Iron Meteorites come from the broken metal cores of destroyed asteroids. Iron meteorites are made almost entirely of solid nickel-iron metal and display beautiful internal structures when polished and etched. A couple of excellent examples are Canyon Diablo and Sihote-Alin meteorites.
Chondrite Meteorites are often called Ordinary Chondrites to distinguish them from other stone meteorites. Chondrite meteorites form the largest family of meteorites and come in many varieties. All chondrites share the fact that they have small spherical structures called chondrules as can be seen in most of the meteorite slices. Our meteorite beads are handmade from ordinary chondrite.
Carbonaceous Chondrite Meteorites have chondrules but also have the element carbon in their composition. Some Carbonaceous Chondrites contain organic compounds and primitive protein molecules. This class of meteorites is especially important to research scientists. Carbonaceous meteorites are among the rarest types of space rocks with the most well known being the Allende meteorite.
Achondrites are meteorites without chondrules. Achondrite meteorites come from larger asteroids where minerals melted by pressure within the asteroid or where surface collisions resulted in the melting of asteroid material. The giant asteroid Vesta is believed to be the parent body for many achondrites of the Howardite, Eucrite, and Diogenite families of meteorites.
Lunar and Martian Meteorites are stones that arrived on Earth from asteroid impacts on the Moon and Mars. Their lunar and Martian origins have been confirmed through intensive analysis in laboratories using amongst other evidence, the Apollo Moon Rocks, and Martian atmospheric isotopes as references. The origins of Lunar Meteorites and Martian Meteorites are well confirmed today. NWA 11474 lunar meteorite and NWA 12269 Martian meteorite are very nice representative specimen.
Stony-Iron Meteorites are the family of meteorites represented by the Pallasites and the Mesosiderites. Stony-Iron Meteorites contain approximately half nickel-iron metal. In the case of the Pallasites, the other portion is olivine crystals, the same mineral as peridot the semiprecious gemstone. Pallasites are beautiful extraterrestrial jewels once sliced to expose their crystals. Mesosiderites contain silicate minerals in addition to the one-half nickel-iron. Mesosiderites often have fascinating textures as a result of the mixing of stone and metallic materials.
Tektites are glass objects created by the melting of terrestrial rocks by an asteroid collision with Earth. This melted and vaporized Earth rocks were thrown and blown high into the atmosphere where the material cooled into aerodynamic shapes as the blobs of plastic glass fell back down. Tektites are not meteorites but have their origin in catastrophic cosmic impacts.
Impactites are the altered rocks found at asteroid impact sites on Earth. Impactites are often glassy and frothy which demonstrates the tremendous heat released by asteroid collisions.
Unclassified Meteorites are genuine meteorites that have not been sent to a laboratory. Unclassified stone meteorites will show features like chondrules in the cut slice or windowed surfaces we place on them. If they have fusion crust on the outside or metal grains internally these features will show. It is from our supply of genuine but unclassified meteorites that we manufacture our meteorite cabochons.