Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Lunar Mare - olivine gabbro
    Sahara Desert at the Mali/Algeria Border
    Like Martian meteorites, lunar meteorites are among the rarest naturally occurring substances on Earth; there are only 62 kilograms (135 pounds) of lunar meteorites known to exist. Lunar specimens are identified by specific geological, mineralogical, chemical and radiation signatures, and the scientific abstract describing such particulars of the current offering accompanies this lot. The most common minerals found on Earth's surface are not found on the Moon; the minerals comprising the Moon's crust are limited and readily identifiable. In addition, lunar rocks contain gases originating from the solar wind with isotope ratios that are very different than the same gases found on Earth. Suspected lunar meteorites are also matched against Apollo lunar samples. (Moon rocks collected during Apollo missions are the property of the United States government and not available to the private sector.)
    Currently offered is a highly aesthetic fragment of the Moon. Most lunar samples are breccias (see lot 49253), but not this outstanding example. NWA 6950 is the 6950th meteorite to have been analyzed following its recovery from the North West African grid of the Sahara Desert. Found near the border between Mali and Algeria in June 2011, NWA 6950 was purchased by a Moroccan fossil dealer from a nomadic Berbers. The scientific abstract appearing in the Meteoritical Bulletin which documents NWA 6950 was authored by Dr. Anthony Irving, one of the foremost planetary experts who also did the classification work on the Martian meteorite Tissint (see lots 49234 and 49235). Research indicates that NWA 6950 consists primarily of basalt (volcanic rock) and cumulate olivine gabbro (dense greenish material that contains pyroxene, plagioclase and amphibole). Accessory minerals include ilmenite, armalcolite, troilite, baddeleyite, taenite and merrillite with rare zirconolite. The plagioclase is partially converted to the shock glass maskelynite, and pyroxenes and olivine exhibit shock lamellae - and thin, black shock veins coarse through the matrix. This is consistent with the delivery mechanism of a large asteroid having struck the lunar surface and having launched material into outer space where it succumbed to Earth's gravitational pull. One side of this specimen has been cut flat and the obverse is the naturally fractured surface as found on the desert floor. With a Macovich Collection provenance this is an outstanding specimen of the Moon. 67 x 38 x 9mm (2.66 x 1.5 x .33 inches) and 39.187 grams.
    Provenance: Macovich Collection

    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
    May, 2012
    20th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,073

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $50,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $50,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold on May 20, 2012 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 October 23 Texas Art Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Wow; aren’t we lucky to meet you. Thanks for the great info and superior client service.
    Paul & Gerri M.,
    New York, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search