49,000 years ago a small iron asteroid plunged through the Earth’s atmosphere. And though it was small in astronomical terms it created a crater three quarters of a mile across. Scattered around the crater were found starting in the 18802s hundreds of chunks of meteoritic iron. As the years passed after their discovery thousands more were found. Today they are common in every museum collection of meteorites worldwide. They have often been the first meteorite private collectors bought as well.
Sculpted by both their long time in the ground as well as the explosion which tore them into small pieces. Canyon Diablo meteorites are among the most aesthetically attractive iron in the world. Many preserve the sharp thin edges from the ripping of the metal. Many are twisted upon examination of them internally have small diamond formed from the heat and pressure of the impact with our planet.
Large Canyon Diablos were shipped to nearly every museum in the world a hundred years ago. Back then there were far fewer meteorites known and these were then rare beauties. No hunting of meteorites is allowed near the crater anymore. Canyon Diablo irons are therefore prized as much as ever by collectors.
Crater forming impacts have such a tremendous release of energy that nearly all of the asteroid is vaporized. So even though about 150,000 tons of iron fell to Earth only a few dozen tons survived as actual meteorite fragments near the surface to be found. All the rest was turned to metal droplets that rained to Earth quickly after the impact.
Iron meteorites are just one of many types of meteorites know today. Most meteorites are stone. Of the iron meteorites Canyon Diablos have some of the most interesting stories and histories connected to them. Canyon Diablo meteorites make a wonderful addition to any collection and as a first meteorite are unbeatable.