Rare, museum-quality, 394-pound meteorite will go up for bid in Gallery 63's online auction, April 6

The meteorite is comprised of various platinum group metals. Based on that alone, it's valued at close to a half million dollars, but its real value is in its history and, more important, its rarity. The online auction will start at 11 am Eastern.
By: Gallery 63
Gallery 63 owner Elijah Brown with the meteorite.
Gallery 63 owner Elijah Brown with the meteorite.
ATLANTA - March 23, 2021 - PRLog -- A museum-quality, 394-pound meteorite – by far the largest specimen of its kind for sale in the world – will come up for bid in an online-only Premier Spring Estate Auction planned for Tuesday, April 6th, at 11 am Eastern time by Gallery 63 in Atlanta. Online bidding is via the Gallery 63 website (www.gallery63.net), plus LiveaAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com.

"Meteorites of this size and importance do not come up for public sale very often," said Paul Brown, who serves as a consultant for Gallery 63, having passed along ownership to his son, Elijah. "It wouldn't be out of place in any of the world's museums." The meteorite, which comes with a custom-built iron stand measuring 74 inches tall, has an estimate of $100,000-$200,000.

The meteorite is comprised of various platinum group metals. "Based on that alone," Brown said, "it's valued at close to $500,000, but its real value is in its history and, more important, its rarity." He added, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own such a massive and highly desirable meteor, especially at a time when space collectibles overall are so red hot right now."

While there is no denying the meteorite is more than four billion years old and originated in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, where and when it fell to Earth isn't exactly clear. What is known is that the rock was previously owned by Dr. Harvey H. Nininger (1887-1986), a self-taught meteoriticist and educator who revived interest in the study of meteorites in the 1930s.

Dr. Nininger assembled the largest personal collection of meteorites up to that time and founded the American Meteorite Museum in Arizona in 1942. He sold parts of his collection to the British Museum in 1958 and the Arizona State University Center for Meteorite Studies in 1960. The meteorite in the auction was sold to a private collector in 1985, who's held it ever since.

This is where the meteorite's provenance becomes as mysterious as the universe itself. One theory states it is a Campo de Cielo meteorite, which refers to a group of iron meteorites and to the area in Argentina where they were found (this one in the 1930s). Another explanation says it made its way to Earth via the 1947 Sikhote-Alin shower in Siberia. It's unknown who's right.

To learn more, visit www.gallery63.net.

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