New York: Christie’s announces its auction The Moon and Beyond: Meteorites from the Stifler Collection, which will be open for bidding from July 11 - 25 with estimates ranging from $700 up to $350,000.

Amongst the foremost collection of meteorites in the World, the Stifler Collection boasts the six largest lunar meteorites on Earth. The vast majority of the collection is being donated to the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum; offered in this auction are duplicates and cuttings taken from specimens being enhanced for display. Proceeds will be donated to the Museum, a land trust created by Stifler & McFadden and other charities supported by the Stifler family.

The sale is led by a natural sculpture from outer space – the outstanding aesthetic iron Gibeon Meteorite (Estimate: $250,000 – 350,000) is draped in a variegated gunmetal-hued patina with ochre accents and the broad apex and even more voluminous terminal regions are connected by an unbreakable extraterrestrial steel shoulder. Like most iron meteorites, Gibeon meteorites were formed 4.5 billion years ago within the molten core of an asteroid whose shattered remains are part of the asteroid belt. Unlike most iron meteorites, this Gibeon is among one of the most aesthetic iron meteorites known.

Meteorites are exceedingly rare (The combined mass of all known examples held in museums and private collections weighs less than the world’s annual output of gold). The more esoteric meteorite subtypes are among the rarest objects on Earth, especially lunar meteorites. Most of the craters on the Moon are the result of asteroid impacts, and some of these impacts are sufficiently powerful to eject Moon rocks off the lunar surface into space—some of which land on Earth. Some notable lunar lots within this sale include the ‘Massive Triangular Specimen of the Moon’ (Estimate $100,000 – $130,000), as well as a ‘Rare Lunar Sphere’ (Estimate: $35,000- $55,000). The ‘Massive Triangular Specimen’ is a triangularly-shaped end piece that reveals both interior and exterior of Moon rock. Small patches of fusion crust and Sahara Desert hues accent the stone-like external surface of this rare lunar meteorite. Like most substances from the Moon, this triangular meteorite is extremely rare. Less than 600 kg of lunar meteorites, like this one, are known to exist. This lunar meteorite originated from a large meteorite shower straddling the Mauritania and Algeria borders, which is the shower responsible for nearly half of the lunar meteorites that exist upon the Earth today.

Additional highlights within the sale also consist of rare meteorites that originated from the planet Mars, including a ‘Large Complete Slice of The Planet Mars with Entrapped Martian Atmosphere’ (Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000). As is the case with the Moon, specimens originating from Mars are among the most exotic extraterrestrial substances on Earth with less than 180 kg known to exist. This slice of Martian rock, in particular, is deemed to contain more Martian atmosphere than most known Martian samples

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