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The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary The John Atencio Jewelry Glossary
Glossary › Meteorite

Glossary: Meteorite

A meteorite is a chunk of solid debris from a comet or asteroid that originates in space and survives a fall through Earth’s atmosphere and a collision with its surface. Needless to say, meteorites are very rare, making them an especially compelling material for unique jewelry pieces, including engagement rings and wedding bands.

Meteorite Jewelry

Meteorites have fascinated people since prehistoric times. Modern jewelers can incorporate these unusual and unique bits of interstellar debris into striking designs. With that said, ancient civilizations also used meteorites in jewelry. At an ancient Egyptian burial site, scientists recovered beads made from a rare iron meteorite. They were able to date its crafting to somewhere between 3,350 and 3,600 BCE.

These days, meteorite fragments can appear in jewelry in several ways. Shards of iron meteorites are often used as watch faces, pendants or ring bands because of the stunning patterning of the cross-sections. Known as widmanstätten patterns, these markings come from the nickel-iron crystals that form within meteorites and cool slowly in space.

Jewelers are able to highlight these compelling patterns by polishing and cleaning the cross-sectional slices before placing them in an acid wash. The acid etches the patterns, making them much more prominent.

Jewelers also often incorporate green or yellow stony-iron meteorites into jewelry. They will also sometimes use tiny whole meteorites or rough fragments just as they would gemstones, mounting them on bracelets or rings like silvery rocks. Jewelers may also use these bits for pendants and necklaces.

Some jewelers will also incorporate cross-sectional pieces along with chunks of meteorites into their jewelry designs. Traditional colored gemstones, as well as amber and fossils, are commonly used to add flair to meteorite jewelry designs.

Gemstones from Meteorites

Sometimes, a meteorite will contain some type of facetable mineral content large enough to cut a gemstone. This is very rare, however, since the impact and heat of the collision can destroy most gem-quality material or break it into very small fragments. For instance, the olivine matter in stony-iron meteorites can yield gorgeous peridots on rare occasions.

Are Meteorite Rings Valuable?

When it comes to determining the value of anything, scarcity plays a significant role. Because they are made with exceptionally rare materials, meteorite rings hold good value. In many instances, meteorite inlay rings will have a higher market value than gold.

How Much Do Meteorite Rings Cost?

The price for a meteorite ring can be as high as $2,000 or more. Although you may be able to find meteorite rings for a few hundred dollars, these may not contain as much of the material. Some jewelers also try to sell fake meteorite rings without the customer’s knowledge. With this in mind, it’s important to purchase your meteorite ring from a reputable jeweler.

How Can You Tell if Meteorite Jewelry Is Real?

Mainly composed of iron and nickel, real meteorite jewelry is magnetic. It also has the potential to rust due to its iron composition. Luckily, most jewelers will explicitly state whether they are selling imitation meteorite. You should be suspicious of any meteorite jewelry being sold at a very low price.

When purchasing meteorite jewelry, you may wish to know the original source of the meteorite fragments. Sellers usually list the recovery site, so you can search for meteorite materials from specific finds or falls. While most people buy meteorite jewelry based on its aesthetic appeal, knowing the origin of your meteorite fragments is certainly a compelling conversation starter.

What Is a Gibeon Meteorite?

Gibeon is a meteorite that fell in Namibia during prehistoric times. Discovered in 1838, it gets its name from the nearby town: Gibeon, Namibia. Gibeon meteorites are composed of a nickel-iron alloy that has large amounts of phosphorus and cobalt.

The crystal structure provides a classic instance of fine octahedrite and the coveted Widmanstätten pattern prized by collectors and skilled designers of jewelry.

Searching for a unique jewelry piece? Visit any John Atencio location, and our experts can help you find stunning meteorite jewelry that suits your budget and style. Shopping for a wedding band? Our attentive team can show you how to select a stylish piece with a compelling inlay to celebrate your walk down the aisle.