The Ferber family is full of astronomy lovers, so it is no surprise that one of our favorite products is our meteorite jewelry. Many of our meteorite pendants are made from one of the most famous meteorite discoveries of all time, the Gibeon meteorite from Namibia, Africa. It is amazing to think about the long journey that these pieces have taken, and now we get to help find them new homes!
The Gibeon meteorite was first mentioned by Captain J.E. Alexander, an English explorer in the southern part of Africa in what is present day Namibia. The country of Namibia remains one of the least densely populated countries in the world composed mostly of vast uncharted deserts.
Alexander was amazed that the Nama people had iron tipped spears and tools when there was no sign of iron foundries or native iron deposits. While exploring, he discovered that there were masses of iron up to two feet square near the Great Fish river. The natives were making their tools and spears from this iron, which was later determined to be from a meteorite.
Radiometric dating has placed the age of this meteorite at 4 billion years. The surviving fragments have a very distinctive crystallization known as a Widmanstätten pattern, which are unique to iron meteorites and some pallasites. Since nickel-iron crystals only grow when the solid metal cools down at an exceptionally slow rate (over several million years), the presence of these patterns is proof of extraterrestrial origin.
Namibia now restricts the exportation of this meteorite so existing supplies are limited.