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Fake Pallasites

These examples go beyond your standard meteorwrongs because they were created for fraudulent reasons. In fact some of these fakes, like Shirokovsky, can even sell as known fakes for more than some real pallasites!

Here is one of the most recent fakes that was submitted to Dr. Carl Agee for classification in summer of 2020.

Fake Pallasite submitted to University of New Mexico. Image Credit: Dr. Carl Agee, 2020








Shirokovsky is categorized in the MetBull as a “pseudometeorite“. The write-up is somewhat ambiguous, and should not be. This meteorwrong was man-made with the intent to defraud collectors and institutions. It was sold originally as a fall from Feb. 1, 1956 and many well respected dealers were taken in. What is impressive is that the fraud persisted for a long time before it was properly identified. Now, these are collected as one of the best examples of a fake meteorite.

The “infamous” fake pallasite, Shirokovsky. Image Credit: Mendy Ouzillou
The “infamous” fake pallasite, Shirokovsky (Backlit). Image Credit: Mendy Ouzillou
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Smelting Waste or Slag

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Slag is manufactured, sold and transported by the thousands of tons for use as road construction aggregate and many other industrial uses. Slag is often found by the side of railroad tracks where it has been transported. Even if the material did not come from a recent local smelting, it may have come from a much older smelting operation or been picked up by someone and thrown away in a different location. Slag can be found everywhere including some of the most unlikely locations. It’s even been used as fertilizer/soil conditioner for crops. Slag has literally been spread and found in nearly every corner of the earth. If people have been in the area at any time in the past, then it can be slag.

Though slag can take many forms it is very distinctive in that it is riddled with large and small holes (vesicles). Slag looks just like slag, and NO meteorite looks like slag.