#jewelleryfacts365 138/365 Gem fact

Friday, June 17, 2016

Peridot is the only gemstone found in meteorites.

Pallasite Meteorite Slice: This is a photo of a thin slice cut from the Esquel pallasite meteorite that fell near Chubut, Argentina. This meteorite was found by a farmer working his field, and when unearthed, it weighed about 1500 pounds. It consists of yellowish green olivine crystals, some of which are gem-quality peridot, in a matrix of meteoritic iron. This composition suggests that it was once part of a planet or other large body of our solar system that had a metallic core and a rocky mantle. The pallasite material comes from a portion of that body near the core-mantle boundary. 

The stresses placed on a meteorite during its formation, its travel through space, entry into Earth's atmosphere, and impact with Earth's surface all have a chance of fracturing the olivine crystals. Because of these fractures, it can be difficult to find pieces of extraterrestrial olivine that are large enough to facet - but many faceted stones have been produced! Photograph by Doug Bowman


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