Micro-World Gems & Gemology, Spring 2020, Vol. 56, No. 1

Pallasitic Peridot with Iridescent Needle-Like Inclusions

Pallasitic peridot from the Jepara meteorite.
Figure 1. This suite of pallasitic peridot (0.17–1.40 ct) from the Jepara meteorite contains colorful needle-like inclusions. Photo by Robison McMurtry; courtesy of Bradley Payne.

Pallasite is a rare type of stony iron meteorite that contains crystalline olivine. The author recently had the opportunity to examine a suite of pallasitic peridot that were reported to have originated from the Jepara meteorite found on the Indonesian island of Java in 2008 (figure 1). The stones were selected by Bradley Payne for the abundance of needle-like inclusions that showed vibrant interference colors. To observe the inclusions, oblique fiber-optic illumination was used to explore the gems until the light reflected off the inclusions at the same time, revealing their hidden colorful beauty (figure 2) and confirming the crystallographic alignment of the inclusions. According to Payne, less than 5% of the gems from the Jepara meteorite show these types of inclusions. These are the most beautiful inclusions the author has examined in a suite of pallasitic peridot from the Jepara meteorite.

Colorful needle-like inclusions in pallasitic peridot.
Figure 2. Oblique fiber-optic illumination revealed colorful iridescent needle-like inclusions in the pallasitic peridot from Java. Photomicrograph by Nathan Renfro; field of view 1.83 mm.

Nathan Renfro is manager of colored stones identification at GIA in Carlsbad, California