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Old 4th November 2020, 12:01 AM   #21
A. G. Maisey
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,774

Seerp, I think what David is looking for is that unique Widmanstätten pattern, and what I used to be looking for was concrete evidence that the contrasting material in a blade did indeed come from a meteor.

In your photos I can see contrasting material, but how do we know that this came from a meteor unless we saw it included in the forging when the material was still in the forge?

That is problem. We cannot pick up something that we have no previous knowledge of and carry out any testing that will definitely confirm that the item contains meteor.

During the 1980's and 1990's I made a lot of pamor and nickel damascus. I made pamor using several different types of nickelous material, including pure nickel and Arizona meteorite. I made a lot of damascus using pure nickel, and few pieces of damascus using meteorite.

If you presented me with a mix of various pieces of pamor, polished, etched & stained, I doubt that I could tell what material had been used to create the pamor. If I had a piece of meteoritic material in my hand, that is pure meteorite, nothing else, that had been folded and welded 8 or 10 times, then polished, etched, stained, I could not tell if it was meteorite or not.

If I use the traditional "touch test" on a blade that contains meteorite, I can detect a very tiny, almost imperceptible difference between the meteorite blade and a blade that has used commercial nickel, or some nickel alloy.

But then this might just be my imagination, because the blades that I do this sort of test with are only blades that it might be expected could contain meteorite.

The point is this:- we cannot confirm the presence of meteoritic material in a blade after that material has been through the forge welding process.

Actually, I don't consider meteoritic material to be anything special, the cleaning process requires great care and a delicate touch if you wish the resultant billet to be pure meteorite, but once you get to using it as a component part of a blade it is no more nor less difficult than any other nickelous material, and when the blade is finished --- well, I've already commented on that.

The photos are of a keris that I commissioned from a maker in Solo, I will not name him as he is a very private man and I do not have his permission to use his name, enough to say that I considered him to be very talented. He retired from keris work some years ago.

This blade definitely does contain meteor. I made a billet of pure Arizona meteorite that I gave to this maker and it was used in this blade.

This is the only keris that I know of that unquestionably contains meteoritic material.
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