By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Meteorites have always had a strong symbolic connotation to the origins of the universe. In fact, every known civilization in history has been fascinated by this extraterrestrial metal, with the earliest known reference describing a fallen meteorite on the island of Crete in 1478 BC. Fascinated by the metal, the Greeks used it to create a host of sacred objects.
But meteorite creations didn’t start with the Greeks – in ancient Egypt,a bead was found at a burial site that was crafted from an iron meteorite between 3350 and 3600 BC, and a meteoric iron dagger was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. In religions, a Buddha statue was carved from a piece of the Chinga meteorite between the eighth and tenth century, and many suspect the Black Stone at the Kaaba in Mecca is, in fact, a ferrous meteorite.
Several meteorites fall to Earth each year, but few of them are large enough to provide enough material for anything useful. Nonetheless, over the centuries, these objects have fascinated scientists, philosophers, physicists and artists, and have given us hints about mind blowing concepts like the notion of space-time and the inextricable links between the fourth dimension (time) and the three that govern space. Many believe that this material is nothing less than proof of eternity – so what better symbolic material could be chosen to make representations of eternal love, like wedding bands?
Add the fact that meteorites are essentially space debris that needs no harmful, polluting mining processes to unearth, and it’s no wonder that meteorite jewellery has become incredibly popular lately. But one key question that arises is: how can you tell if it’s authentic?
Make Sure It’s Real
Meteorites are far from cheap, so it’s important to ensure what you’re buying is real. Be sure to check the certification – several brands come with Certificates of Authenticity. Furthermore if you want a few tricks to recognize instantly the veracity of your meteorite, simply use a magnet, since all meteorites are magnetic. There are other methods that will prove the authenticity of your asteroid debris, but they will damage it too: meteorites can rust and cannot withstand exposure to strong acids. So if by any misfortune your piece of meteoroid comes in contact with acidic substances (or too much water) and isn’t ruined, you’ll have the bittersweet knowledge that it’s a fake.
The gem society has identified three main types of meteorites: 1. Stony (which as two subcategories: chondrites, which are rich in silica, and achondrites). 2. Iron (which represents only 6% of the recovered meteorites), and 3. Pallasite, which is a Stony-Iron combination. In addition to those three, there are also so-called “space diamonds,” which are rough carbonados deposited on earth during an asteroid event. They are often black and are also used to create jewellery.
Here are just a few of the creative designers whose meteorite jewellery we adore.
The Moon is the astronomical body that has always been a favourite with lovers, who would stare at it when parted to feel closer, knowing that they were under the same moon. Rather romantically, Ferbers uses Moon meteorite fragments for its pendants, and just as craftily inserts other types of meteorites into its elegant ring and earring designs.
2. Space Gems
This company is an expert in custom-made astronomical pieces, using pallasites to enhance the stupendous effects of olivine peridot gemstones embedded in an iron-nickel matrix. Their designs create translucent effects that once you wear them you will feel like a star…in every way!
3. Abraxas Rex
The brand founded by artist Paris Kain has conquered the hearts of celebrities such as Beyonce – who has actually given a testimonial about how much she loves her meteorite jewellery from Abraxas Rex. The brand combines haute jewellery with natural elements in homage to the Gnostic deity Abraxas, which represents both light and darkness. The meteorites used are derived from those Kain found on his travels around the world.
4. D&H Jewelers
In San Francisco there’s a sustainable jewellery company that utilises precious reclaimed metals, upcycled gemstones and outer space debris like remnants from the Gibeon Meteor. This meteorite is one of the world’s finest specimens. It landed in Namibia, Africa and is approximately four billion years old. The elegant collection of D&H rings makes unique wedding bands that are propitious for an intergalactic bond through space and time.
Brides-to-be will be flattered when their partner drops on one knee and asks for their hand in marriage showing a meteorite engagement ring! The name Moissanite refers to a gemstone born from the stars that was first discovered in 1893 by a French scientist named Henri Moissan (who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry). Microscopic particles of the gem are composed of silicon carbide and make the stone even more scintillating than a diamond. Moissanite&Co. gives you the chance of possessing a gem like no other you found on Earth!
Amongst the various designers and brands that create meteorite ornaments, Jewelry by Johan not only makes mesmerising rings, but also offers a Lifetime Meteorite Ring Protection which means that you get to wear your meteorite ring carefree. You may send them your ring for free cleaning and re-etching any time, though it’s unlikely it will need it often. In any case, it’s pretty much guaranteed that your stardust meteorites will always look good as when they first landed on our planet.
7. Jacob Albee
This nature loving Fine Arts graduate initially wanted to be an ornithologist, but before he could get started on that bird-loving career, the popularity of the jewellery he made to raise money for his studies each summer was so strong, he changed direction and is now an ethical jeweller. His eponymous brand uses 100% recycled precious metals, including gold, platinum, and sterling silver. These are blended with not only Gibeon Meteorites, but also rubber, ethically sourced gemstones, and any materials customers provide to upcycle into unique pieces.
Tracking time is phantasmagorical with Bovet Watches. The elite watch maker has incorporated fragments of the Gibeon meteorite in Namibia into their dials to create timepieces that are handmade using traditional techniques by expert craftsmen in Switzerland.