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Author Topic: What is this rock? meteorite, gemstone or poop?  (Read 7241 times)

Offline Fudnuck

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What is this rock? meteorite, gemstone or poop?
« on: 23/02/2010 06:03:50 »
Description: Basically have someone claiming that this rock is extremely valuable.  They found a large deposit of it while excavating an area but nobody has a clue what it is.  I was hoping an expert on this forum could identify it.

Color: Jet Black, shiny coating
Physical features: Lots of tiny holes throughout; it looks like you can polish it in to a shiny gemstone; looks like a solid rock with no minerals deposits
Weight: 100g
Hardness level: I can scratch steel with this..

Does anybody know where I can go to get this rock identified? or has anybody here seen this kind of rock before?

Photos here:
newbielink:http://www.flickr.com/photos/42614365@N08/4381324544/in/photostream/ [nonactive]


 

Offline Fudnuck

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What is this rock? meteorite, gemstone or poop?
« Reply #1 on: 23/02/2010 06:12:23 »
Sorry about the blurry photos.. it was really hard trying to focus the camera because the stone was so black (camera couldn't detect it and kept auto-focusing out)

Thanks in advance for those that can help, I really appreciate it  :)
 

Offline Bass

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What is this rock? meteorite, gemstone or poop?
« Reply #2 on: 23/02/2010 06:51:01 »
Welcome to the forum Fudnuck.

Is this rock more dense (heavier) than an average rock?
Is it metallic? (appears very bright under the flash in photos)
Can you give us a bit more information on where you found it?  Any volcanic rocks in the area?  Any Industrial sites (especially metalworks)?
Does it appear glassy?

Specimens with holes (vesicles) are usually created in high heat environments, the vesicles are created from escaping gas bubbles.  Most commonly from volcanoes, smelters/refiners, or meterorites.  Hard to tell from the photos.  Glass, plus a limited number of minerals can scratch steel- so that could help narrow down choices.  Is there a university with a geology department nearby?

Why does your friend claim these are extremely valuable?  How large is the deposit?
 

Offline Fudnuck

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What is this rock? meteorite, gemstone or poop?
« Reply #3 on: 23/02/2010 20:02:13 »
First off, thank you for your response Bass!

To answer your questions:
-This rock is more dense than an average rock
-I don't think it's metallic, but it does have a very glossy/reflective coating when light shines on it.  Looking at it without light, it looks like a giant black spray-painted turd.
-I don't have much background, but the stone was found in South Asia.  I'll try contacting him to see if I can get more information on the area he found it in.
-My friend claims to have found a couple thousand kg's of it.  According to him, it's worth $800/kg...

Good idea with the university geology department, I'll try contacting them. 

Does anybody else have any idea what this might be?
 

Offline RD

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What is this rock? meteorite, gemstone or poop?
« Reply #4 on: 23/02/2010 20:47:48 »
Slightly improved versions of Fudnuck's Flickr photos ...

« Last Edit: 23/02/2010 20:54:09 by RD »
 

Offline frethack

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What is this rock? meteorite, gemstone or poop?
« Reply #5 on: 23/02/2010 21:09:20 »
Throwing a possibility out there...it could be a tektite.  I have a sample at home, though mine is much less spherical in shape.  They are basically drops of molten silica (from liquified crust material) that rain down after a size-able meteorite impact.  Some solidify in the air, some solidify after impact. From the photos, the texture appears to be that of a tektite, but the density does not match.  Any chance of getting clearer photos from a few angles?

If this is indeed what it is, then your friend may be in the right ballpark as far as price.  Nice specimens can range around $1 per gram (this depends on area found, silica content, color, etc.).  The really impressive maldavites, which are generally translucent green in color, can bring $10 per gram

Here are a few samples from online (are any of these similar to yours?):










« Last Edit: 23/02/2010 21:19:05 by frethack »
 

Offline JimBob

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What is this rock? meteorite, gemstone or poop?
« Reply #6 on: 24/02/2010 02:49:59 »
I think frethak has it. There are known tektites in S.E. Asia.
 

Offline LeeE

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What is this rock? meteorite, gemstone or poop?
« Reply #7 on: 24/02/2010 10:12:42 »
I think frethak has it. There are known tektites in S.E. Asia.

It's interesting that the Australasian tekite field is the only one that cannot currently be associated with an impact crater.  Mind you, there's a lot of water around that way, and the Chesapeake Bay impact crater took a long time to discover.
 

Offline Fudnuck

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What is this rock? meteorite, gemstone or poop?
« Reply #8 on: 24/02/2010 20:39:04 »
Frethak: Thanks for the insightful response and your expertise!
RD: Thanks for cropping those pictures for me.
Jimbob and LeeE, thanks for your input.

I did some research and the stone looks like it has the physical features of a tektite.  I recently just contacted my local university and hopefully they can help me identify it. 

I'll let you guys know what they find.  Thanks all!

 

Offline Fudnuck

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What is this rock? meteorite, gemstone or poop?
« Reply #9 on: 15/03/2010 06:19:19 »
Had a phD student confirm it's a tektite. 

Thanks for all your help
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

What is this rock? meteorite, gemstone or poop?
« Reply #9 on: 15/03/2010 06:19:19 »

 

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