Martian meteorite auction to land $180,000 at Heritage?

A large piece of Martian meteorite will see stellar bids in Heritage Auctions' June 2 Nature & Science Signature Auction, which will take place in Dallas.

Martian meteorite Heritage Auctions
This is the largest chunk of a meteorite that was discovered in 2012 and later found to originate from Mars

The chunk is expected to sell for $160,000-180,000, with Martian rock being some of the rarest and most sought after among meteorite collectors - less than 300 pounds of the material is known to exist on Earth.  

This fragment weighs in at 1.37 pounds and measures 5.25 by 3.25 inches. It is the main mass, or largest existing specimen, of the Martian meteorite NWA 7397, which was first discovered in 2012.

The meteorite makes for an excellent display piece, with both its interior and exterior revealed. It contains large crystals of low calcium pyroxene, which in turn enclose crystals of olivine and chromite.

The reverse is covered in fusion crust, a memento from the rock's fiery descent through the Earth's atmosphere.

La Madona Rosa Rose Quartz
This piece of quartz is revered for its likeness to traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary

The top lot of the sale will be a spectacular piece of rose quartz, which has been dubbed La Madona Rosa due to its likeness to traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary.

Valued at $200,000-350,000, the piece was discovered by miners in Brazil, who hit pay dirt with their find being one of the earliest discoveries of rare rose quartz. The largest specimen from the Lavro Berilo Branco find is known as the Van Allen Belt and is currently housed in the Smithsonian.

In October 2012, Heritage Auctions sold the largest piece of Moon rock ever seen at auction for $330,000.

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