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Lonsdaleite?
  
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Roy ten Hoopen




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PostPosted: Aug 03, 2020 13:37    Post subject: Lonsdaleite?  

Good day,

I have been contacted by someone offering me three pieces of 'Lonsdaleite'.
As I am unfamiliar with this material I did some searching around online which is giving me very strange results. I am able to find technical data on the material stating it is found at sites where meteorites containing graphite have struck the earth. It is said to occur as microscopic crystals. I found some credible instances online where Lonsdaleite has been sold. These pieces are small, only 1-3mm, black or grayish in color and have an irregular shape.

What has been presented to me as 'Lonsdaleite' however, are white spheres of about 20 to 30mm in size. A quick image search also shows a number of similar spheres being referred to as Lonsdaleite. These images often link to ads where sellers are trying to sell these 'Lonsdaleites' as meteorites, asking ridiculous prices, from $45000 up to ten million. These ads only seem to appear on Chinese sites and on Pinterest for some reason.

Another thing I noticed is that there are a couple of videos about these 'Lonsdaleites', a number of them showing how to 'test if they are real'. These all seem to originate from Algeria, which is not listed as a locality for Lonsdaleite.

This all sounds like some sort of scam to me. But I am used to seeing a lot of information online when I look for information on scamming practices and my search is turning up nothing.

I hope somebody here could shed some light on this. I would like to attach photos but I would have to ask permission from the owner. I do think that sharing the photos would add little though, since I have described the stones in detail and a quick google search will turn up many examples.

Any information is much appreciated.
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Kevin Conroy




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PostPosted: Aug 03, 2020 16:18    Post subject: Re: Lonsdaleite?  

I would be VERY cautious about this! Please see: https://www.mindat.org/min-2431.html
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Pete Richards
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PostPosted: Aug 03, 2020 18:08    Post subject: Re: Lonsdaleite?  

It certainly seems that if any of these offerings really are lonsdaleite (which is highly doubtful), they are man made.

For us, man made objects are not of interest, unless they clearly illuminate our understanding of naturally formed minerals and crystals. So our out is that, lonsdaleite or not, these are not natural and do not interest us.

Your decision may or may not be assisted by this restriction of interest.

_________________
Collecting and studying crystals with interesting habits, twinning, and epitaxy
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Aug 04, 2020 03:59    Post subject: Re: Lonsdaleite?  

I have only seen an alleged "lonsdaleite" once, labelled as being from the Canyon Diablo meteorite, in a rare species collection I bought, and on studying it under the microscope at home, it was obviously just an ordinary microscopic diamond, and probably not even from a meteorite. And note that there are no photos of visible lonsdaleite on Mindat, and only one on Mineralienatlas. I would not waste money on the stuff unless it came with some significant documentation from a real mineralogist.
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