Why dream about the Final Frontier when you can own a piece of it? Each of the meteorite rings in our exclusive collection features a precious inlay that's made from a slice of the Gibeon meteorite -- the remains of a large, 4-billion-year-old asteroid that crashed into the Earth thousands of years ago. Every ring tells a story, but the tales of our Gibeon meteorite rings are nearly as old as the solar system.
Meteorite rings are popular in today's jewelry scene for their epic history, their rarity, and for possessing unique properties that aren't found in any terrestrial material. Take a closer look at the inlays on our rings, and you'll notice a striking and almost shimmering series of cross-hatches called Widmanstatten patterns. These stunning lines are formed when an octahedrite iron meteorite slowly cools over millions of years as it travels through space -- the lines are revealed when pieces of the meteorite are etched with diluted nitric acid. And, like snowflakes, no two Widmanstatten patterns are ever alike
Our meteorite rings are available in a variety of classic and contemporary designs. For an example of the latter, check out the Meteorite Ring with Blue Carbon Fiber -- it's a startling look that transcends styles and time. No matter which design you go with, all of these make incredible wedding bands, engagement rings, or just an awesome fashion statement.
They may not be out of this world, but they're still unlike anything you've ever encountered before. Explore more of the best alternative metals and inlays in our full collection of cobalt chrome rings.
The History of Our Meteorite Rings
There are very few things on Earth as old as the material in these rings. When you wear a meteorite ring from Titanium-Buzz, you're wearing a piece of the solar system that existed when the Earth, the moon, and even the Sun were all still new. When the meteorite in the inlay of your ring was first formed, the Earth was a molten ball of rock and the familiar model of the solar system you remember from school didn't even exist yet. There is simply no other jewelry that has been around as long, has traveled as far, or has made as much of a (literal) impact on the planet.
When Did the Gibeon Meteorite Fall to Earth?
The crash of the Gibeon meteorite would have looked spectacular, if anyone had been there to see it. It's unknown if anyone did. No record exists of when the Gibeon fell to Earth, and no impact craters or other clues for dating the crash have ever been found. The first written accounts of the Gibeon meteorite date back to 1836, when an English captain named J.E. Alexander found pieces of it scattered near the small town of Gibeon in the West African country of Namibia. Area natives at the time were aware of the meteorite and had even used pieces of it to make tools, but they did not know where it had come from, or when. Although it may never be known exactly when the Gibeon meteoroid crashed, the event likely happened several thousand years ago during the prehistoric era.
Where Did the Gibeon Meteorite Originally Come From?
The asteroid that became the Gibeon meteorite is believed to be a remnant of a long-vanished planet that was destroyed during the early years of the solar system. It was formed over four billion years ago, just as a rocky surface was starting to take shape on a young planet Earth. For hundreds of millions of years, this asteroid quietly orbited the sun in an asteroid belt deep in space, occasionally bumping into other planetary fragments, until one fateful impact knocked it out of orbit and sent it speeding toward the inner solar system.
How Big Was the Gibeon Meteorite? How Fast Was It Going?
It is estimated that the Gibeon meteorite measured about 13 feet by 13 feet by 5 feet thick and weighed at least 26 tons when it plunged to Earth. It was likely traveling at speeds of over 64,000 miles per hour. The meteorite struck the top of the Earth's atmosphere at a low angle and bounced off of it, like a rock skipping across water, before breaking apart into countless small shrapnel-like fragments. This is likely the reason no impact crater for the Gibeon meteorite has ever been discovered.
The view from the ground would have been terrifying and unforgettable. Anyone watching would have seen a streak of fire and smoke followed by a deafening explosion and a shower of fireballs shrieking through the air at tens of times the speed of sound. The burning chunks of rock would have lit up the sky in all directions clear to the horizon, raining down in long blazing tendrils and quite possibly sparking dozens of wildfires.
What Is the Gibeon Meteorite Made From?
The Gibeon meteorite is classified as an IVA iron octahedrite. It is mostly made up of iron and an iron-nickel alloy. The meteorite also contains cobalt, phosphorous, and traces of gallium, germanium, iridium, and rare silicates.
How Rare Is the Material in Our Gibeon Meteorite Rings?
The debris field marking where pieces of the Gibeon eventually landed is about 70 miles wide and a full 230 miles long -- it is the largest known debris field of its kind in the world. Over 25 tons of the meteorite have been found in Namibia since its discovery in the 1830s. Thanks to advances in detection equipment, many more pieces of the meteorite may be recovered in the coming years.
Many pieces of the meteorite are available today and are a favorite material of our designers because of their unique Widmanstatten lines and remarkable chemical stability. The government of Namibia, however, now prohibits the export of meteorite fragments. As these rings and other meteorite jewelry grow in popularity, they may become increasingly prized and rare.
Want to learn more about our meteorite rings or to chat about other rare and exotic rings? Give us a call at 1-866-215-1861 or simply send us an email. We're looking forward to hearing from you.