DescriptionTEKTITES - WHEN FRAGMENTS OF EARTH ARE LAUNCHED INTO THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE: LIBYAN DESERT GLASS, MOLDAVITE, AND TWO INDOCHINITES
While the previous lot describes the crushing, destructive force of an asteroid impact, now offered is a more fanciful consequence. Tektites, whose name comes from the Greek tektos ("melted"), result from an asteroid slamming into Earth, instantly liquefying some of the surrounding material and splashing it into the upper atmosphere. This material cooled and solidified during its descent and returned to Earth in the form of solid glass. The type of glass, color, and opacity depend on the type of material liquefied.
Included in this offering are four tektite specimens. The first is a select translucent example of the smooth, golden tektites found in the sands of the Sahara Desert between Libya and Egypt. The green moldavite specimen seen here was formed nearly 15 million years ago by the same asteroid that created the 14.5 mile diameter Nördlinger-Ries crater near Stuttgart. Revered as a talisman by Paleolithic humans and given to fiancées in the 17th-19th centuries to assure harmony in marital relations, it is arguably the most beautiful of all tektites and is often cut into gemstones (see lot 49128). Prized for its clarity, shape and color, moldavite's character, like all tektites, is influenced by the chemistry of the soil in which it lands, and crenellations abound in this superior example found outside the town of Chlum. The last two specimens in this lot are from the Indochinese Peninsula. An opaque black glass, Indochinites are splash forms that originated from an impact that occurred 700,000 years ago. Moldavite: 41 x 39 x 11mm (1.66 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches) and 35.1 grams. Indochinite disc: 43 x 39 x 13mm (1.66 x 1.5 x 0.5 inches) and 47.83 grams. Indochinite teardrop: 74 x 34 x 19mm (3 x 1.33 x 0.75 inches) and 76.36 grams (0.25 pounds). Libyan Desert Glass: 42 x 17 x19mm (1.66 x 0.66 x 0.75 inches) and 14.89 grams
Condition report available upon request.
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