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Chain of events


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I thought this might make a good read for those of you interested in this sort of thing.

I found several pieces of a type of metallic mineral that I originally thought was simply some pieces of man-made iron. I was dragging my little improvised magnet cane to hunt meteorites with at the time and needed something for a skid on the bottom of the supermagnets. I turned the cane upside down and I took two pieces of this material and placed it in the middle of the two magnets. It seemed to stay in place as I drug the cane for nearly 5 years on all kinds of surfaces. Amazingly, after all that dragging the magnets over every kind of surface including concrete, this unknown metallic mineral never wore down a bit. If anything, it only appeared polished a bit.

Okay, not too long ago, I put another piece of this same metallic material under the microscope and found out that it has a strange mineral habit. So, I got brave and put a picture of it on Photobucket.com and then posted a link to that picture on the Met-List. A Very nice gentleman at an Institute in Bucharest contacted me when he saw the picture. In conversing with him by email, he suggested to get the piece tested that I either send him a piece or send a piece to a mineralogist he recommended at the University of Arizona. Well the U of A is a bit closer so I contacted that fellow and he said yes he would test it. And BTW, what a nice man. I put it in the mail and later he ran it through the tests. He contacted me back and said the test results were as follows:

"Fe0.977Cr0.015Si0.005Mn0.003"

He went on to say, "Values less than 0.01 are uncertain (measured values are close to the

detection limits), therefore, the correct form to report the data is:

Fe0.98Cr0.02 with trace amounts of Si and Mn.

So, the sample is native Iron, with Cr and trace amounts (less than

0.01) of Si and Mn."

Which says that it is native iron and could be an iron meteorite but I still don't know for sure. I wanted to let the gentleman in Bucharest know the results so I contacted him by email and gave him this same information. He said yes, he had also been sent that info and wanted to let me know that he did not suspect it to be an iron meteorite. He said in order to be sure of what it is that I should send a piece to UCLA for additional tests and when I get the results, let him know what they are.

I have the Doctor's name to contact at UCLA, now I just have to get the nerve up to contact him to ask him to take time out to look at this stuff. By the way, I am doubtful also that it is a meteorite. When I first saw it under the m-scope, I thought it might be terrestrial iron because it matched several indicators in my mineral books and the info I found about native iron on the WWW.

These folks at the Universities are busy people. I really hate to bug them over some oddball metallic mineral. I honestly don't know what to do, whether to email him or not. I don't know if it is worth bothering him over. Maybe someday. Decisions, decisions.

I will however share these pictures I took of this material with you all though. I think the indication of the mineral/crystal habit is interesting. Take a look.

Mike in CO

nom de plume - Rockbiter

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