legendary good fortune.
Some believe Agni Manitites are a rare form of obsidian that were created during volcanic activity.
A Bicolite is a type of Indochinite from the Philippines. They are dark green glasses formed by a giant, historic meteorite impact that blemished Indochina 700,000 years ago and, hence, created Indochinites: a famous pedigree of impactites. The amazing specimens offered here were once hot, molten globs which launched nearly 1,500 miles from the original impact site in Indochina – about equal to the vertical length of the United States! Those hot globs landed in Bicol and are thus appropriately named Bicolites.
Their signature, distinctive “bread crust” texture on their exterior are an usual characteristic formed by natural weathering. They have fascinating shapes and the use of one’s imagination have proven to generate resemblances of objects, animals, and even faces.
In modern times, Indochinites are often revered for their metaphysical properties and use in meditation as crystals that bring good luck and are used for manifesting.
Darwin Glass is a natural material formed by the catastrophic heat released from an ancient meteorite impact, believed to have occurred ~800,000 years ago on the island of Tasmania. Situated inside a national park, the overgrown crater lies deep within swamps and jungle and is regarded as one off the least-visited impact sites in the world. Darwin Glass displays unusual shapes and colors, some translucency, and is very rarely seen on the collectors’ market.
Indochinites — Relics of a 700,000 year old impact
The word “Indochinite” is used to describe a family of black, often shiny tektites that are found in a large area encompassing Indochina, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. Tektites are the result of an ancient and extremely massive meteorite impact estimated to have taken place about 700,000 years ago. The heat and pressure of that impact caused molten blobs of magma to be flung up into the air. Some of those pieces traveled thousands of miles before falling back to Earth, not unlike smaller versions of the meteorite that formed them. Many tektites have interesting round or drop-like shapes, which may have been a result of spinning or ablating in the air while still partially molten.
Libyan Desert Glass
Libyan Desert Glass (sometimes referred to as Egypt or Egyptian Desert Glass) is a rare and beautiful impact glass, found in only one remote location on Earth, near the Libyan/Egyptian border. It is associated with an ancient meteorite impact, which occurred somewhere in the North African deserts. Quality specimens are translucent, and also display pseudo regmaglypts, possibly caused by wind erosion, or by ablation when molten fragments were thrown into the air following impact. Perhaps the most enchanting of all meteorite-related collectibles, Libyan Desert Glass is now extremely difficult to obtain, as removing material from the site is prohibited by the Egyptian government.
These outstanding specimens came from a colleague who has close ties with Egypt. They were acquired years ago, before the ban on hunting was enacted by the Egyptian government. Please note the exceptional translucency and fine character of these pieces. High quality Libyan Desert Glass specimens are graded by their clarity, shape and color.
The ancient pectoral pictured at left belonged to Tutankhamun, and the yellow scarab is carved from Libyan Desert Glass, giving this striking meteoritic material a unique link to Egypt and to humanity’s distant past.
Genuine Moldavites are luminous green glasses formed 14.5 million years ago by the impact of a giant meteorite that created the 15-mile wide Ries Crater in Germany. The Moldavites were blasted some 200 to 400 kilometers, all the way to the modern-day Czech Republic. Mining and popularity has dramatically depleted the supply of this exquisite glass. Moldavite has a hardness rating of 5.5, and the glasses are often faceted for use in jewelry. When cut and polished, the deep green color of most Moldavite pieces is reminiscent of emeralds and peridot. We are an international meteorite company and pride ourselves in being a reputable genuine Moldavite dealer.
We understand the price of Moldavite is climbing as it is increasingly difficult to obtain. We are paying substantially more to acquire quality genuine Moldavite. Our prices reflect this increase. Shop securely.
Dr. Nininger created the American Meteorite Laboratory, opened the world’s first independent meteorite museum on Route 66 near Meteor Crater, and was a founding member of the Meteoritical Society.
During the 1950s, Dr. Nininger and his wife Addie, journeyed to Vietnam and worked with local landowners to assemble a remarkable collection of tektites. This expedition is well documented in his book Find a Falling Star. Each specimen was meticulously labeled, one at a time, by hand. The larger pieces received a hand painted number, while the smaller ones were cataloged using a small number written on tape, and then affixed to the specimen. Some of the specimens offered on this page are likely visible on the table in the photo from Find a Falling Star.
These specimens were received via institutional trade from one of the world’s foremost meteorite research collections. Some pieces are also accompanied by handwritten paper notes in Nininger’s own hand. This is an extraordinary opportunity to acquire a very affordable specimen with an original number from the research collection of one of the most important figures in the history of meteoritics.
A rare sand impact site in a now inaccessible region of the Saudi Arabian desert, the Wabar crater field is one of the most elusive and mysterious impact sites on Earth. The world’s only known sand crater of significant size, the Wabar crater field was produced when a IIIAB iron meteorite weighing many tons impacted the Earth. It’s possible this event occurred in 1863, though some estimates state it could have happened thousands of years earlier.
The heat and pressure generated by the impact formed a diverse and remarkable collection of Wabar Impactites, including exquisite black glass spheres known as Wabar Pearls. These also include pieces of the strange Wabar Oxidized Iron, a weathered iron meteorite fragment, and the Wabar Iron in its unaltered state!
The Wabar crater is one of about fifteen craters on Earth from which we have recovered meteorite fragments. An interesting anecdote about the site was reported to our colleagues — some of the iron fragments from Wabar appear “popped.” This phenomenon is thought to be caused by high temperatures and pressures at impact, causing the iron to oxidize rapidly and give the Wabar Oxidized Irons the classic “weathered” appearance, which typically indicates they have been on Earth a substantial amount of time. This was the first time we had heard of this anomaly; if you have further knowledge about the topic, we invite you to let us know. What we want to know is this: how is it we see well-preserved irons and weathered irons at the same impact site? Puzzling!
The site is infamously inaccessible and has only been visited a few times in history. Average temperatures in summer can reach a blistering 140°F (60°C). Shifting sands in the region have filled in the craters in over time and they are now nearly obliterated. First discovered in 1932, differing reports place the number of craters between three and five.
Political events in the Middle East have also made the area extremely dangerous and we have been advised by local experts that it is now impossible to reach. As such, we are extremely fortunate to be able to offer this rare and beautiful material.