Pallasite from a Chinese meteorite to land $75,000

Bonhams is to hold a Natural History sale at the end of this month and, whilst there are other collectibles available, for space collectors that means one thing only: meteorites.

There are 30 meteorite-based lots in the sale, several of them quite interesting and valuable. Of these, however, it is two pallasite which are leading the sale.

Pallasites make up fewer than 1% of meteorites which land on Earth, and they are universally regarded as the most beautiful meteorites around, as their iron-nickel rich base is filled with olivine crystals. These meteorites are thought to be the remnants of forming planets.

British Museum Pallasite Slice
British Museum/Macovich Collection Pallasite Slice

One of the pieces available in Bonhams' sale is actually from the British Museum, and the famed Macovich Collection. It is a square slice of the Imilac meteorite from Atacama Desert, Chile, 77 x 77 x 33mm and weighing just under 1kg, apparently balanced on its stand on its corner thanks to a natural magnet.

This exceptionally rare piece is expected sell for $13,500-16,000. But it is not the most valuable piece in the sale. That honour falls to a slice of the Fukang meteorite of Xinjiang Uygar, China.

Regarded as the world's pre-eminent pallasite, the Fukang provides matchless slices and this is of astounding quality; virtually every crystal is gem quality olivine.

With dimensions of 16 by 20in, and weighing 4.2kg, the extraordinary piece carries a guide price of $65,000-75,000.

Bonhams' sale takes place on May 27, and we will be bringing you more details before then, here.


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