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Press Release - July 10, 2019
Shoot for the Moon: One-of-a-Kind Meteorite Pistols Could Bring $1 Million+ In Heritage Auctions’ Nature & Science AuctionEvent includes exceptional assortment of lunar and Martian meteorites
“The pistols are made almost exclusively from the Muonionalusta Meteorite, which is likely the oldest known meteorite on Earth,” Heritage Auctions Nature & Science Director Craig Kissick said. “They are a spectacular lot for the most serious collectors, an opportunity that comes along once in a lifetime, but they’re not the only appealing lot. The lots we’re offering represent some of the largest known lunar and Martian Meteorites ever offered in the same sale.”
The .45-caliber pistols (estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000) are fully functional, having fired 35 rounds each, although the metallic content was not designed for them to be everyday sidearms. The pistols were designed by gunsmith Lou Biondo of Business End Customs. Each is a right-handed gun – one a GI model, the other a Custom model. They are made from the Muonionalusta Meteorite, which fell in Sweden probably about a million years ago and was discovered in 1906; it is likely the oldest Meteorite on Earth, dated to about 4.5 billion years.
The sale includes two Meteorites from Mars, each of which carries a pre-auction estimate of $500,000-700,000. Found in 2018, NWA 12262 Martian Meteorite Martian (shergottite) is a one-of-a-kind offering, the main mass (3.2 kilograms / 7 pounds) of the Meteorite that is one of the largest pieces of Mars on Earth. There are just 235 classified Martian Meteorites and less than 300 pounds of Martian material on earth, meaning anything from the Red Planet is rare, and dramatically increasing the demand for a sample like this. NWA 8159 Martian Meteorite Martian (augite basalt) was launched from the surface of Mars as a result of impact between the planet and other Meteorites. Consider that the 235 Martian Meteorites make up less than .004 percent of all known Meteorites, making it impossible to oversell the scarcity of examples like these. The Meteoritical Bulletin lists two meteorites from Mars that exist all by themselves, one of which is NWA 8159, which yielded this extraordinary sample.
NWA 12335 Martian Meteorite Martian (shergottite) (estimate: $300,000-500,000) is a one of the largest (2.29-kilogram) Martian Meteorites ever discovered, very similar in composition to the famous Shergotty Martian Meteorite for which the variety was named. Weighing more than five pounds, this sample tells the story of the early geological history of Mars. Fusion crust has mostly disintegrated, but relict sections show flight markings and direction. This is the largest piece of NWA 12335 in existence and accounts for a significant portion of the total of all Martian material on Earth.
NWA 8641 Lunar Meteorite: Large Piece of the Moon Lunar (feldspathic breccia) is a matchless end piece of a lunar Meteorite that was ejected as a result of an asteroid colliding with the lunar surface. The sample (estimate: $250,000-350,000) bears significant similarity to several lunar samples that returned to earth by Apollo astronauts, but those are the property of the U.S. government and controlled by NASA or at the Smithsonian. Less than 0.5% of all recovered Meteorites are lunar, and there is less than 750 pounds of lunar material on earth, making the moon among the most rare and exotic substances on Earth.
The auction also features an exceptional array of Gold, including:
- Crystallized Gold Eagle's Nest Mine (Mystery Wind Mine) is a spectacular specimen that stands out even among Gold mined from its famous locality of origin. This impressive sample (estimate: $200,000-300,000) weighs 9.9 troy ounces and measures about 6 inches in length.
- Another dazzling specimen that measures more than 5-1/2 inches in length is a Crystallized Gold Round Mountain District (estimate: $120,000-180,000). Weighing in at more than 20 troy ounces, it features a highly textural surface with sharp, granular crystallization from its famous locale in Nevada.
- A Gold Nugget Bendigo Goldfields (estimate: $100,000-150,000) is one of fewer than 300 nuggets that weighs in at 50 or more troy ounces. This sample tips the scales at 50.7, which automatically qualifies it as an undeniable rarity. But its allure is increased by its powder horn shape that could make it a stunning centerpiece of any collection. The majority of all Gold ever mined is refined, so natural nuggets like this one are absolute rarities.
- NWA 12368 Lunar Meteorite Lunar (feldspathic breccia) – estimate: $120,000-180,000
- Gold nugget Australia – estimate: $60,000-80,000
- Gold Nugget Ballarat City, Victoria, Australia – estimate: $50,000-70,000
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Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist
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