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    Iron, Fine (IVA) octahedrite
    Kiruna, Norrbotten, Northern Sweden

    Believed to have impacted the Earth over 800,000 years ago, only a handful of these mysterious meteorites have been recovered since its initial discovery in 1906. Searches for the impact crater from the original shower have been in vain; the site where these specimens are found is in a remote area of northern Sweden, well into the Arctic Circle, but it is generally assumed that they were transported there by glacial action from the original, ancient strewnfield. The fragments are few and far between and almost always buried, and so must be located with specialized metal detectors. To add to the difficulty, Swedish law dictates that a license must be obtained for use of a metal detector, and then those pieces buried in the perma-frost must be excavated by hand. Not only are specimens therefore rather rare, but the Muonionalusta is also significant as the first iron meteorite in which stishovite was found, a rare and extremely hard silicon dioxide polymorph of quartz that is formed by very high shock pressure, such as the hypervelocity of a meteorite impact. Presented in a slice such as this, the classic Widmanst├Ątten patterns are wonderfully visible; characteristic of iron meteorites they form an unearthly metallic grid in shimmering shades of gray and silver, comprising two forms of extraterrestrial nickel-iron, kamacite and taenite. Rarity and difficulty of recovery make these specimens uncommon on the market, and the present example is of a good size, measuring 9 5/8 x 6 7/8 inches on a wood and metal display stand.
    Chemical analysis: apart from an 8.42% nickel content, these meteorites are known (so far) to contain Akaganeite (Fe O OH), Daubreelite (Fe2 CR3 S4), Gersdorffite (Ni As S), Goethite (Fe3 (OH)), Iron (Fe), Kamacite (Fe Ni), Lepidocrocite (Fe O (OH), Magnetite (Fe Fe2 O4), Stishovite (SiO2), Taenite (Fe Ni) and Troilite (Fe S). The high nickel content galvanizes the iron to some extent, which aids immensely in the meteorites' survival for so long under conditions highly favorable to rusting.

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2010
    17th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,186

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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