NWA 11220 Martian basaltic breccia (Black Beauty)


………………… So a rather special announcement from Msg-Meteorites, presenting NWA 11220, a Black Beauty Martian meteorite pairing!

Not just any Martian meteorite but one that is of huge scientific importance. Black Beauty is perhaps not an obvious beauty but when you probe under the surface, beauty is really an understatement! The first sample recovered, NWA 7034  was not at first even recognised as being from Mars. Now classified as a Martian Basaltic Breccia, NWA 7034, along with a few pairings found since then is one of the most important meteorites scientifically of the last few years. One of the reasons is it’s age, 4.2 to 4.4 billion years old! There are only two Martian meteorites known to be over 4 billion years old, and those are Black Beauty and the infamous ALH 84001. Not only this but Black Beauty also contains trapped Martian water, 0.6% by weight, water that is over 4 billion years old from Mars!

Dr. Carl B. Agee, the classifier of NWA 7034 writes:

“Actually this martian meteorite is much more fertile ground to look for little green men than the more famous ALH 84001. It is a breccia, has a bulk composition that is basaltic, but it is polymict with at least 6 different igneous lithologies, there are rounded objects that could be sedimentary, there are impact melt clasts, there appears to be a non-martian meteoritic component (like that found in the lunar regolith). So far there are three age dates for NWA 7034 perhaps representing major events during its residence on Mars at 1.4, 2.1, 4.4 billion years ago. NWA 7034 has 6000 ppm water, more than ten times the water in other martian meteorites. I could go on and on, but I recommend the LPSC instead, should be a great meeting. The meteoritic component idea is work by Munir Humayun and Randy Korotev. They see elevated highly siderophile elements including platinum group especially iridium. This is also seen in the lunar breccias and is thought to be from impactor(s) perhaps taking place in the ancient martian highlands early in Mars history. To my knowledge no other martian meteorites have this.“

On offer here, a selection of specimens of NWA 11220  a new pairing of the original Black Beauty, NWA 7034.  A selection of complete slices, part slices, fragments and thin sections all from a 36.63g stone purchased from Morocco in March 2017. This stone was CT scanned at the Natural History Museum London as part of the examination and was classified by Caroline Smith, Natasha Almeida and Agata Krzesinska. A low resolution stack of slices from the CT data can be viewed below. All CT data: © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London.

CT scan videos


CT scan 1
CT scan 2

CT scan photos

All CT data and photos: © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London.


Photos of the stone before cutting

Here are photos of the 36.63 gram stone before cutting, please click on any photo to see a slideshow of all of them:

Meteorite bulletin entry for NWA 11220

Northwest Africa 11220
Basic information Name: Northwest Africa 11220
This is an OFFICIAL meteorite name.
Abbreviation: NWA 11220
Observed fall: No
Year found: 2017
Country: (Northwest Africa)
Mass:help 36.6 g
Recommended:   Martian (basaltic breccia)    

This is 1 of 9 approved meteorites classified as Martian (basaltic breccia).   [show all]
Search for other: Martian meteorites

Comments: Approved 6 Aug 2017
Writeup from MB 106:

Northwest Africa 11220 (NWA 11220)

(Northwest Africa)

Purchased: Jan 2017

Classification: Martian meteorite (basaltic breccia)

History: Purportedly recovered in Esbeta Bir Anzarane in November 2016 and purchased in Zagora, Morocco in January 2017.

Physical characteristics: A single stone with smooth black surface showing some depressions and protrusions. CT scanning indicates brecciation with heterogeneous distribution of several clast types both spheroidal and angular, as well as phenocrysts in dark matrix.

Petrography: (A. M. Krzesinska, N. V. Almeida, NHM) Imaging (SEM and micro-CT) shows a polymict breccia with a variety of lithic and igneous clasts. Matrix composed of euhedral phenocrysts and fragments of plagioclase, low-Ca pyroxene, pigeonite, augite and hedenbergite set in very fine-grained groundmass rich in Fe-oxides and pyrrhotite. Accessory minerals include: potassium feldspars, Cl-apatite, ilmenite, magnetite, Ti,Cr-magnetite and chromite. Among lithic clasts are protobreccia fragments of similar petrography and mineralogy but with their groundmass enriched in Fe-oxides. Fine-grained, devitrified impact spherules with layered textures and mantles of accreted debric and vitrophyre, fine-grained pyroxene-feldspathic glass clasts also present. Igneous clasts (basaltic, andesitic) composed of pigeonite and plagioclase with granulitic and subophitic textures. Trachyandesite clasts composed of poikilitic potassium feldspar and anorthoclase plagioclase accompanied by augitic pyroxene. Accessory Fe-Ti-P- rich clasts dominated by euhedral ilmenite, magnetite and Cl-apatite, set in feldspathic glass.

Geochemistry: Mineral compositions and geochemistry: All analyses by EPMA. Matrix: Low-Ca pyroxene, Fs31.7±8.8Wo2.8±0.8, Fe/Mn (afu) = 34.9±3.1 (n = 50). Pigeonite, Fs40.8±5.7Wo8.4±2.5, Fe/Mn (afu) = 36.8±2.6 (n = 10). Augite, Fs22.5±4.3Wo39.5±4.6, Fe/Mn (afu) = 32.4±4.7 (n = 35). Hedenbergite, Fs41.1±4.1Wo37.1±11.4, Fe/Mn (afu) = 35.1±7.7 (n = 3). Plagioclase, Or2.6±0.7An40.5±7.2 (n = 89). Alkali feldspar, Or70.7±18.4An3.9±3.0 (n = 24). Ilmenite, 3.7±1.1 wt% MgO, 1.7 ± 0.7 wt% MnO (n = 32). Magnetite with up to 2.5 wt% TiO2, up to 1.9 wt% Cr2O3 and up to 0.4 wt% NiO (n = 7). Ti-magnetite, 7.4±3.5 wt% TiO2, with up to 0.5 wt% Cr2O3, up to 0.4 wt% NiO (n = 16). Cr-magnetite and chromite, 25.8±9.9 wt% Cr2O3, up to 1.8 wt% TiO2, up to 0.1 wt% NiO (n = 23). Cl-apatite, 0.7±0.1 wt% F, 4.9±0.3 wt% Cl (n = 62). Basaltic and andesitic clasts: Plagioclase, Or2.4±0.8An38.9±7.6 (n = 26). Pigeonite, Fs33.1±4.4Wo9.7±5.0, Fe/Mn (afu) =33.7±2.9 (n = 39). Some augite also present. Trachyandesitic and monzonitic clasts: Potassium feldspars, Or73.9±11.3An3.2±1.2 (n = 14). Anorthoclase, Or6.1±1.5An2.3±0.7 (n = 6). Plagioclase, Or3.2±0.1An28.3±10.9 (n = 4). Augite, Fs18.7±5.7Wo44.4±3.7, Fe/Mn (afu) = 30.3±9.9 (n = 14). Protobreccia clasts, impact spherules and vitrophyre clasts also present, with chemical compositions of pyroxene and plagioclase similar to matrix and phenocrysts. In general, protobreccia clasts are enriched in Fe compared with the matrix groundmass, due to the presence of sub-micron Fe-oxides.

Classification: Martian (basaltic breccia). Likely paired with NWA 7034NWA 7533NWA 7475, as similar in texture, mineralogy and clast types.

Specimens: 7.46 g including a 7.27 g piece and one thin section on deposit at the NHM London. M. Goff holds the main mass.

Data from:
Table 0
Line 0:
Place of purchase: Zagora, Morocco
Date: P Jan 2017
Mass (g): 36.62
Pieces: 1
Class: Martian (basaltic breccia)
Classifier: A. M. Krzesinska, N. V. Almeida, C. L. Smith
Type spec mass (g): 7.46
Type spec location: NHM London
Main mass: Martin Goff
Comments: Submitted by N. V. Almeida
and collections
NHM: Department of Mineralogy, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom; Website (institutional address; updated 9 Dec 2011)

The following slices are cut sub mm thick with a wire saw and have been lightly polished on one side, the expert preparation work has been done by Marlin Cilz of Montana Meteorite Laboratory. There is some variation in thickness between slices between 0.4 to 0.9mm but each slice is parallel cut. Each specimen comes in a labelled box and is supplied with a glossy double sided postcard showing the main mass before cutting and of course an Msg-Meteorites ID card.

All the below specimens are individually priced.  Please click on images to see them full size.

If interested in any specimens then please email me at msgmeteorites at gmail dot com or use my website contact form. First come first served! 🙂

NWA 11220 Thin Sections

********** Limited number of thin sections coming soon, if interested, let me know 🙂 **********

******* THIN SECTIONS ALL SOLD *******


NWA 11220 Slices

(1) – Full slice – 0.98g – £2352

(2) – Full slice – 0.96g – ON HOLD

(3) – Full slice – 0.96g – £2304

(3a) – End cut – 0.88g – £2024

(4) – Full slice – 0.87g – £2088

(5) – Full slice – 0.77g – £1848

(6) – Full slice – 0.74g – ON HOLD

(7) – Fullslice – 0.72g – £1728

(8) – Full slice -0.71g – ON HOLD

(9) – Full slice – 0.70g – £1680

(10) – Full slice – 0.70g – SOLD

(11) – Full slice – 0.68g – ON HOLD

(12) – Full slice – 0.61g – ON HOLD

(13) – Full slice – 0.58g – SOLD

(14) – Part slice – 0.58g – £1392

(15) – Full slice – 0.55g – SOLD

(16) – Full slice – 0.55g – SOLD

(17) – Full slice – 0.36g – SOLD

(18) – Full slice – 0.26g – SOLD

(19) – Part slice – 0.24g – SOLD

(20) – Part slice – 0.24g – ON HOLD

(21) – Part slice – 0.19g – SOLD

(22) – Part slice – 0.16g – SOLD

(23) – Part slice – 0.16g – ON HOLD

(24) – Part slice -0.15g – SOLD

(25) – Part slice – 0.15g – £390

(26) – Part slice – 0.15g – SOLD

(27) – Part slice – 0.15g – £390

(28) – Part slice – 0.12g – SOLD

(29) – Part slice -0.12g – £312

(30) – Part slice – 0.12g – SOLD

(31) – Part slice – 0.12g – SOLD

(32) – Part slice – 0.10g – SOLD

(33) – Part slice – 0.10g – SOLD

(34) – Part slice – 0.10g – SOLD

(35) – Part slice – 0.10g – SOLD

(36) – Part slice – 0.09g – SOLD

(37) – Part slice – 0.09g – ON HOLD

(38) – Part slice – 0.09g – ON HOLD

(39) – Part slice – 0.08g – SOLD

(40) – Part slice – 0.08g – SOLD

(41) – Part slice – 0.08g – SOLD

(42) – Part slice – 0.08g – ON HOLD

(43) – Part slice – 0.07g – SOLD

(44) – Part slice – 0.07g – SOLD


Smaller NWA 11220 specimens in display boxes

The following specimens are boxed in a photo matted display box and are priced according to surface area and not weight to give a range of price points to suit all collectors 🙂 The photos shown are representative as i have numerous specimens in each size/price range so the shapes of each may vary although they will be a similar size to those shown.

(45) – XX Large Display box – £140

(46) – X Large Display box – £80

(47) – Large Display box – £50

(48) – Medium display box – £35

(49) – Small display box – £20

If interested in any specimens then please email me at msgmeteorites at gmail dot com or use my website contact form. First come first served! 🙂