These, are Pallasites.

Pallasites are stony-iron meteorites that contain gem quality olivine embedded within.

Pallasites formed when our solar system did. Back then there were even more planety type things wooshing about. Some of them were massive enough, and composed of enough radioactive materials to have a mantle and core and a crust, like Earth.

Pallasites are thought to have formed at the boundary between the mantle and core of these things, like something floating in the layer between oil and water. Then when two proto-planets crashed together, it freed the pallasites and sent them on their way.

They’re pretty rare, only 61 have been found, but damn are they pretty

What you are looking at here is a slice of the Fukang Meteorite. The rare meteorite was discovered in 2000, in the Gobi Desert in China’s Xinjiang Province.

It is a pallasite; a type of iron meteorite, quite rare, made out of large olivine crystals in an iron-nickel matrix. Olivine is a magnesium iron silicate, quite common in our planet’s subsurface, but which weathers fast when exposed to the surface.

Pallasites are extremely rare, even among meteorites (only about 1% of all meteorites are this type) and they are by far the most beautiful. Slices from the Fukang mass, as in this photo, are reminiscent of stained glass windows, crafted in the solar system.



Photo courtesy of Arizona Meteorite Laboratory

For more photos and info see:

This awesomely beautiful object is part of the Fukang meteorite. Discovered near the city of Fukang in Xinjiang, China back in 2000, the 2,211 lb meteorite is a pallasite, which is a meteorite consisting of roughly equal proportions of iron and olivine. The olivine crystals are what you see catching the light in this striking photo, which was shared by Redditor kikootwo.

“Pallasites are extremely rare even among meteorites (only about 1% of all meteorites are this type) and Fukang has been hailed as one of the greatest meteorite discoveries of the 21st century.”

Visit Twisted Sifter to learn more about pallasite and the Fukang meteorite.

Springwater Meteorite

The Springwater meteorite is a pallasite, stony iron meteorite, found in 1931 near the town of Springwater, located about 100 miles west of Saskatoon, in Saskatchewan, Canada.

This meteorite has a matrix of fresh-appearing honey-yellow olivine beset with numerous jagged, irregular, projections of metal. The metal is dark rusty brown color.

Pallasites are an exceedingly rare type of meteorite, only 84 are currently known out of over 40,000 meteorites in world collections. They are typically unassuming in appearance on the exterior. Yet inside they are a striking combination of the chrome-green mineral olivine set in an iron-nickel matrix. 

Origins if pallasites are still the subject of great debate. They may have formed deep within an asteroid, a small, moon-like body, and may represent the boundary layer between the core and mantle of such a body.

In 2009 meteorite hunters returned to the original discovery site and recovered over 100 kilograms of new material. Some of these pieces or fragments thereof can be found for sale online.

It has been suggested that the estimated age of this meteorite is 4.5-billion-year-old.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Michael Johnson

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Only a small fraction of all meteorites found on Earth are pallasites: translucent, olivine crystals embedded in an iron-nickel matrix. Pallasites were first identified as originating from outer space more than 200 years ago. New research from a team of geophysicists using a carbon dioxide laser, a magnetic field, and a sophisticated recording device has shown the likely formation of the pallasites as a collision between an asteroid and a planetary body. 

It was previously assumed that pallasites formed at the boundary between the iron core and the rocky mantle in a planetary body. However a team of geophysicists, led by John Tarduno at the University of Rochester, discovered that they most likely formed when a smaller asteroid crashed into a planetoid about 30 times smaller than Earth. This would have resulted in the materials mixing before solidifying to produce the distinctive meteorites. Tarduno and his team discovered that the tiny metal grains within the olivine were magnetised to a particular direction; previous work had theorised that the iron intruded from the core into the olivine in the mantle. 

The scientists used a carbon dioxide laser at the University of Rochester to heat the metal grains past their Curie temperatures (the point at which a metal loses its magnetisation). The metal grains were then cooled in the presence of a magnetic field to re-magnetise them; at the same time a measuring instrument known as SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) was used to record the data. The team was able to calculate the strength of the past magnetic field and then the rate of cooling. The measurements from the experiment, combined with a computer model, indicated the parent body had a radius of about 200 km, qualifying it as a proto-planet.

For the metal grains within the olivine to be magnetised, the planetary body in which they formed must have had a molten iron core, to create a magnetic field. Temperatures at the core-mantle boundary would have been close to 930°C and too hot for magnetisation to take place. Pallasites therefore would have formed at somewhat shallow depths in the much cooler mantle of the proto-planet. This research also provides further evidence that small celestial bodies can have dynamo activity; a rotating liquid iron core that can create a magnetic field.

The iron-nickel in the pallasites is believed to have originated from the collision with the asteroid, where molten iron from the core of the smaller of the two asteroids was injected into the mantle of the larger body, creating the textures observed in the pallasites. 

The image is a piece measuring 210 mm by 190 mm by 5 mm of the Esquel meteorite, which contains the pallasites. The meteorite was discovered in Chubut, Argentina in 1951 as a single mass weighing more than 700 kilograms. 

John A. Tarduno, Rory D. Cottrell, Francis Nimmo, Julianna Hopkins, Julia Voronov, Austen Erickson, Eric Blackman, Edward R.D. Scott, Robert Mckinley. Evidence for a Dynamo in the Main Group Pallasite Parent Body. Science, 2012 DOI: 10.1126/science.1223932


Seymchan Pallasite Meteorite (Complete Transitional Slice with Space Gems) - Magadan District, Russia

This complete Seymchan slice originates from one of the pallasitic masses of the fall that occurred in Central Siberia. It is neither completely composed of metal, nor does it contain crystals throughout. This specimen originated from a large mass in the asteroid belt where the transition between an iron meteorite and a stony meteorite was at its interface. This mass then broke apart - probably from the impact of another asteroid. Studded with extraterrestrial olivine and peridot crystals in one area, and a continuous nickel-iron matrix in another, this gorgeous complete slice is further distinguished by a highly polished perimeter.

Pallasites are a stony-iron meteorite that have a nickel iron body (or matrix) and are studded with olivine crystals. These meteorites are thought to represent the core/mantle boundary of a differentiated planetesimal that was impacted by another object and broke apart. The iron-nickel matrix is from the core and the olivine crystals are from the mantle. The pieces became incorporated during the impact much in the same way that you work chocolate chips into dough. (via pallasites | Glacial Till)


Meteorite magnetism reveals secrets of early solar system

Pallasites are the most attractive meteorites, with their green to brown crystals of olivine embedded in a shiny matrix of metallic iron and nickel. Long thought to be the core mantle boundaries of ancient planetismals (the building blocks of our solar system), they may be due instead to collisions between them but the issue is still in doubt. They are thought to be the remnants of the first bodies in the solar system, many of which amalgamated together to form the planets. High levels of radioactivity back in those days melted and differentiated them into metallic and silicate layers.

New research has captured the last moments of an asteroid’s magnetic field, giving insights into the process of our solar system’s growth and hints as to the future of the Earth’s own core when it finally freezes. The metal in the pallasites contained a magnetic memory some 4.5 billion years old (just as iron minerals do in the Earth’s rocks, used amongst other things to infer palaeo latitude of sedimentation or eruption).

The research team from Cambridge University used beamed x-rays to image nanoscale patterns in the magnetic memory at the highest resolution ever and captured the entire story of asteroid core freezing up to the precise moment when it ended (marking the death of the body’s field). No one had done this before since it was wrongly assumed that pallasites had poor magnetic memories, and would have been over written many times during their journeying around the solar system.

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The Fukang meteorite is a 1,003 kilogram meteorite discovered near Fukang, a city located in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, China. It is a pallasite, a type of stony–iron meteorite, with olivine crystals throughout. Only about 1% of all meteorites are pallasites, and this one is believed to originate from deep inside intact meteors created during the formation of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago

Photograph via kikootwo on Reddit

Seymchan iron/pallasite meteorite from Magadan District, Russia. Weight is 18 grams.  The pallasite meteorite slice shown here consists of iron-nickel matrix with floating peridote crystals. These types of meteorites are thought to have originated from the core-mantle boundary of large, differentiated asteroids where the hot iron-nickel core mixed with the peridote (olivine) crystals of the deep mantle. After cooling and solidifying, the asteroid collided with another body causing fragmentation and exposing the deep core-mantle portion. Pallasites are a very rare type of meteorite.


Pallasite is made up of nickel-iron metals with olivine crystals spread through out, and is classified as a siderolite.

Redesigned Pallasite a bit from the first time I posted them. Went back toward the yellow-green range since the crystals inside are actually olivine, but most photos show it as a neat orangey color.

Pallasites gem is in the middle of the torso surrounded by metal, much like the crystals in actual pallasite. The “weapon” I chose is the huge bulking armor in the second picture. From twig to TANK in seconds flat!
I went with armor since it is something that can be both a defensive and offensive weapon/tool. Dropping down upon opponents from great heights like a meteorite and bullrushing are some of the attack moves you can expect from Pallasite.

It seems like I’m finishing all the cool projects today. Here’s the chefs knife with the inlayed #pallasite #meteorite in each side of the handle. It went in really smoothly, but I don’t think I’ll ever make another one of these… Too much stress. #knife #knives #knifeporn #knifemaking #chef #chefknives #chefsknife #inlay #metalwork #woodworking

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A slice of the Esquel meteorite. This type of meteorite is from the core-mantle boundary of an ancient planetoid that was smacked apart billions of years ago. The metal is iron/nickle core material and the crystals are peridot from the mantle area. At the interface, they mix together as you can see. 

Pallasites were once thought to originate at the core-mantle boundary of differentiated asteroids that were subsequently shattered through impacts. An alternative recent hypothesis is that they are impact-generated mixtures of core and mantle materials.[

Pallasites are a rare type of meteorite. Only 61 are known to date, including 10 from Antarctica, with four being observed falls.[7][8] The following four falls are in chronological order: