Elbogen (also called the Locket iron) is one the earliest documented meteorites, first dated in the historical record during the year 1400. It is from the Kingdom of Bohemia, now the Czech Republic, and is one of 27 meteorites from that locality. It is one of 26 meteorites in the IID classification, but it is not the classification or locality that makes this meteorite important…
In the early 18th century Elbogen was the first specimen used by Alois von Widmanstatten to uncover the beautiful Widmanstatten patterns within most iron meteorites. In the coming decades he subsequently published a beautiful etch plate of Elbogen’s interior.
There is even more of note regarding Elbogen. It’s history is ripe with legends, some of which pre-date the first documentation of Elbogen as noted above. One of these stories speaks of the meteorite being the magical manifestation of a witch who cast a spell on a greedy landowner. The man was subsequently struck by lightening and turned into the iron mass. Others say that his transformation occurred after he died naturally…
Other stories speak of Elbogen as having magical powers of its own. For a time it was chained up in the dungeon of the Locket castle because it was thought to be able to fly. Reportedly, if you tossed it into the well of the castle it would reappear at the surface. This hypothesis was tested on at least two occasions and the iron spent many decades at the bottom of this well as a result. It was tossed in at some point during the 30 years war between 1618 and 1648, and there it remained until the well was drained in 1670. Next it was tossed back into the well in 1742 by the French until being pulled back out in 1776.
The original mass was 107kg before being cut and having some portions distributed to institutions. The Natural History Museum in Vienna now holds the largest portion of it, 79kg being in their collection. Another 14kg is at the Town Hall of Locket, Czech Republic. 6.9kg is at the National Museum in Prague, and 6kg is at Charles University, in Prague. There is another ~831g scattered amongst other institutions world wide making the total known amount in institutions 106,731g. With the total mass being ~107kg this leaves a mere ~269g available for private collections. This listing on my page accounts for 13.7g of that, and I have sold at previous times at least another 8 grams worth of Elbogen.
The general scarcity of specimens combined with the above historic context, are the reasons why many collectors and merchants have come to think of Elbogen as being the most expensive iron meteorite in the history of collecting. That’s not accurate, as things sell for what they sell for, though I have seen specimens of Elbogen offered for as high as 1000$/g, and have traded/sold specimens in the past at prices between 200-400$/g. Since I have a good quantity of specimens available for sale now, I have listed these 13.7g on my page at between 150-175$/g depending on the weight of the specimen alone.
All of these specimens listed now were cut from a larger mass that was previously in the collection of Corey Kuo. Specimens of Elbogen do occasionally pop up on the market, normally they originate though from one of a few sources though. Corey was one of them that could be relied upon to occasionally sell a specimen of Elbogen from time to time, and I was fortunate to be able to acquire these from him for my inventory. This is a great meteorite to add to any collection, and there are a variety of sizes available here. Something to fit all budgets.