Meteorites always offer a little bit of magic for space collectors, being the only collectible which originated from outside our world.
Martian meteorites perhaps take this excitement to another level by offering a fragment of another world entirely - one on which no man has set foot, and yet which we know enough about to be certain that it is the source for certain meteorites.
But these are very rare - there are approximately 91 known martian meteorites known around the world and a few more under study.
At this time, however, a selection of slices from the meteorite known as Sayh al Uhaymir 005/008 is available. The 1999 find comprises five grey-greenish stones weighing nearly 10kg in total which were found at two locations just under 2km apart.
A private seller has recently put 23 pieces of the meteorite up for sale with a range of prices which will suit everyone from the casual collector up to the more committed. Of these 17 are still on offer including most of the larger pieces.
The meteorite consists of Martian basalt (shergottite) and has a porphyritic texture with large olivine phenocrysts in a fine-grained groundmass of pigeonite and maskelynite.
The two choicest slices weigh in at 15.1g and 32.4g, costing $7,500 and 14,500 respectively.
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