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BOOK: OUR STONE-PELTED PLANET by H.H. Nininger.
I picked this up in
along with a copy of Farrington’s “Meteorites”. I have read this one a couple
times in the past so I’m putting this one up for sale (I may sell the
Farrington later once I have had a chance to got through it). It is a pretty
usual used copy. It is missing the dust jacket and is clearly an ex-library
book (Nevada State Library I think). It is in pretty good shape overall, aside
from the old now marked out library labels (mostly on the first pages). This
may be actually be rarer (but, perhaps, not quite as desirable) than other
copies in that I think this may be the first copy I have ever had that does NOT
have Nininger’s signature in it. Anyway, a good reading copy of a fairly rare
Nininger’s “Our Stone-Pelted Planet” - $150
Arizona: Coarse octahedrite
Here is a tumble polished piece of this now very difficult to get meteorite. I got this as part of a collection that was mostly glasses (tektites and fulgurites) over a year ago. It looks very much like the small tumbled Odessa piece Robert Haag sold years ago – rounded corners, lots of bright metal but still wit black patches in the deeper recesses. I can’t help but wonder if this was one of the ones I heard about back when we (myself and a few friends) acquired the Guadalupe y Calve hexahedrite. While I was looking that over a guy had asked me how Robert “made” those nice little tumbled Odessas (which were selling about as fast as he could prepare them). I gave him my thoughts on how it was done and asked why he wanted to know. He said he had gotten a small “bucket full” of roughly thumb-sized Canyon Diablo pieces that were not only natural but had a white number painted on them. He didn’t like the appearance (or the number) and it seemed his potential customers did not either. I explained what these likely where (Nininger specimens) and their longer term importance to collectors but he was not interested. He also was not interested in selling them to me at anything near what those things would have been worth at the time (maybe $.25 to .30/g, I think I was paying around $35/ pound for Diablos those days). He wanted the much higher $1/g he thought he would get for them cleaned as this was the price Robert was getting for his tumbled Odessas (which, importantly, were very MUCH smaller than the Diablos). Wish I could go back and give this idiot the $1/g now. Anyway, I just have to wonder if this, actually kind of nice specimen was one of those.
30.9 gram tumble polished individual – 42mm x 15mm x 10mm - $40
Mars rock (Nakhlite). Fell June 28,
1911. Tkw = around 10 kilograms.
It has been a looooong time since I have been able to offer a piece of this famous meteorite. Unfortunately, this is among the most expensive (overall specimen price wise) specimen I have offered as well. However, this is also among the most "Museum grade” specimens I have offered as well. This is a nice, fresh fragment that has a very substantial (around 18mm x 13mm) patch of fresh shiny black crust. This is truly a rare opportunity for the Mars Rock collector (I have generally stopped calling these things “SNCs” as there have been a number of new type Mars rocks that don’t fit those classifications lately).
5.60 gram fragment with crust – 20mm x 14mm x 15mm - $15,000 – crust patch 18mm x 13mm
NWA 5546: Carbonaceous chondrite (CV3). Found 2008. Tkw = 3.8 kilograms.
I am not sure why this one is still listed as “provisional” in the Bulletin. The provisional report shows the history, type, researcher and everything but yet it hasn’t become “official”. I got a couple pieces of this from Matt late last year and finally decided to chop them in half while doing cutting work on other things on my 10” saw. This is quite weathered, has internal cracks and such but yet is fairly appealing on the cut surfaces. It shows lots of generally large chondrules of various shades of gray, brown and orange in a medium to dark chocolate matrix. These are fairly large and I may end up breaking them down if people really want smaller specimens. I priced these as the cheapest CV3 I have to help make up for the size.
1) Cut fragments:
a) 84.8 grams – 70mm x 50mm x 10mm - $250
b) 113.8 grams – 80mm x 47mm x 10mm - $340
c) 152.6 grams – 85mm x 50mm x 12mm - $450
This is an interesting solid really dark brown, nearly black individual. It has been cleaned or treated somehow but I am not certain how. It does not appear to have ever been wire brushed (at least not in anyway more than a really light brushing with a really soft wheel maybe). It does still have a couple tiny areas of natural fine sand or dirt in a couple recesses. I suspect that it was lightly cleaned to remove dirt and maybe some scale but then spent the rest of its life well oiled. Regardless, this is a good sample of this quite scarce (these days) meteorite.
276.8 gram individual – 65mm x 50mm x 20mm - $200
(H3-6). Fell August 4 or 5, 1998. Tkw = about 175 kilograms.
Here are some really fresh fragments of this important meteorite. This fall is one of only two chondrites (the other being
which also fell in 1998, interestingly)
that have been found to contain salt crystals that clearly show that water
flowed through these meteorite’s parent body at one time! These crystals, when
seen are bright blue or purple due to damage from radiation over the (billions)
years. These pieces appear to be natural fragments that are very light gray to
nearly white and were likely among the very earliest pieces to have been picked
up (I have a fair number of pieces that very obviously were later recoveries.
Let me know if you want any of these cheaper pieces). I thought about cutting
some of these as some pieces contain an interesting breccia texture but decided
against it. This was, though there is a very small chance that any of these
contain salt crystals, cutting them would most certainly destroy them if there
were any. Monahans,
1) Natural fresh fragments:
a) 6.2 grams – 20mm x 17mm x 7mm - $25
b) 9.6 grams – 22mm x 20mm x 10mm - $38
c) 17.7 grams – 25mm x 20mm x 15mm - $70
d) 47.7 grams – 60mm x 30mm x 17mm - $180 – has some obvious breccia zones.
DIAMONDS: “Carbonados” from
I remember reading some kind of “news” snippet in a Discover Magazine some years ago that said something to the effect that these “frothy” diamonds from
were likely associated with a meteorite. Furthermore, they weren’t from an
impact here on Earth but (supposedly) were already contained in the meteorite
before it hit! They supposedly have weathered out and are now found scattered
about the find area. This, to be honest, sounds really far-fetched to me. But
then, this is the attitude many took early on towards the theories that SNCs
were from Mars and the HEDs were from Vesta (both now accepted as fact).
Anyway, I tried to obtain some of these after reading that and completely
failed (one friend in the diamond business said he could help but I would have
to spend a minimum of $50k). I have since kept my eyes out for samples. I
finally found some interesting nondescript shaped, somewhat porous diamonds
labeled as Brazilian “carbonados” at the Denver Spring show a couple years ago
(and misplaced them not long after). I set one aside after rediscovering these
and the rest are listed here.
1) Natural “crystals” as found:
a) 1.1 carat – 7mm x 5mm x 4mm - $100 – light yellow color.
b) 1.6 carat – 9mm x 5mm x 5mm - $150 – light gray color.
c) 2.0 carat – 8mm x 8mm x 5mm - $180 – mixed clear and light tan color.