The rarest of the three main types of meteorites, the stony-irons are divided into two groups: the mesosiderites and pallasites. Mesosiderites are believed to have been formed by violent asteroidal collisions, millions of year ago in deep space.
Pallasites are perhaps the most alluring of all meteorites, and they are certainly of great interest to collectors and enthusiasts. Pallasites consist of a nickel-iron matrix rich in colorful olivine crystals. When olivine crystals are of sufficient purity and display an emerald- green color, they are known as the gemstone peridot. Pallasites take their name from the German zoologist and explorer, Peter Pallas, who described the first-known pallasite, the Russian meteorite Krasnojarsk, which was found in the eighteenth century near the Siberian capital of the same name.
When cut and polished into thin slabs, the crystals in pallasites sometimes become translucent, giving them a remarkable otherworldly beauty. While micro-diamonds have been found in some meteorites, notably the carbonaceous chondrite Allende [ see our Stones page], pallasites are the only meteorites that contain gemstones easily visible to the naked eye.
Pallasites are believed to have formed at the core/mantle boundary of large asteroids and they are extremely rare. As of 2021, out of the approximately 65,000 officially recognized meteorites, there are only 131 known pallasites.
Our catalog of mesosiderite and pallasite 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.
Pallasite-PMG, Found in Kansas, 1881
At Aerolite, we love all pallasites, but Admire is quite close to our hearts. Its name made waves when hosts Geoff Notkin and Steve Arnold pulled a hefty 223-pound “Alpha” (Admire) pallasite out of the ground on Season Two, Episode One of Meteorite Men. Not to worry — that monster remains intact and travels to museums and exhibits around the United States. These lovely part slices, crystals and “nuggets” are from the same strewnfield, but an altogether different rock. The slices were expertly prepared and are beautifully appointed. The “nuggets” are created when the pallasite is being stabilized; they truly look like visitors-from-outer space. The crystals are whole and tumbled. Imagine adding an entire pallasite crystal to your collection!
Pallasite, Found in United States, 1882
Eliza Kimberly moved from Iowa to Kansas in 1885, with her husband, and found meteorites in the otherwise vacant fields of their new Midwest farm. As a young girl, Eliza had seen a meteorite in person (assumed to be an example of the Estherville meteorite that fell in Iowa in 1879). She never forgot it and she knew what space rocks looked like. Nobody believe her tale of meteorites on the Kansas farm, some even muttered that she was crazy but, eventually and after years of sustained effort — which involved mailing samples to universities and scientists such as natural history professor, Francis Whittemore Cragin — she was vindicated. She went into the space rock business and became one of the world’s first meteorite dealers.
Pioneering meteorite expert and researcher H.H. Nininger, founder of the American Meteorite Laboratory, did important early work at the Brenham site (sometimes called “Havilland Crater” although there is little accepted evidence of a crater) and his finds were recorded in several of his books. Innovative space rock hunter, H.O. Stockwell, with his homemade, wheeled metal detector, dug up a massive 450- kg (990 lbs) Brenham in 1949. At the time, it was known as “The World’s Largest Pallasite.” Many others followed, walking the gently-sloping fields in search of buried extraterrestrial treasure, and visiting the Brenham strewnfield became something of a right of passage for would-be meteorite hunters. Multiple pieces had been found in the 100-plus years since Eliza’s initial discoveries. Surely more gem-studded rocks lay buried beneath the quiet Kansas fields. But, maybe not. Sometime in the late 1990s, the area was declared “hunted out.” There was ostensibly nothing more to be found.
Then, noted modern meteorite hunter, Steve Arnold, made worldwide headline news in 2005 when — employing a custom metal detector, much like Stockwell — he unearthed an enormous 650-kg (1,430 lbs) oriented mass barely a stone’s throw from the site his predecessor’s discovery … but ten feet down in the ground.
In 2008, Brenham once again came to prominence when it served as a main location in the pilot episode of Science Channel’s Meteorite Men — a popular and multi-award-winning science/adventure show that starred Steve Arnold and his friend (and Aerolite Meteorites CEO) Geoffrey Notkin. In the pilot episode, Arnold and Notkin recovered two giant Brenham masses, with a combined weight of over 500 pounds. Several additional significant pieces were also found by Arnold and Notkin and this specimen originates from one of them. Notkin wrote in detail about his Brenham expeditions for Meteorite magazine and in his book Rock Star: Adventures of a Meteorite Man (Stanegate Press, 2012).
Mesosiderite-B4, Found in the Philippines, 1956
The story of the Bondoc mesosiderite is one of the most remarkable in meteorite history. Recovered by H.H. Nininger 40 miles from the nearest village in a remote part of the Philippines during the 1950s, the original, and only, mass weighed a staggering 1,955 pounds. At the time, it was the second largest stony-iron meteorite ever found. It took Nininger nearly four years to get the mass back to the United States, and its amazing journey included travel by bulldozer and river raft.
Examples of this material are described as Bondoc nodules. Some of the matrix survived in excellent condition. Some of it was cut into slices, and others were preserved in their natural state. We are very pleased to have examples of both. These are described as Bondoc silicates.
Since Nininger transported the original mass from the Philippines, we can say Bondoc has Nininger provenance, even though not all specimens carry a hand-painted number.
Pallasite, Found in Russia, 1810
First discovered in Belarus, Brahin is among the most alluring of pallasites. Displaying rich, sea-green olivine (peridot) crystals, these outstanding laboratory prepared slices show a high olivine density (approximately 80%), with colorful crystals appearing suspended in a delicate lattice of shiny metal. Cut thin for maximum translucency, and expertly prepared in one of the world’s top labs to show off their bright nickel-iron matrix.
Pallasite, Found in China, 2000
An extremely beautiful pallasite characterized by extraordinarily large and colorful olivine crystals. The main mass was discovered in 2000, and this meteorite has rapidly become a favorite among collectors due to the stunning and enormous olivine crystals. The absolute finest display piece.
NORTHWEST AFRICA 10023
Pallasite, PMG-an, Found in Northwest Africa, 2014
This is a truly remarkable find from the northern deserts of Africa: an astoundingly vibrant pallasite with olivine colors ranging from tangerine all the way to lime green. There is a significantly high crystal density among the iron and they vary from small clusters to large, attention-seeking individuals.
In order to best display the interior, we have various slices that are polished on one face and etched on the other. Plus, each slice is cut thin in order to boost the transparency of the olivine crystals and allow one to create a brilliant, artistic show of color when presented with light, even if the light source may be quite dim. It is an unequivocally luxurious and bold pallasite.
NORTHWEST AFRICA 10882
Northwest Africa 10882, Mesosiderite A2, Purchased and classified by Steve Arnold in May 2016
A very rare mesosiderite A2 from a single mass. Saw cut shows a stony-iron breccia with silicate clasts up to ~1 cm, metal veins and nodules up to ~1 cm, however many domains are fine-grained mixtures of metal and silicate. Beautiful!
Pallasite, Found in Eastern Kenya, 2017
Sericho pallasite (initially called Habaswein), found in Kenya was just such a discovery. Although recorded in 2016 and officially recognized as a meteorite in 2017, local lore has it that several large Sericho masses had been known to exist for generations.
Pure olivine (peridot) is naturally green, but Sericho’s sojourn on Earth has caused its crystals to terrestrialize and acquire yellow, orange, and brown hues. While pallasites are typically considered to be composed approximately 50% olivine and 50% nickel-iron, Sericho has a particularly high crystal density, with estimates putting it at 70–80% olivine.
Pallasite, Found in Russia, 1967
Seymchan is the meteorite that kept on getting more interesting as time went on. First discovered during the summer of 1967 by the Russian geologist F. A. Mednikov, it was originally classified as a IIE iron meteorite. In the early 2000s, meteorite hunters associated with the Vernadsky Institute in Moscow returned to the site in the hope of finding additional specimens. They did. And there were amazed to discover not iron meteorites, but pallasites — stony-iron meteorites encrusted with olivine crystals. Their finds resulted in a rare classification change in the scientific literature: in 2007 van Niekerk et al. revised the designation for Seymchan from iron to pallasite.
Seymchan has an unusual structure: some areas display olivine-rich clusters, while others consist almost entirely of nickel-iron. During its tumultuous flight through the atmosphere and subsequent impact, it is easy to imagine the meteoritic masses of Seymchan shearing at the nickel-iron/olivine borders. Some pieces, therefore, appear to be entirely metallic, while others appear pallasitic. This explains why Mednikov found what he assumed to be an entirely iron, or sideritic meteorite, while later expeditions found what they assumed to be pallasites.
SEYMCHAN FULL SLICES
Worldwide interest in meteorites continues to grow and olivine-rich Seymchan specimens are now extremely difficult to acquire. Raw, unprepared masses now sell for the same dollar per gram rate as fully polished slices did only five years ago. We are pleased to present these few full slices.
SEYMCHAN PART SLICES
SEYMCHAN IRON-RICH SLICES
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.
Stony-irons are by far the rarest of the three main classes of meteorites; the others being irons and stones. Mesosiderites and pallasites make up the stony-irons and Vaca Muerta (spanish for “dead cow”) is a rare example of the mesosiderite type. First discovered in 1861 by prospectors looking for rare metals, the Vaca Muerta meteorite comes from a difficult-to-reach area in Chile’s vast Atacama Desert. The area has been extensively hunted since the 1960s and examples of this meteorite only rarely come to market.