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Meteorite and rust


#1

Hi all - I have this piece of meteorite that I have had for quite
sometime. I am ready to use it in a pendant, but it has rusted a
little and I was wondering what the best method for removing the
rust is. Is sandpaper ok to use? What do I do after removal? Oil it?
Polish it? It has this nice lighter patternon its surface andI don’t
want to lose it.

Thanks so much for all your expertise. I have been helped so many
times in the past and I’m sure in the future. Sarah

Sarah Philbeck
Jewelry for the Journey
Shelby, NC
http://www.philbeckstudios.com


#2

Hi Sarah, Remove the rust from the meteorite just as you would with
any other metal, starting out with the grit necessary to remove the
rust, say 400 or 320, and go through the steps to a polish. Then you
will need to re-etch the meteorite to get that patterned effect (they
are called Widmanstatten figures) using nitric acid. I use 4 parts
water to 1 part nitric and you will only need to leave it in the acid
for 10 to 20 seconds. I don’t think it is as pretty if you over etch
it, so watch it closely as you etch. You might want to warm your
acid bath a little to getting it working quickly, and be sure your
meteorite is clean and grease free. After it is etched, clean and
dry the meteorite thoroughly (I usually rinse it in alchohol as the
final step before drying). I do a lot of meteorite jewelry and I
don’t use anything to coat it with to prevent rust and usually have
no problem. Of course, if you leave it sitting in a wet environment
it will rust and you might try oiling it, but that would only provide
temporary protection.

Good luck with your pendant!

Best regards,
John


#3

Hello sarah, Use fine steel wool and some oil. You keep the shiny
surface but remove the rust.

greetings
Martin Niemeijer


#4
Hi all - I have this piece of meteorite that I have had for quite
sometime. I am ready to use it in a pendant, but it has rusted a
little and I was wondering what the best method for removing the
rust is. Is sandpaper ok to use? What do I do after removal? Oil
it? Polish it? It has this nice lighter patternon its surface andI
don't want to lose it. 

I use quite a few meteorites in jewelry, and I remove rust spots
with pumice or bobbing compound and a wheel. I generally remove any
large rust spots first, then set the meteorite and polish it along
with the setting. You can coat it with carnauba wax (Johnson’s wax)
at the end and buff it with a cloth.

Janet Kofoed


#5
 Hi all - I have this piece of meteorite that I have had for quite
sometime. I am ready to use it in a pendant, but it has rusted a
little ....  It has this nice lighter patternon its surface andI
don't want to lose it 

Polishing it should be OK, since the pattern, if it’s lots of
crossed lines forming triangles, is caused by the crystalline
structure of the material and therefore isn’t just on the surface.
They’re called Widmanstatten (sp??) lines.

Tas
Earthly Wealth


#6
   Hi all - I have this piece of meteorite that I have had for
quite sometime. I am ready to use it in a pendant, but it has
rusted a little and I was wondering what the best method for
removing the rust is. Is sandpaper ok to use? What do I do after
removal? Oil it? Polish it? It has this nice lighter patternon its
surface andI don't want to lose it. 

sanding will leave scratches of course, which you could then buff
out. You can, if you wish treat it the same as other metals, and
polish it or satin finish, or whatever you wish. If the surface you
like is the natural original surface, you’ll want to be more careful
to preserve it, of course. If the pattern you want to preserve is
the crystaline pattern (and these are often spectacular in meteors),
then you needen’t be careful with it in the preparation of the
surface. Go ahead and polish it as you wish, even if it removes
that crystaline structure. Then, when you’re done, and the metal is
clean and dry, make up a mix containing ten percent of concentrated
reagent grade nitric acid, and 90 percent alcohol. This is best with
pure anhydrous analytical grade alcohol, but ordinary denatured will
work too. the main thing is not to mix with water. this dilute
alcohol/acid mix is then used to etch the meteorite, and will quickly
bring up the crystal pattern again. Once it’s etched sufficiently,
rinse it in more alcohol (not water), and dry it. Protect with a
wax, or oil, or lacquor, etc. The purpose of avoiding water in the
etch and rinse is that the iron will be somewhat porous. If you let
it get wet at this point, it will quickly rust again. The alcohol
based etchant and rinse prevents that, and drys the metal completely.

Peter


#7

Hey Sarah, I don’t sand, brush or abrade the surface as rust will
remain until all surface metal is removed down to the crevaces. I
simply drop the meteorite into muriatic(hydrochloric) acid until the
rust is gone. Probably 15-20 seconds. This maintains the crystaline
surface and only requires a quick cleaning and possibly a surface
treatment such as wax, although I use nothing. Bruce


#8

When I recommended derusting meteorites with pumice, I was speaking
of the melty bits. I’ve never had the crystal-surfaced ones rust, and
I’m not sure how far down the surface texture goes.

Janet kofoed