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How can you tell if this Pallasite is REAL or FAKE?

Hi guys,
Friends around me knowing that I am a big fan of Peridot. And a friend just showed me the photos - A slice of Pallasite (Peridot Meteorite) asking me for help because he’s thinking about purchasing it. I have not yet moved my research to extra terrestrial Peridots so I might need your help. Can you tell me if this pallasite is real or fake based on the following information a seller from Taiwan said:

  1. The weight is 280 gram
  2. It is a size of palm,about 4" (or 10 cm)
  3. Seller bought it when he traveled with a tourist group to Russia
  4. Special distinguish from others is that the peridot is BLUE (please see photos)
  5. Seller customized a hard plastic protector for this specimen
  6. Seller also said he has done anti-rust treatment previously because the weather in Taiwan is very humid.
  7. The price tag is USD $1,450

Personally, I’d say it is a phony because it is very possible to get a fake gemstones or specimen especially when traveling to where it is famous for. If this is the case, the Taiwanese seller might still believe this is a real Pallasite. But again, I am not familiar with Pallasite so I’d love you to share your opinions or suggestions. Thanks a lot~!

Lee


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I might suggest that you reach out to Steve Arnold, or Geoff Notkin. You may remember these fellows as the “Meteorite Men.” Both Steve & Geoff are specialists in meteoritics, particularly when it comes to Pallasites. You may recall their recoveries & findings of several Brenham, KS Pallasites a few years back. I might also suggest microscopy as a convenient & easy way to identify the Peridot crystals. They should have show shock deformation features, as in ‘shock, or impact melt.’ The NiFe, which holds & shrouds the Peridot, would also show as Neuman Lines, or as the better-known Widmanstatten pattern, where the components of Ni, Taenite & Kamacite, merge through short or extended heating & cooling. Most of your Pallasites exhibit the Widmanstten pattern, but not all, as not all meteorites are constructed of the same fabric. An inexpensive Ni Test is also an option, as some “fakes” might use solder, or something similar to stain glass construction. Chances of this happening are slim, but where there is money to be had, who knows what a dealer will do.

I hope these suggestions are helpful.

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Hi Steve,
I found these suggestions are very useful. I will use the microscopy to observe its structure and compare. there will be certain challenge for me to identify but this is also a great opportunity to start getting to know the physically how these pallasites were formed differently. Definitely will try Ni Test. If nothing comes out, then later I will need to seek Steve Arnold or Geoff Notkin for help.
Thank you so much for these detailed information. Really appreciate that.

Regards,
Lee

You are most welcome, Sir. Let me know how the tests come out. I’ll be happy to assist you in any way I can.

Cheers & Happy Holidays!
Steve

Hello, I am a jeweler and gemologist from Taiwan.
I have seen many meteorites brought by customers for testing, but many of them are obviously man-made. The construction methods are quite rough, but yours may look natural. It is recommended that you send them to a local laboratory for testing. There will be a clearer answer.

Christmas wishes

Hi ChaoMin, thank you for your kind assistance, and good to know somebody who cares about buying authentic jewelers in Taiwan. My name is Leon, my friend’s pallasite is in 新竹, maybe I will have him deliver the item to you? Here’s my email: leon_hsu@oresofkhorlo.com

i wiill not make any claim to be any sort of expert on this matter, but there are a couple of items in your description that made me pause. First, peridot is a member of the olivine group of minerals. Olivine should be green to yellow green, no blue coloration is mentioned in any reference book that i possess. Second, the weight is listed as about 280 grams. It takes 454 grams to equal a pound. With a 4 inch diameter, a meteorite of this size should weigh two to three time this weight, at the very least. I would have to pass on this item if it was offered to me, and I think your friend should do the same.

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I agree with “rubyhunter”… the material looks very suspicious as a fake. The olivine (peridot) usually show at least minor weathering rinds in some places. When the olivine breakdown in turns to the mineral called “iddingsite” which gives a distinct “reddish rind” to a few of the olivine crystals. The olivine usually shows considerable degree of crystal formation (olivine is orthorhombic… rhombic dipyramidal) which is generally “rounded”… and many of the peridot pieces in your picture are “broken” fragments on the (010) cleavage that is fairly distinct in olivine. It looks a lot like someone took some pieces of olivine and crushed them up and then put them into a metal melt to make a fake pallasite. I would suggest an easy test… go to google images, type in “pallasite” and look at the many images from the known locations and see how different your piece looks from the many well documented pallasites.

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https://stonegrouplabs.com/?page_id=188

This link should answer a few questions.
While the host meteorite will contain Ni and Fe, the Pallasitic peridot itself lacks nickel. This makes it different from the terrestrial peridot which does contain nickel.

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Scroll to the bottom of linked page and click on Alien Sightings.

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Just a small note, if you pull up other pictures of Pallasite, the olivine is continuous from side to side, whereas this specimen appears to have a thick outer shell. Not that it couldn’t happen, but it’s suspicious to me.

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In 2009 I gave the presentation Meteorites: Heavenly Jewels at a GIA Gem Gathering in Bangkok. Your specimen looks 100% genuine to me.

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I cannot speak to the authenticity of this piece or for the reputation of the dealer. My adivce is based on wise buying pracitices.

" 1. Seller also said he has done anti-rust treatment previously because the weather in Taiwan is very humid." For that alone, I would stay away from this piece.

The $1450 USD is top dollar at one of the top auction houses in the world. Think Sotheby’s. To pay that much to an unknown dealer, I think is, shall we say, unwise.

I would ask the seller for proof that this particular piece was purchased in Russia.

Experts, or those with more knowledge than me, does blue peridot occur in meteorites?

Thanks
Molly

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Theoretically, I believe and agree all the above professional answers and I also seriously doubt about, no, should be no doubt believed the pallasite my friend showed me is a fake. You have raised up the concern I have. We talked about how peridot/olivine is formed and fall into green or yellow on earth, but can we be sure like you said, in vast universe will there be other elements make that peridot blue? I purposely emphasize all the possibilities which would proof the pallasite a fake but none of these on the list is a strong evidence. It will be much more discussion if to discover the possibility the color of terrestrial peridot can be, or if there is more questions needs to be addressed in order to support blue color is possible.

We can say to my friend “hey, the guy who’s selling you pallasite is a phony” But we really don’t have to, because psychologically a fake is a fake, the above mentioned from those you experts are correct and a thief or phony seller will create a very identical pallasite so it will be sold quickly. Why did that Taiwanese seller creates such a unrealistic pallasite? what if he is right? The way we think is to insist what we believe. Sometimes it is much more to think about the other way around. Good point, bear gems.

Good Morning, Mr. Bergman; I very much enjoyed your presentation. Well done!

On the subject of meteorites, and given your expertise & experiences, I thought I would share a couple of specimens for your review & commentary.

The first one, as in “Delta T.,” is quite fascinating, as it’s matrix is light, grayish olivine (Jadeite) green with yellowish, purple and black inclusions. These inclusions resemble organic, and perhaps biological mineralizations. At first blush, I thought I was looking at an Arthropod, or some form of crustacean, similar to what’s been described in Columbian Trapiche Emeralds (http://www.gemsociety.org/article/trapiche-emerald/), where marine basalts are liquified carbonaceous minerals (tectonic/metamorphic) and where they are then blended with Be & Cr. This proposal is still a possibility, I suppose, yet the answer may be a bit more complex when attempting to explain the presence of NiFe flecks throughout. This stone does, in fact, attract a Nb/rare-earth magnet with ease.

The specific gravity of this specimen is 2.802, which is in alignment with such minerals as Zektzerite, Sogdanite, Serandite, Precious Beryl, and, of course, Emerald.

The second specimen, as in Ryan’s Scone, is a polished end cut weighing in @ 2.801kgs and a specific gravity of 3.15. This pairs up with minerals such as Zoisite, Ludlamite, Moissanite, Clinohumite, and others.

What is also intriguing, is the combination of shatter cone features in the translucent greenish/white peridot spars, with impact fissuring in both the shatter cone features and the pink colored inclusions. There are also multiple large flecks of metallic minerals (likely Cr, or Ni), appearing to shroud a number of the light green crystal shards. These metals are also seen in the number fissures throughout the surface. This specimen does not attract a magnet, yet there appears to be a large percentage of Fe, or perhaps Pb, given it’s weight & density.

On the issue of Shatter Cones, here’s a very link to the Sudbury Ni Crater, and how ALL shatter cones are related to meteoritic impacts; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmYA10C3W18

Again, I do appreciate your interests, insights, and your dedications to the gem & mineral world, both here on Planet Earth & elsewhere. It’s all about sharing discoveries, and advancing our knowledge through excellent forums such as this.

My Best & Finest Regards, Sir!

Happy New Year to You, as well.