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Allende
Mexico
Fall date: 8 February 1969
 
CV3
 
232g
individual
 
Meteoritical Bulletin Entry: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meteor/index.php?code=2278
 
 
Introduction:

This fresh stone was found or acquired early 1969, in the Allende strewnfield, by Dr. Frederick Pough.

Richard Norton’s book „Rocks from Space“, first edition, pages 79-81, contains a nice anecdote about Dr. Frederick Pough.
At page 80, Richard Norton describes the stones as follows:
„… the world’s ugliest-looking rocks. They were dark rocks covered with what appeared to be a black crust. Where they had been broken, I could see something of the gray interior structure. Sandwiched between the black crust and gray interior was a purple layer…“

More elaborate information about Allende can be found at the Smithsonian website:
http://hdl.handle.net/10088/809

This site contains a link to:
„Roy S. Clarke Jr., Eugene Jarosewich, Brian Mason, Joseph Nelen, Manuel Gómez, and Jack R. Hyde. The Allende, Mexico, Meteorite Shower. Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences 5:1-53. 1970“.
An excellent report about the first Smithsonian expedition to the Allende strewnfield:
http://si-pddr.si.edu/jspui/bitstream/10088/809/1/SCES-0005.pdf (26.6MB)
In the chapter „Morphology“ (page 18):
„They are covered with a dull black fusion crust that tends to be chipped or spalled away at edges, revealing either fresh fracture surfaces or fracture surfaces covered with a light secondary fusion crust that is frequently reddish in hue.“
 
 

 

Special about this specimen is it's large Dark inclusion, popping out at one edge (at the top in above photograph).
Elaborate information about Dark Inclusions can be found at Jeff Kuyken‘s Website:
http://www.meteorites.com.au/odds&ends/DarkInclusions.html
 

 At 3 o'clock, attached to the crust, yellow sand from the strewnfield can be seen.
 
In an effort to gather information about the stone's post-fall history, I was fortunate to be able to trace one of it's previous owners, Bruce Wegmann from the USA.
Bruce kindly wrote me about the provenance of this stone, and allowed me to quote him here:

  My best recollection is that I bought this piece in 1987, at a local Gem Faire event (mostly beads, jewelry, but a good number of lapidary, and rock and mineral dealers).  Among a rather nondescript assortment of ordinary mineral specimens, I saw a little box full of Allende meteorites (I had only been collecting a little over two years at that point, but I instantly recognized it as Allende even before I was close enough to read the label).  It was perhaps 400g total, mostly small stones and fragments under 20 grams, and, of course, the stone you have now.  The box label said "Allende Meteorites, F. Pough, 1969".  I didn't have much money with me, but I bought all I could (about 150 grams or so...this was back when Allende was 50 cents a gram!).  I got all the way back home, and then realized, after seeing how nice the pieces really were, that I had left the best piece behind!  Every piece was as fresh and pristine as the one you have; Pough was in the strewnfield in early March, so all the material he gathered...some say over 100Kg...shows essentially zero weathering; many specimens he obtained from local people who found them within a day after the fall.  I quickly gathered up all the cash I could find and dashed back to the show, certain that nothing would be left, and was amazed and delighted to find that every piece was still there.  I offered to buy the lot, and was given a small additional discount.  I sold or traded all the smaller pieces over the years, but could never make myself part with the "big one" (I actually had a much larger complete stone of 1.436Kg, that I sold few years ago, but it did not have the visual appeal yours does...the dark, fine-grained inclusion, and the crystalline inclusion projecting from the matrix).  Now, I know you're thinking "Does he have the box the specimen originally came in?".  I have looked in all the reasonably likely places, but no luck.  I have moved twice since 1987, and many things fell by the wayside; the little white box just didn't manage to stay with me (that's not to say that it is absolutely gone; it may be buried here, somewhere, and if it does re-surface, I will send it to you!).  The seller at the show was reasonably certain he had obtained the lot from Mr. Pough directly, and I have no reason to doubt that; it is a bit of a shame that the specimens were not individually packaged and labelled, but Pough often sold material in lots like the one I saw, so that element of the story is completely believeable.
    I hope I've been of some help to you; I'm actually a bit surprised I can remember as many details as I am recounting to you...25 years is a long time ago (but it was my first really good "buy", so I suppose that helps!).
    Please enjoy the specimen as much as I did, for many years."