€60k Siberian meteorite heads Paris auction

Tomorrow, December 1, Hôtel Drouot is offering nearly 50 meteorites at its Natural History auction.

Whilst some are fairly ordinary pieces priced at a couple of hundred Euros, there are some exceptional pieces available.

One particularly interesting piece is a 45x35x25cm octahedrite from the great Campo del Cielo craters in Chaco Argentina. Octahedrites are the most common kind of iron meteorites, though iron meteorites in general are rare. This piece was first found in 1576, but thought to be 4,000-5,000 years old. It is estimated at €38,000-40,000.

Expected to sell for €12,000-15,000 is a small (7x6x5cm) pallasite from Russia. In fact it is one from the Krasnojarsk meteorite fall in the 18th century, when the name 'pallasite' was first created, after scientist Peter Simon Pallas who gave his name to the newly discovered kind of iron rich meteorite.

Argentinian Pallasite
(Click to enlarge)

A more recently found, but exceptionally beautiful, pallasite is valued at €8,500-8,800. Found in 1951 in Argentina, the piece contains olivine grains.

 The expected top lots are two large pallasites from the Seymchan Madagan district, Siberia, thought to be 4.57 million years old, first found in 1967.

A woman in California recently had her car hit by a meteorite of a similar age.

Magadan Pallasite big
Magadan Pallasite (80cm)

One, an 80cm tall polished plate of pallasite is expected to sell for €50,000-60,000 whilst the other, which weighs 1.2 (metric) tonnes has no listed estimate.

The auction starts at 8pm on December 1 in Paris. For more information on meteorites see here.


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Images: Hôtel Drouot

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