Iron from a roughly 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite is used to manufacture our fine Damascus knives!
Ancient civilizations such as the Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans were already fascinated by the falling heavenly bodies and were put under their spell. Meteorites have always been falling to earth and "swallowed up" by it. Biomass accumulates on top them or they bore deeply into the earth’s surface with the weight of their landing. Wind and weather also rapidly change the surface of the meteorites and make them difficult for laymen to detect. In certain cases, the decision of whether a discovered piece of rock is indeed a meteorite can only be made by a professional.
But what is a meteorite actually?
A meteorite is a solid body of cosmic origin which has passed through the atmosphere and reached the earth's surface. It usually consists mainly of silicate minerals or an iron nickel alloy. Since in most cases they are composed of multi-grained mineral aggregates, meteorites are regarded as rocks regardless of their chemical composition. With few exceptions, Meteorites were formed simultaneously with our solar system about 4.5 billion years and are therefore the oldest material available to us. Most meteorites come from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, a few from the moon and probably also from Mars.
According to their composition, meteorites are divided in stony meteorites, stone iron meteorites and iron meteorites. Approximately 94% of all meteorites are stony meteorites. The remaining 6% are iron (about 5%) and stone iron meteorites (about 1%). Stone iron meteorites consist of approximately 50% nickel and 50% iron silicates. Iron meteorites contain an alloy of iron and about 5%-20% nickel by weight.
The number of observed meteorite falls over the last few decades was about five per year. They land uniformly distributed throughout the earth, but there are places where they are more frequently found than others. While they quickly weather away in the temperate climate zones, mainly by the oxidation of the non-stable metallic iron on the earth's surface, they can be preserved tens of thousands of years in dry areas such as the deserts of North Africa, and sometimes even over a million years in Antarctica. It is also helpful that meteorites can easily attract attention by their typical black fusion crust. In Antarctica, the ice dynamics of blue ice areas make them the primary collection zones for meteorites. There are therefore often expeditions to find new meteorites there.
Uwe Eger, along with his company Space Rocks Eger, is very active and successful in the search for meteorites. The meteor rock is sourced from him and then processed by Markus Balbach, the renowned German Damascus forger, for GASTON® into unique meteorite Damascus steel.