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9 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Tucson meteorite in Harry Winston Gallery
In the early 1700’s, two meteorite fragments were found in Sonora, Mexico at a location that is now a part of Arizona. One fragment, in the shape of a large ring, weighs ¾ of a ton. The smaller fragment, in the shape of a large jelly bean, is about half that size. Back then, meteorites were called “aerolites”. In 1850, the owners decided to send the aerolite ring to Spain to impress the King. They carried it as far as Tucson, Arizona and decided to abandon it there. It was simply too heavy to transport any further. The meteorite ring was used as an anvil for blacksmiths in Tucson. The Smithsonian Institution received it as a gift in 1863.

It is unclear whether any other fragments from the fall of this meteorite can be recovered because the exact location of its finding is uncertain. Other names for the ring meteorite and its smaller companion are Santa Rita, Tucson Ring, Ainsa, Irwin-Ainsa, and Carlton. These are the names of the people who studied the meteorites, or names of the places where they were found or taken.

Why does a hole appear in the ring? The large nodule of the mineral troilite was probably in the place were the hole is now. The troilite melted away as the meteorite came to earth, leaving behind the open space. Troilite is a bit like fool’s gold (pyrite). Pyrite is a sulfide of lead. Troilite is a sulfide of iron.
Sandstone concretion in Harry Winston Gallery
Concretions are hard masses of rock forming inside other rock masses. In a way, concretions develop in the same way that nasty tumors form in living organisms. Tumors develop and enlarge by uncontrolled cell growth. As they appear and grow, they sometimes erase or remove the living tissue into which they invade. In a similar way, concretions form and advance in an – all-be-it – inorganic way in a rock mass. Minerals precipitate out of solution from fluids moving though the rock unit before it is completely lithified. These minerals cement together localized portions of the rock, which in many cases is a sandstone. While concretions are always rounded and usually nodular or spherical in shape, many are more complex in form and can be grape-like or lobate.
Michigan copper in Harry Winston Gallery
The largest native copper ore deposits to be mined profitably are in the Keweenaw region of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Three properties of copper make it useful in our everyday life:
Conductivity – readily conducts electrical currents
Malleability - Copper will not crack or break when it is hammered, stamped, or forged. Copper wire can be spun into unusual shapes.
Resistance to corrosion - Copper will not rust. In damp air, it darkens to a reddish brown. With enough time and exposue, copper will become coated with a green film (called a “patina”) which protects it against further corrosion.

People interested in metaphysics and crystal healing believe that copper is effective in:

counteracting lethargy and laziness
helping to overcome passivity, restlessness, excitability, and non-acceptance
stimulating optimism and diplomacy
conveying the message that there is no need to search for love in life
amplifying and transmitting thought

They say that It is a source of:
a philosophic energy that is free of orthodoxy, prejudice, and bias
goodness . . . bringing benefit and "luck" to the user.

What do you think about these claims for copper?
Franklinite in Mine section
Franklin, New Jersey is a world famous locality for mineral collectors hunting for samples of a mineral that will “fluoresce”. The mineral will glow in the dark when it is exposed to ultra-violet light. It’s easy to locate because collectors go into the quarry at night with ultra-violet lights. Shining the light on the rock face and looking for a glowing spot allows them to simply and quickly identify the Franklinite deposits. It’s a no-brainer!

Franklinite is an ore providing two elements used often in industry . . . zinc and manganese. It forms octahedral crystals like those found in the spinel group of minerals. Hand samples from the quarries in Franklin usually contain rounded, black grains of franklinite mineral surrounded by white calcite crystals or greenish willemite crystals (or both) with a scattering of red zincite crystals. Specimens of this exotic and fascinating mineral are collected by mineral hunters worldwide.
Herkimer diamonds on fast track in Mineral and Crystals (before pegmatites)
Smaller samples of these exotic quartz crystals are often used in jewelry because they are doubly terminated (have points at both ends). Pendants and earrings wrapped in silver or copper wire are attractive and easy to make. While they’re called diamonds because of their brilliance and clarity, they’re really quartz crystals. Larger Herkimers make interesting specimen pieces in mineral collections.
The crystals are found in New York state in Herkimer County. The area hosts a dolomite limestone that develops small caves and cavities in it. Over time, surface water containing silicon (“half” of what quartz is made of) seeps downward through the earth and gets trapped in pockets. While the crystals formed, they were agitated . . . they were gently rocked and disturbed so that they’d never attach to the sides of the cavity. Most likely, this is because the fluid in the rock pocket was in relatively constant motion. The crystals developed two “pointy ends” because nothing took root in the cavity. Weathering and erosion by glaciers and water have exposed the rock units, which are located near Middleville, New York. While the crystals are routinely found inside the original rock cavities they formed in, many are found in soil covering the weathered rocks, as well. Hunting for them is fun and rewarding.
The Mohawk Indians, native to the area, were known as "The People of the Crystals". It’s an interesting “experiment in imagination” to think about how the Indians used these crystals and how they think they formed.
People interested in metaphysics and crystal healing believe that Herkimer diamonds are effective in promoting harmony, awareness, spontanteity, and relief from tension.
They say they are a source of attunement and perception and that they enhance clairvoyance (mind reading) and telepathic communication (mind conversations).
If you needed insight into what was in someone's mind, would you buy a Herkimer crystal?
Pele’s tears in Volcanoes Alcove in Rocks Below the Surface (opposite photo of Alfred Wegner)
When lava fountains throw up melted rock, small bits of molten material cools quickly and solidifies into glass particles while it is still in the air. These particles are shaped like spheres or like teardrops. They are named after Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes. Rarely, a thin strand of Pele’s hair is attached to a Pele’s tear. Pele’s hair is an ultra-thin straw-colored thread of cooled lava that trails out from the glass spherule. Pele’s hair is practically impossible to collect and store because it breaks when it hits the ground. Sometimes it breaks before it hits the ground as it is twisted in air currents. Pele’s hair usually only exists as long as it is airborne.
Tektites in Impact Alcove in Earth, Moon, and Meteorites (behind Cretaceous/Tertiary impact display case)
TektitesTektites are dark-colored glassy particles of glass found in specific areas of the world known as “strewn fields”. Tektites are formed by the melting of terrestrial surface sediments during the hypervelocity impact of meteorites, comets, and asteroids. After the molten earth material is thrown up high into the atmosphere, is lands far from the impact site. In the cooler regions of the atmosphere, the molten globs cool into glass spheres and into barbell-shaped rods.
Tektites are natural objects – they are not made by man. Many tektites show aerodynamic ablation. This means that they have partly re-melted after cooling in the atmosphere. The re-melting is caused by friction during re-entry into the atmosphere. Heat generation on re-entry is a problem for the space shuttle for the same reason. The front end of the cooled glassy glob, which enters the atmosphere first, bears the bulk of the friction. The front end heats up more than the rest of the sample, for this reason. Over time, the leading edge of the tektite is completely melted and pushed in little dribbles toward the tail end of the mass. Thus, round spheres partly re-melt and develop into buttons with a tapering “flange”. Barbell-shaped rods partly re-melt and develop into “what looks like” fused flanged buttons. While there are other kinds of tektites, the buttons and barbells are the most common.
Four tektite strewn fields are known in the recent geological past:
The Australia and Asia field is about 3/4 million years old. The Arican Ivory Coast field is about 1 million years old. The Central European field is about 15 million years old. The North American field is about 34 million years old.
Microtektites can occur. These are submillimeter-sized tektites found in deep-sea sediments within the Australasian, Ivory Coast and North American strewn fields.
While the material in tektites bears some similarity to a volcanic glass called obsidian (formed on earth and found on earth), the chemical composition of tektites is far more complex. They are lower in water and alkali content than obsidian. As well, they can contain nickel-iron spherules, and often contain rare minerals called coesite and baddeleyite which can only be formed by impact processes.
Naklite in Solar System Samples alcove across from moon rocks
This meteorite fell on June 28, 1911 in Egypt in the village of El-Nakhla in the community of El-Baharnya. It is rumored that the meteorite hit a dog when it fell to earth. What happened to the dog is unknown. Of the 24,000 (or so) meteorites discovered on Earth, only 34 have been identified as coming from the planet Mars. This is one of them. How do we know these 34 meteorites are from Mars?
First, they are unusual igneous meteorites that are 1.3 billion years old or younger. This age is MUCH younger than typical igneous meteorites from asteroids which are 4.5 billion years old.
Second, they have higher contents of volatiles than conventional igneous meteorites. These volatile, especially those contained in this particular meteorite sample, helped make the “absolute proof” about a martian origin for the meteorites. When gases trapped in the meteorite's interior are measured (they are contained in tiny bubbles), the results are identical to what we know is the “recipe” for the air on Mars. The trapped gases match exactly the gasses that the Viking spacecraft measured in the martian atmosphere.
Allende meteorite at entrance to Earth,Moon, and Meteorites Hall opposite diamond-bearing stardust display.
This carbonaceous chondrite fell February 8, 1969 at 01:05 local time in Pueblito de Allende, Chihuahua State, Mexico. Because NASA’s newly developed lunar receiving lab (prepared to receive moon rocks) had been recently completed, scientists decided to treat the allende meteorite as a “practice moon rock” to test the system of storage and maintance of the lunar cache. A typical “sample receiving container” developed to hold the anticipated moon rocks was taken to Mexico. The meteorite was placed inside and put in a vacuum . . . as was required. However, the air pressure in the container holding the meteorite kept increasing. Scientists were perplexed, because the sample was supposed to be kept in a vacuum. Their worst fears centered around the fact that the container seals must be leaking. They were concerned that “earth-air” was entering the container, contaminating the rock contents. However, a check of the air on the container proved that the seals were not leaking. What was happening was an amazing process never before documented . . . the meteorite was “out-gassing”. Gasses inside the meteorite were seeping out into the vacuum. The scientists were collecting samples of the earliest gasses in the galaxy because Allende is incredibly old. Allende is older than the earth. Far, far older.

Carbonaceous chondrites are most primitive form of matter in the universe. If, at the beginning of time, the universe had cooled and the dust clumped together to form a rock, then the result would be something like a carbonaceous chondrite. The matrix (fine-grained part) of the Allende is made up of iron-rich olivine. The total iron content is around 24 percent. Iron-nickel , a substance found in so many meteorites, is only rarely found in Allende.

Allende also contains exotic clumps of light-colored material, some with finger-like projections jutting into the meteorite. These clumps are oxides and silicates of calcium, aluminum, and titanium. Nothing like them has ever been seen before. They are called CAI’s, for short. They are among the first bits of matter to have crystallized as the universe formed. They are older than the earth itself.