GuidesMagazineShopBuy FossilsJoin Hunts
Alex Hunt
591167C3-448B-4A6F-B5F2-30AF495331F6.jpeg  3DC7626C-89B4-4DA4-873D-4F9C26889242.jpeg  0EB307ED-B794-4017-84CC-BDFCCE9BD039.jpeg  61DBACF0-D86B-4DE8-99C6-564E5B51B658.jpeg  769EBA5C-4D8A-43E6-A27A-70B28C380B78.jpeg  9B915EAA-1D31-49CA-A34B-0891BD393AEC.jpeg  F4696F66-D051-43D1-A7D8-AC376C3737AE.jpeg  4EDE507C-E254-41F2-AEA4-3D18C2018BE1.jpeg  B6266A7D-BA76-4556-9629-C90498DEC16B.jpeg  7752EDC0-8D45-416D-B7F9-5B40BFA5C466.jpeg 
Quote 0 0
Barrow Museum
I hope you won't be disappointed, but it is not of meteoritic origin.  I cannot be sure without handling the object, but strongly suspect that you have a marcasite nodule (Marcasite is a form of Iron Pyrite, or Iron Sulphide).  These formed commonly in sedimentary rocks, and if you live anywhere near the Chalk outcrop, then I'll bet it comes from that stratum.  The nodules come in all sizes, though yours is towards the upper range of what is normal.  They formed in anaerobic conditions not long after the sediment was deposited, by the action of suphur-fixing bacteria living below the sea-floor.  These organisms obtained their oxygen from sulphates, and created sulphide after abstracting the O2.  The pyrite quite often replaces or lines fossil shells, though this is frequently unstable, oxidises and disintegrates.  The chalk nodules are less likely to break up unless you leave them in damp cnditions with a fluctuating temperature/humidity.  A lot of the chalk-derived marcasite nodules have a beautiful radiating golden crystal pattern inside, which you can reveal if you crack them open with a hammer (gently at first).  It would have helped identify it if you could report the circumstances of discovery (where geographically and if in fresh rock or on the surface) and provide a scale (ruler is best).

A meteorite, which would be very rare indeed in the UK, generally has some fusion crust on the surface as a result of friction during its descent and if it was not rotating during entry, fluting showing how the fragment was melting during its rapid passage through the atmosphere.  Also, stony meteorites are far commoner than iron ones, but weather and break apart quickly  in the British climate, which is why most that one encounters were picked up in deserts, where they stand out against the sand and do not deteriorate anything like as fast in the dry conditions.
Quote 1 0
Chris G
If you crack it open it will look quite wonderful - and then steadily fall apart leaving a dull dusty deposit and disappointment.
The kids used to try and collect the biggest ball shaped nodule on trips to the chalk areas of the South coast. Fun until you have to carry them back! 
Quote 1 0
Alex Hunt
Thanks guys for your comments

ok this weights 600g and is not magnetic would this change your option. Also there is a slight crack where I have on the outer layer and inside it looks pretty dark grey / graphite colour. Happy to take a hammer to it but this is one solid rock & I will be astonished if it breaks?
Chris G wrote:
If you crack it open it will look quite wonderful - and then steadily fall apart leaving a dull dusty deposit and disappointment.
The kids used to try and collect the biggest ball shaped nodule on trips to the chalk areas of the South coast. Fun until you have to carry them back! 
Quote 0 0
Alex Hunt
I hope you won't be disappointed, but it is not of meteoritic origin.  I cannot be sure without handling the object, but strongly suspect that you have a marcasite nodule (Marcasite is a form of Iron Pyrite, or Iron Sulphide).  These formed commonly in sedimentary rocks, and if you live anywhere near the Chalk outcrop, then I'll bet it comes from that stratum.  The nodules come in all sizes, though yours is towards the upper range of what is normal.  They formed in anaerobic conditions not long after the sediment was deposited, by the action of suphur-fixing bacteria living below the sea-floor.  These organisms obtained their oxygen from sulphates, and created sulphide after abstracting the O2.  The pyrite quite often replaces or lines fossil shells, though this is frequently unstable, oxidises and disintegrates.  The chalk nodules are less likely to break up unless you leave them in damp cnditions with a fluctuating temperature/humidity.  A lot of the chalk-derived marcasite nodules have a beautiful radiating golden crystal pattern inside, which you can reveal if you crack them open with a hammer (gently at first).  It would have helped identify it if you could report the circumstances of discovery (where geographically and if in fresh rock or on the surface) and provide a scale (ruler is best).

A meteorite, which would be very rare indeed in the UK, generally has some fusion crust on the surface as a result of friction during its descent and if it was not rotating during entry, fluting showing how the fragment was melting during its rapid passage through the atmosphere.  Also, stony meteorites are far commoner than iron ones, but weather and break apart quickly  in the British climate, which is why most that one encounters were picked up in deserts, where they stand out against the sand and do not deteriorate anything like as fast in the dry conditions.
F9CBB1F9-3138-4CCC-96E5-5C12F304CE1F.jpeg  339BBAF5-266D-4859-8BA8-C8459E343792.jpeg  E61E8FE3-1DDD-47BA-A3DA-66D761780255.jpeg  25FC324C-646B-4D6C-88DF-FA9DE2E653E5.jpeg  EFC7B83A-3012-4566-8281-23D42B19151C.jpeg 
Quote 0 0
Alex Hunt
[QUOTE username=Barrow Museum userid=6679631 postid=1310250113]I hope you won't be disappointed, but it is not of meteoritic origin.  I cannot be sure without handling the object, but strongly suspect that you have a marcasite nodule (Marcasite is a form of Iron Pyrite, or Iron Sulphide).  These formed commonly in sedimentary rocks, and if you live anywhere near the Chalk outcrop, then I'll bet it comes from that stratum.  The nodules come in all sizes, though yours is towards the upper range of what is normal.  They formed in anaerobic conditions not long after the sediment was deposited, by the action of suphur-fixing bacteria living below the sea-floor.  These organisms obtained their oxygen from sulphates, and created sulphide after abstracting the O2.  The pyrite quite often replaces or lines fossil shells, though this is frequently unstable, oxidises and disintegrates.  The chalk nodules are less likely to break up unless you leave them in damp cnditions with a fluctuating temperature/humidity.  A lot of the chalk-derived marcasite nodules have a beautiful radiating golden crystal pattern inside, which you can reveal if you crack them open with a hammer (gently at first).  It would have helped identify it if you could report the circumstances of discovery (where geographically and if in fresh rock or on the surface) and provide a scale (ruler is best).

A meteorite, which would be very rare indeed in the UK, generally has some fusion crust on the surface as a result of friction during its descent and if it was not rotating during entry, fluting showing how the fragment was melting during its rapid passage through the atmosphere.  Also, stony meteorites are far commoner than iron ones, but weather and break apart quickly  in the British climate, which is why most that one encounters were picked up in deserts, where they stand out against the sand and do not deteriorate anything like as fast in the dry conditions.[/
Thanks guys for your comments

ok this weights 600g and is not magnetic would this change your option. Also there is a slight crack where I have on the outer layer and inside it looks pretty dark grey / graphite colour. Happy to take a hammer to it but this is one solid rock & I will be astonished if it breaks?
Quote 0 0
Chris G
Alex,

do a Google images search on "marcasite nodule". I suspect the grey you can see is the oxidised marcasite. The inside will be shiny at first but slowly dull - unless there is a way of sealing the surface. Alternatively leave it whole and see if you can find another to break open. They come in all shapes and sizes but the ball shaped give the nicest effect inside.
Curiously most meteorites aren't spherical but I'm not an expert.

Chris
Quote 1 0
Caroline
So if that's marcasite then what is this please,they look nothing alike 20190812_200815.jpg 
Quote 0 0
Chris G
I'm not a geologist but I think it's also marcasite as I've had similar to both forms. Have a look at this one:

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-marcasite-nodule-from-kent-uk-35206084.html

the picture is possibly what both will look like inside although my experience is more a silver or silver grey than gold colour. Where are you finding these?
Click image for larger version - Name: Screen Shot 2019-12-09 at 20.08.49.png, Views: 8, Size: 1.48 MB
Quote 0 0
Caroline
That marcasite from Kent looks similar,but ours has bits of red with the gold and its more spoke,we have had it years and still not fallen apart
Quote 0 0
Caroline
Sorry spikey lol, found ours somewhere between trimingham and cromer near to cliff
Quote 0 0
Chris G
Caroline wrote:
That marcasite from Kent looks similar,but ours has bits of red with the gold and its more spoke,we have had it years and still not fallen apart


Then don't break it open! My wife takes a number of these to school each year for the young children and many remain intact in a cupboard somewhere. Now and then she breaks some open to show them what's inside and as 7 year olds you can imagine their excitement when it reveals a beautiful radiating and shiny pattern.
Not all of them fall apart but a lot do after opening.
On beaches under chalk cliffs, and other sedimentary formations, amongst the rock pools you'll often find areas with hundreds of pieces of all shapes and sizes. Have a look next time and break a few open. Until then, keep yours intact.
Quote 0 0
Caroline
Thank you,it's kept safe in a box in our finds cabinet,never found anything like it before it's beautiful
Quote 0 0
Alex Hunt

Chris G wrote:
I'm not a geologist but I think it's also marcasite as I've had similar to both forms. Have a look at this one:

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-marcasite-nodule-from-kent-uk-35206084.html

the picture is possibly what both will look like inside although my experience is more a silver or silver grey than gold colour. Where are you finding these?



thanks for all your help guys. Is there a specialist I could go to. My father claims to have swapped it with a very famous person (not saying it must be real cause he is famous) but it would make sense how it’s could have traveled a long way and not necessarily be from the UK, If there any geologist or Specialist that I could meet in home counties or London or should I possibly take it to the National History Museum?

I appreciate everyone’s help and have looked into both specimens we are talking about ?

It looks my “rock” seems to have similarities to both after hrs or reading on both, 

 I am a big guy and the hammer does not seem to do anything?



please advise if possible?

Quote 0 0
Chris G
Alex Hunt wrote:



thanks for all your help guys. Is there a specialist I could go to. My father claims to have swapped it with a very famous person (not saying it must be real cause he is famous) but it would make sense how it’s could have traveled a long way and not necessarily be from the UK, If there any geologist or Specialist that I could meet in home counties or London or should I possibly take it to the National History Museum?

I appreciate everyone’s help and have looked into both specimens we are talking about ?

It looks my “rock” seems to have similarities to both after hrs or reading on both, 

 I am a big guy and the hammer does not seem to do anything?

please advise if possible?



Go to the Natural History Museum website  (https://www.nhm.ac.uk/take-part/identify-nature.html)
scroll down and it says: 

Email your images and detailed descriptions to: 

  • For life sciences, such as bugs, bones, and plants: bug@nhm.ac.uk
  • For earth sciences, such as meteorites, minerals, rocks and fossils: esid@nhm.ac.uk

and let us know how you get on.
Good luck,

Chris
P.S. Bigger hammer ðŸ˜
Quote 0 0
Alex Hunt
Thanks Chris G.

Reference the hammer , yes I will have another stab at it and keep you posted buddy.

 Cheers 

Alex
Quote 0 0
Chris G
👍 Click image for larger version - Name: IMG_4308.jpg, Views: 26, Size: 362.99 KB
Quote 0 0
Figure Stone
I suggest looking for flint tools on the site it came from, this would make an excellent hammer stone, I also noticed some of the indentations look rather eye shaped, could be chance but if many look like 'eyes' and are symmetrically paired  it may well be a figure stone. The small amounts of trace yellow could also be ochre.
Quote 0 0
Gerald Gibson
Alex:

I found a pseudo-meteorite in shale near my house a few year ago.  I think I posted it on this site then.  It is heavy like metal and pock-marked like many meteorites but is not a meteorite.  It was either washed into the sand and mud comprising the shale or it is, like yours, a metallic deposit that formed in the rock.

---- Gerald
Quote 0 0
Write a reply...


Discussions on fossils, fossil hunting, rocks, locations, and identifying your finds.
(C)opyright 2019 - UKGE Ltd and UK Fossils - Contact us