An Article In Meteorite-Times Magazine
by Martin Horejsi of  Martin Horejsi's Meteorite and Tektite Books


Those Wonderful Individuals

of Canyon Diablo


There is something magical about iron individuals from the Canyon Diablo event. In fact, I suspect that a majority of collectors began their collections with a CD individual as one of their first meteorites. And for many, one CD was not enough.

For me, I have always enjoyed CD individuals, and the more interesting the shape, or the more colorful its collection history, the better. For this special edition of the Meteorite Times, I have highlighted some of my Canyon Diablo individuals.




This 3kg individual was given to me by Marlin Cilz during a trade. Marlin said it was one of his first meteorites, if not his first. I like the shape and it stand tall with the sharpest point of its triangular shape pointing skyward as if to point to the home from which it came.


H. H. Nininger did much work with the crater. He collected specimens, metallic spheroids, and even wrote a book about the crater. This wonderful individual has three labels on it. One is a Nininger collection number (also known as an American Meteorite Museum number); another is a piece of cloth tape with the word Meteorite written on it in pen; and another piece of tape with the words 272 gm. and $1.00.


Jim Westcott was a friend of meteorites and a friend of Nininger. Westcott was responsible for the discovery of many meteorites. This is an etched end section of a CD individual with a Westcott collection number painted on the weathered exterior.


The American Meteorite Laboratory (also known as the Huss Collection) painted numbers on specimens that began with the letter H. This individual contains both a Huss number and a painted weight number with the 760 indicating the gram weight of this specimen. However, time and the hostile atmosphere of earth has taken it toll on this piece to the tune of some 15g.


One of many names of Meteorite Crater, Arizona is Coon Mountain. Natives of the area were known to have colorful stories of the origin of the big hole, and there was no shortage of superstitions about the place. What I like about these individuals of Canyon Diablo is their similar shape to Native American arrowheads. To me, it is just another pleasent example of convergent evolution (although applied incorrectly).


This is my favorite CD individual. It looks just like a cowfish complete with mouth, eye and tail. While CD individuals with holes are rare, specimens with unique character such as this are, to me anyway, priceless.



Over the phone I was told this piece was about half a kilo in weight and looked just like someone shot it. The natural hole looks just like a bullethole. When it arrived in the mail, I could think of no better word to describe the hole. Although the angle of light on this image makes the hole appear somewhat oval, it is actually almost a perfect circle.


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