[meteorite-list] Re: Tumblin' Stoney Space Rocks

From: E.L.Jones <jonee_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:42:05 2004
Message-ID: <3A6FDA19.6AADAE8D_at_epix.net>

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<p>Interesting idea and if they did tumble successfully , due to differential
grinding,&nbsp; you might have a surface which resembled toad skin. Common
chondrite meteorites may appear "hard" but they lack interlocking crystal
structures which make other stones polish up in the tumbler. Meteorites
are non-homogeneous rocks. You might be able to tumble them one at a time
and not have them break.&nbsp;&nbsp; (Anyone have some meteorites they
are willing to bang together for a few hours to see what is left?...Didn't
think so.)&nbsp; Since it is not my meteorite being tested....I'd like
to know what turns out.&nbsp; We have had this discussion before and the
consensus then was that it was undoable.
<p>&nbsp;The hardness scale used in mineralogy doesn't apply to a meteorite
<i>per se</i>. .&nbsp; We hear that "olivine" has a hardness of 6 but I
can scratch some&nbsp; meteorites with fluorite at a hardness of 4.&nbsp;
It tends to make crumbs/flakes and not a "scratch" in the sense of mineral
identification. Fluorite will tumble and turns out some good pebbles but
it is a mineral , is interlocked, and is homogeneous. The components of
a meteorite are of varying hardness.&nbsp; AS such they tend to under grind
and over grind and you don't get a close average.&nbsp; A water slurry,
of course, would rust away your metal and you'd never get rid of lawrencite.
<p>Unless you are after meteorite crumbs/dust and metal filing sized flecks
of rustable iron nickel, you are going to polish them by hand. I have seen
some meteorites with a dark ebony matrix which polished up very nicely&nbsp;
but nothing mirror smooth.
<p>Some people have tumbled iron shale and gotten the remaining metal kernels
out of the shale.
<p>Mam602_at_aol.com wrote:
<blockquote TYPE=CITE>I have a friend who is a jeweler and artisan. He
saw how relatively
<br>inexpensive the material is and asked me whether it can be tumbled
in a rock
<br>tumbler and polished.
<p>I showed him pics of a Sahara 00173 Meteorite Slice I have in transit
to me
<br>and noticed its grainy look to it.
<p>He also noticed that some of this material is referred to as uglies
as though
<br>they were less than desirable for collecting.
<p>I told him my feeling is that to survive the heat and violence of passing
<br>thru the atmosphere, even the stony meteorites would be incredibly
<br>probably take months to tumble.</blockquote>
Received on Thu 25 Jan 2001 02:48:04 AM PST

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