Back to IGS | FAQ | Contact

Meteorite found in Santa Monica Mountain Range any ideas on possible composition, origin, and value?

Hello again,!!

I discovered this meteorite several years ago after a series of heavy rain storms in a creek bed that runs through my property in Malibu Canyon. A small area of the object was exposed poking through the surface of the wet dirt. It was still slightly wet, and glistening in the diffused light of a broken up storm cell. The area that was exposed was about 2 square inches, and the vitrified crust was gleaming up at me. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I thought the object was something possibly melted from one of the many fires that have passed through this area throughout time; but… as I bent down and carefully excavated the rest of the object with a small stick I found nearby it, I was baffled to uncover a roughly 2.5 to 3 lb rock which I quickly believed to be a meteorite based on the extreme weight to size ratio, exceedingly hard and molten or vitrified crust along the entirety of half of the object that almost has a deep grey blue or silver blue look. There is a clean break bisecting the piece lengthwise, from it combusting upon entering the earths atmosphere or interacting with something as it landed… The fracture exposes the inners of the piece revealing a sandpaper like texture, composed of various types of metallic sparkling freckles with a slight surface rust, that had traces of copper, black iron, gold, silver, and very small almost diamond looking flecks that sparkled in the with an intensity unmatched by any of the other terrestrial rocks that I’m familiar with in my area. After cleaning it and subjecting it to several magnets that I could find around my house all of which had a fairly strong attraction, I was convinced I had been incredibly blessed with this ancient piece of space debris. The piece is about 6”x 4” and about 2” thick at the center tapering slightly from the center to each side and tapering to a very hard and sharp cutting edge on one of the lengthwise sides. I weighted it on a digital scale I had but it was too heavy, so I got a constant baseline weight for myself on my digital bathroom body weight scale and then took several different readings on the scale holding the meteorite in both hands centered near my pelvic area and the readings added between 2.6lbs and 2.9 lbs to my weight on the digital bathroom scale. I’m trying to figure out the origin and composition of this and I was hoping maybe someone may have seen similar one at some point and recognize the aesthetic elements and physical similarities and could lend a plausible meteorite type and origin and composition if possible. I am also trying to get an idea of the value of this piece, I’ve been told a huge range of possible pricelines for it but I would welcome a more professional opinion because I am not a geologist nor are the people that have seen it so I’m still at square one and have no idea what it’s really worth but I may want to include it in my insurance policy so I’m open to hear opinions.
Here are a few shots of it!!!..

I say it is a tossup between meteorite, and meteor-wrong. Chi Ma is Director of the Geological and Planetary Sciences division’s Analytical Facility at Caltech and lead researcher of meteorite studies. Take it there for positive ID, or see these websites:

http://meteorite.unm.edu/meteorites/meteorite-museum/how-id-meteorite/

Thanks so much for both of your responses !! I’m very grateful for the input and the references and advice you sent along with them! I have had these items for years but only recently began to have an interest in their history and you have pointed me in the right directions to begin my journey!!! Thank you for your consideration! And I will likely have a few more posts of things I have collected in the following days I’m looking for input on… Enjoy yourself, be good out there!:ok_hand::pray::+1::pray:

1 Like

Hello
The pictures you posted are a little strange.
What is the approximate specific gravity of the stone?
I have seen similar, it may be iron ore.

Hey sorry I was absent for a few days the object is about 1310 grams

It is about 152 millimeters (~6”) long and about 95 millimeters or (~4”) wide at the center and about 50 millimeters or (~2”)thick at its thickest point.

From density charts that I’ve read I believe it falls strongly smack dab between stony meteorites and iron meteorites considering the volume to weight ratio. I’m double checking now although my math skills haven’t had much practice in over a decade so wish me luck!!

Thanks for your inquiry

HI that is a beautiful stone I think it might be tourmaline or plagioclase feldspar. In Oregon we have a lot of tourmaline of just about every variety, tons of massive size plagioclase feldspar, and we also have beryl and (grossular) garnet. This stone reminds me a little of all of those…for one thing, it has a crystal system, I’m not familiar enough with meteorites to know if they do, but this stone certainly does. I collect a lot of tourmaline and beryl it’s usually sticking up or peeking out, just like you explained. I go by the shape as my first form of gemstone ID when I’m in the field, and that stone definitely appears to have a crystal system and it looks Hexagonal or Trigonal-Hexagonal to me, meaning it is beryl or tourmaline. It could also be Feldspar or Jasper/Chalcedony under that surface, the latter of which is also Trigonal-Hexagonal and all of these gemstones often times exhibit multiple brilliant colors speckled amidst splatters of spectacular gemmy crystals, and are also mostly felsic minerals, meaning they are magnetic in some way. The Pacific Northwest has in particular, these 4 species of gemstones (feldspar, tourmaline, beryl and chalcedony, in massive form, pretty much all over the place if you know what you’re looking at, however, because most if it looks like your stone does on the outside, dark and not outwardly pretty, (even though burnt too), most people here go for the clear agate stuff. The trick is, the good stuff is many times in ugly packages in this neck of the woods. 40 years of pounding around the Oregon Coast, collecting every rock I could get my hands on, and telling what shape it is, as a kid. Then I found out that there are crystal SYSTEMS, and it’s a science, and that each stone fits into one of these SHAPES somehow. So fun! I have a lot of experience identifying this stuff. I think it’s fabulous crystal, and a very exciting mineral specimen. Congrats on finding it, and a good jeweler or lapidary could tell you in person pretty quick what that is.
For example, If you could set if flat in a photo, so that it sits with the very flat edge I can see in the top photo has some lighter colored blotches, if you could set it on that blotchy surface, and photo it from either end, looking at it in the narrow, I could then see if it rests at an angle that would indicate a Monoclinic or Triclinic crystal system present, that would likely make it Feldspar, which I also find in massive form and exhibiting all those colors, especially gold, apricots, reds, blues an greens. Then I would be able to eliminate or affirm if it is feldspar. I can tell by the shape and the angles right in a photo espeically a live video where you could turn the stone around for me, I could give you a good idea what it might be. Often times the feldspar mass hosts gemmy crystals and phenocrysts, many times called a perthite, if it’s several varieties of feldspar. I can usually determine with very good accuracy what something is or at least a range of what it could be in this way, and then I go to step 2 in my process. That is more physical, but you could get a good idea just from the shape and go from there. I say find someone to cut that open for you. Every gemstone and mineral, like meteorites, have different little clues that tell them apart when looked at through the lens of gemology and mineralogy, and also a bit of regional knowledge and passion for the stones helps too . I don’t see anybody talk ever about all the unique gemstone species found in the Pacific Northwest. And yes, there are lots of meteorites here. That just might be a fabulous sky stone yet! If it is, I’m glad it didn’t fall on anyone! Either way, you’re lucky! I’ll start sharing some of my shapes collections with the forum. Cheers