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Old 17th March 2021, 01:17 PM   #31
Athanase
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I think that the only way to know the presence or not of meteoritic materials in a blade is by a very thorough analysis of the chemical composition (mass spectrometry). The meteorite still contains elements that are very rare on earth (like Iridium for example). The detection of its trace elements much greater proportion than for terrestrial materials could provide evidence.
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Old 17th March 2021, 07:21 PM   #32
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The past years i made a study to the use of iron meteorite by making damast steel in general and the forging of iron meteorite in the blade of a kris in particular.
I made many tests on the way i estimate the Empus used in the past and some still do today.
The results of my study are published in a booklet (approx 50 pages, Dutch language) under the name "Het ijzer van de Goden".
It will be published within a month or two in English with the name "Iron of the Gods".

What the Widtmanstatten concerns, to my opinion the Widmanstatten will disappear as soon the iron transfers into a new crystal structure, the austenitic structure, at about 730 degrees C or approx 1350 F.
But i will check that the coming weeks by making some tests.
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Old 17th March 2021, 09:39 PM   #33
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Actually, I have never seen the W pattern in any of the meteoritic material that I worked on. Everything that I used to make blades was in small pieces that were put into the fire together and amalgamated into a single piece that was then amalgamated with other single pieces and worked into a clean billet.

So I did not study it, I only used it.

But what you found Seerp, certainly makes sense to me.

In Jawa, the way in which meteoritic material is worked is by taking small pieces and enclosing in an iron envelope which is then welded together and worked clean. The resultant billet is a combination of manufactured iron and meteor, ready to use as a pamor base. My method differed from the Javanese method in that I produced a billet of pure meteoritic material and then worked that with other ferric material to make the blade, or to combine with iron to produce pamor.
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Old 18th March 2021, 06:03 AM   #34
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Here is something worth a read:-

https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/ind...eteorite-iron/
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Old 20th March 2021, 02:38 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athanase
I think that the only way to know the presence or not of meteoritic materials in a blade is by a very thorough analysis of the chemical composition (mass spectrometry). The meteorite still contains elements that are very rare on earth (like Iridium for example). The detection of its trace elements much greater proportion than for terrestrial materials could provide evidence.
Actually, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) would probably be the best analytical method as it is non-destructive, and would indicate the nature and amount of various metals detected at the surface of the blade. Small portable and hand-held devices are now available.
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Old 20th March 2021, 09:43 PM   #36
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Even though I have worked iron-nickel meteoric material in the forge I know almost nothing about meteors, as I commented earlier, I have never studied this material, I have only used it.

So this is a question, it is not a statement of opinion nor is it an attempt at debate, I simply want somebody who does truly understand the study of iron-nickel meteorites to give me an answer that can be supported with evidence.

I assisted Prof. Jerzy Piaskowski of Poland in his examination of S.E. Asian blade materials, over a period of more than 15 years. Jerzy was a noted historical metallurgist who worked at the Institute of Metallurgy in Krakow. Jerzy passed away in 2013, and he was about 90 when he left this world. His methods of examination were dated, and he did not have the benefit during his working life of the technology that is now available to us for the examination of minerals.

Jerzy's opinion was that it was not possible to identify with any certainty any iron-nickel material that had a meteoric origin after it had been through the process of multiple forge welds and heavy forging. All the minerals that can be found in an iron-nickel meteorite can be found on Earth.

Last year I heard from a friend who is a noted collector of minerals, that scientists in the USA had found a new mineral in an Australian meteorite (Wedderburn meteorite) that had not previously been found in nature on Earth, this mineral is called something like edscoti, it can be found in iron that has been through high temperature processing on Earth, but not in nature.

So even if we now do have a mineral that is unique to some meteorites and is not found in nature on Earth, will that assist in identifying meteoric material after that material has been through multiple forge welds and heavy forging? Personally, I rather think not.

Based upon what little I know about meteoric material, I feel that it would be a total impossibility to determine with certainty that material which has been repeatedly forge welded for up to perhaps ten times, and that has also been heavily forged could with certainty be identified as being of meteoric origin.

It might perhaps be possible to determine with a degree of possibility that a piece of material as described above could be of meteoric origin, but can such a determination be made with certainty?

As stated above, I am not opening a debate here, all I would like to see is an answer that can be supported with evidence from somebody who does truly understand the study of iron-nickel meteorites.

There has been ongoing discussion of this matter over many years in the keris community, and in other areas of study, such as archaeology , and some of the conclusions and opinions put forward have been utterly ridiculous.

It would be very nice to be able to put this matter to one side and either forget about it, or to be able to know that we can state with certainty that a piece of material that has been through extensive high temperature processing here on Earth can indeed be positively identified as being meteoric in origin.
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Old 22nd March 2021, 01:02 AM   #37
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"When an iron meteorite is forged into a tool or weapon, the Widmanstätten patterns remain, but become stretched and distorted. The patterns usually cannot be fully eliminated by blacksmithing, even through extensive working. When a knife or tool is forged from meteoric iron and then polished, the patterns appear in the surface of the metal, albeit distorted, but they tend to retain some of the original octahedral shape and the appearance of thin lamellae criss-crossing each other."

Iron and Steel in Ancient Times by Vagn Fabritius Buchwald -- Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, 2005, Page 26.

I absolutely cannot guarantee the truthfulness of this statement.

In Weihrauch's thesis there are pictures of a polished and etched weld sample consisting of 13 different alloys in layers, one of them is Gibeon meteorite. I don't know about the specifics of forge work involved. There are (among others) 100:1 and 500:1 enlargements of the Gibeon layer, and in 500:1 remains of Widmannstätten-pattern are quite well recognisable.

This is all I can say about it.

Of course the search for W-pattern in a Keris blade would mean gradually turning it into dust for the search of couple of grams of meteorite.
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Old 22nd March 2021, 03:09 AM   #38
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Where we have ferric material with a carbon content that is below 0.5% we can use cold forging techniques to form it, when we move the material into the black heat to low red those low heats are not going to have much, if any effect on grain structure, and it is not unusual to use low heats on low volume iron smithing work because of the cost savings.

I can quite believe that under this sort of forging the W pattern would still be discernible after working the material.

But at welding temperatures where the surface of the metal is liquefing, or at the very least beginning to liquefy and is then subjected to heavy forging I find it more than difficult to believe that any trace of a W pattern will remain when the work is cold, most especially so after the firescale has been removed.

I still find Weihrauch's reported results very difficult to understand when the observations of smiths who have worked with meteorite all point to the fact that the W pattern disappears under conditions of high heat and heavy forging.

But really, all this discussion of W patterns is a bit beside the point, yes, if we can see a W pattern on a piece of etched ferric material we can probably be reasonably certain that the material is meteoric in origin.

But my question is this:-

is it possible to identify with certainty that iron-nickel material that has been through the process of multiple forge welds and heavy forging is of meteoric origin?
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Old 22nd March 2021, 08:21 AM   #39
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Hi Alan,

I'm no expert on meteoritic iron-nickel content, but I think we need to focus your question a little bit. Perhaps it would help to consider if one could identify confidently objects made solely from meteoritic iron. If so, then one could ask whether such identification can be extended to objects that are made partly of meteoritic iron.

Sideritic meteorites are reported to have greater fractions of nickel than seen in terrestrial iron deposits. This would seem to be one distinguishing feature that might be helpful. Sideritic meteorites are also likely to contain Cobalt, while terrestrial deposits are not. There are also the "rare earth metals" of the Lanthanum series that are more likely to be present in meteorites. Based on the metallic elements known to occur in various forms of sideritic meteorites, one could build up an elemental profile that would help identify a meteoritic origin.

The real problem comes, I think, when meteoritic iron is used in combination with terrestrial iron to forge an object. Diluting and contaminating the meteoritic metals with terrestrial metals would probably make it much more difficult to identify the meteoritic elements.

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Old 22nd March 2021, 08:40 AM   #40
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From Wikipedia:
Quote:
The Wedderburn meteorite is an iron meteorite discovered in 1951 near the town of Wedderburn in the state of Victoria, Australia.

In 2019 it was announced that edscottite, a mineral previously not found in nature, had been identified in a sample of the Wedderburn meteorite. It is believed the mineral was created in the core of another planet.

Dockrill, Peter. "Scientists Confirm The Discovery of a Mineral Never Before Seen in Nature". ScienceAlert. Retrieved 2019-09-02.
A very interesting small meteorite from my home state. See also here.

Ed Scott was a pioneering cosmochemist at the University of Hawaii.
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Old 22nd March 2021, 12:00 PM   #41
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Ian, I have tried to keep my question as direct and as simple as possible.

I have not mentioned composites, I have not mentioned the various types of iron nickel meteorites.

I am not even thinking about keris blades and similar composites, nor am I thinking about a stack of material brought to weld heat in an electric forge and gently tapped together. I am thinking about the process that is used in preparing meteoric material to a quality where it can be used to make a tool or weapon.

I am focused on only one thing:-

"---is it possible to identify with certainty that iron-nickel material that has been through the process of multiple forge welds and heavy forging is of meteoric origin?---"

I am not looking for, nor am I interested in the whipped cream & cherries, I'm only focused dead on that chocolate cake --- meteoric material if you wish.

This question is in fact a continuation of discussions that Jerzy Piaskowski & I had twenty odd years ago & more, and it comes down to just one thing:- bring some meteorite up to weld heat and hit it, not once but maybe 50 or so times with a 12 pound hammer, fold it over on itself and then repeat the process eight or ten times more.

Now, using whatever means are available, can we with certainty identify that material as being of meteoric origin?

I am not interested in possibilities, nor probabilities, I am only interested in certainty.
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Old 22nd March 2021, 02:24 PM   #42
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Alan, with all respect, you need a cosmochemist who specializes in meteoritic minerals to answer your question. The question you are asking reduces to "can we distinguish meteoritic Fe-Ni from terrestrial Fe-Ni after it has been heated and forged." You have argued, and I think persuasively, that the crystalline structures described in sideritic meteorites may well be altered by the heating and forging processes, thereby destroying those meteoritic characteristics. Under your proposal, crystalline structures would be unreliable indicators for a meteoritic origin in a heated and forged specimen.

We must therefore look for other means to distinguish between the two options. The ratio of Fe to Ni content is one approach to try. It is said that the Ni content in meteoritic Fe-Ni complexes is higher than in terrestrial Fe-Ni by a sizeable amount.

Another approach is to look for certain elements that occur in sideritic meteorites but not in terrestrial deposits of Ni-Fe. I have offered several possible candidates. I don't know of any data looking specifically at those possibilities. Edscottite is a rare example of a crystalline structure that could distinguish meteoritic iron from other sources. Whether it would withstand heating and forging is hard to say, and it is really rare to find in meteorites (only one reported instance).

A likely answer to your question is some algorithm for elemental composition that effectively eliminates a terrestrial origin. When I say "effectively," I mean a likelihood greater than 99.9% that a particular Fe-Ni object is derived from a sideritic meteorite. That's about as close to certainty as we might get. Absolute certainty is probably an unattainable goal. Unless you see a meteorite hit the ground, recover it, and forge an Fe-Ni object from it, absolute certainty that an object is derived from a meteorite will be elusive.
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Old 22nd March 2021, 05:29 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Hi Alan,

I'm no expert on meteoritic iron-nickel content, but I think we need to focus your question a little bit. Perhaps it would help to consider if one could identify confidently objects made solely from meteoritic iron. If so, then one could ask whether such identification can be extended to objects that are made partly of meteoritic iron.

Sideritic meteorites are reported to have greater fractions of nickel than seen in terrestrial iron deposits. This would seem to be one distinguishing feature that might be helpful. Sideritic meteorites are also likely to contain Cobalt, while terrestrial deposits are not. There are also the "rare earth metals" of the Lanthanum series that are more likely to be present in meteorites. Based on the metallic elements known to occur in various forms of sideritic meteorites, one could build up an elemental profile that would help identify a meteoritic origin.

The real problem comes, I think, when meteoritic iron is used in combination with terrestrial iron to forge an object. Diluting and contaminating the meteoritic metals with terrestrial metals would probably make it much more difficult to identify the meteoritic elements.

Ian
I think it is important to put this question into context Ian. We are discussing this on the keris forum after all. Meteorite, in the relatively rare cases when it is actually present in Indonesian keris, is ALWAYS used in small amounts as part of the mix of metals used to create pamor. I am unaware of any keris that have ever been created using just pure meteoric material. In a general forum perhaps the question needs to be more specific, but in the keris forum we are, by definition, discussing keris. While specific mention of keris is not made in Alan's proposed question, given the parameters of our discussion topics here i consider it implied.
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Old 22nd March 2021, 05:55 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
From Wikipedia:A very interesting small meteorite from my home state. See also here.

Ed Scott was a pioneering cosmochemist at the University of Hawaii.
This is indeed very interesting. However, it begs the question...just because edscottite has been discovered in this one sampling of meteorite, can we assume it will also be found in others. Space is about as huge a space as we can get. If this mineral was formed in the core of a now destroyed planet, what are the odds that it exists in other samples. Certainly we cannot expect that it exists in every sample of Fe-Ni meteorite. So can it ever really be used to prove a blade has been forged with meteorite. I suppose if it can be found in a blade though X-ray fluorescence (XRF) that might seem to be imply an extra-terrestrial source. But i also must point out the following:
"Edscottite is an iron carbide mineral, with the formula Fe5C2. It was previously known to occur during iron smelting, but in 2019 was identified as occurring in nature when it was discovered in a meteorite."
In other words, edscottite is not a previously unknown mineral. It has just never been found in nature on earth, but it is a by-product of smelting. So even if it is discovered to exist in a forged blade, how can we tell if it's presence there is from a nature extra-terrestrial source or simply the by-product from the smelting of terrestrial iron ore?
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Old 22nd March 2021, 10:43 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I think it is important to put this question into context Ian. We are discussing this on the keris forum after all. Meteorite, in the relatively rare cases when it is actually present in Indonesian keris, is ALWAYS used in small amounts as part of the mix of metals used to create pamor. I am unaware of any keris that have ever been created using just pure meteoric material. In a general forum perhaps the question needs to be more specific, but in the keris forum we are, by definition, discussing keris. While specific mention of keris is not made in Alan's proposed question, given the parameters of our discussion topics here i consider it implied.
Thanks David, and I agree. However, I was responding to Alan's firm admonition that his question was not about keris, but rather about the certain identification of meteoritic Fe-Ni.
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Old 22nd March 2021, 10:54 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
This is indeed very interesting. However, it begs the question...just because edscottite has been discovered in this one sampling of meteorite, can we assume it will also be found in others. Space is about as huge a space as we can get. If this mineral was formed in the core of a now destroyed planet, what are the odds that it exists in other samples. Certainly we cannot expect that it exists in every sample of Fe-Ni meteorite. So can it ever really be used to prove a blade has been forged with meteorite. I suppose if it can be found in a blade though X-ray fluorescence (XRF) that might seem to be imply an extra-terrestrial source. But i also must point out the following:
"Edscottite is an iron carbide mineral, with the formula Fe5C2. It was previously known to occur during iron smelting, but in 2019 was identified as occurring in nature when it was discovered in a meteorite."
In other words, edscottite is not a previously unknown mineral. It has just never been found in nature on earth, but it is a by-product of smelting. So even if it is discovered to exist in a forged blade, how can we tell if it's presence there is from a nature extra-terrestrial source or simply the by-product from the smelting of terrestrial iron ore?
Is edscottite produced during usual forging procedures? I don't know. We do know, however, that edscottite is a rare finding in meteoritic Fe-Ni substances--likely formed in the dense core of a planet where Fe and other elements are exposed to extreme heat and pressure. Based on the scientific reports, I think it would be a most unsuitable marker for identifying materials originating from meteorites, with a lot of false negative findings.
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Old 22nd March 2021, 11:09 PM   #47
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Yes Ian, I agree, it would very nice if a person such as a cosmochemist, or some other specialist in a related field should stumble across my question and be able to immediately dash off a convincing response backed up with evidence. Yes, that would indeed be all that I could ask for.

However, being a person who has spent most of his professional life asking questions and listening to the answers, I would be quite satisfied if somebody, in fact anybody, could provide a reference to something in print that went at least part of the way towards answering my question.

I have spent somewhere around 50 years trying to find that answer or part answer. I have read a lot of garbled, false and manufactured misinformation. I have read misinterpretations of genuine evidence, I have been told by academics whom I am inclined to accept do know what they are talking about, and at least in this particular matter do unquestionably know a great deal more than I do, that such differentiation of source is not possible, and in fact is an unreasonable expectation.

Nobody I have spoken with nor corresponded with, nothing I have ever read, has been able to provide a response to my question that has been able to confirm that iron-nickel material from a meteoritic source is able to be identified as such after it has been through forge processing, including forge welding.

I have come to the conclusion that all iron-nickel material found in nature and all iron-nickel from a meteoric source is in fact indistinguishable, one from the other, after it has been through high temperature processing. I am using the term "high temperature" rather than "forge", because the Luwu ores --- and others, eg, ancient Greece --- were smelted as well as forged.

Setting aside the man managed processes that material from a meteoric source and/or a terrestrial source might have been subjected to, and also the natural effects, such as those which produce the W pattern in iron-nickel meteorites, it seems to me that there is really only one indicator that will survive the forge or smelt processes that could possibly indicate that material that has been through those processes could perhaps be from a meteoritic source, and that indicator is the level of nickel content in the material.

Iron-nickel meteoritic material is characterised by nickel content that usually is between 5 to 12 percent, but can sometimes be as high as 60%.

Most terrestrial iron-nickel contains much lower percentages of nickel, usually below 2.5%.

But even this is uncertain, because in some silicate laterites the nickel content can go as high as 40%.

Then we have another problem:- some terrestrial deposits of iron-nickel are believed to be the result of ancient meteor impacts. Such a deposit is the Sudbury deposit in Canada. So in the case of such a deposit, is that meteoritic, or is it terrestrial?

I would like to hear a positive response to my question, but I doubt that I ever will. In accordance with all available evidence I firmly believe that it is a total impossibility to identify with any degree of certainty whether iron-nickel material that has been through forge (or smelt) processing is from a terrestrial source or a meteoric source.
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Old 22nd March 2021, 11:28 PM   #48
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David, just to clarify a point:- I specifically omitted any reference to keris for the simple reason that it just makes the question more difficult to answer.

Yes, this Forum is about keris, but it is a complete impossibility to begin to understand the keris without getting involved in multiple other fields. One of those fields is metallurgy.

So, if we could identify, or not identify, iron-nickel material from a meteoric source after it has been subjected to high temperature processing, but before combination with other materials, that then becomes our starting point for ID of such material after combination with other materials.

However, just to focus on the question relative to keris for a moment.

There is a belief in Central Jawa that certain aspects relating to the feel of pamor on a blade will indicate its source.

In respect of the quantity of meteoritic material used in pamor, this was probably not always only a tiny amount. In the keris that I made the billet of meteoritic material for, the actual meteoritic material was around 50% of the total pamor material.

I have a keris that it is probably attributable to Jayasukadgo, a Surakarta Karaton Empu from circa 1900. The pamor of this keris is very white and quite unlike any other pamor I have seen, it is difficult, if not impossible to identify any iron content in this pamor, additionally it passes the "touch test" for meteoritic pamor that is used in Central Jawa.
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Old 23rd March 2021, 10:04 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey

There is a belief in Central Jawa that certain aspects relating to the feel of pamor on a blade will indicate its source.

I have a keris that it is probably attributable to Jayasukadgo, a Surakarta Karaton Empu from circa 1900. The pamor of this keris is very white and quite unlike any other pamor I have seen, it is difficult, if not impossible to identify any iron content in this pamor, additionally it passes the "touch test" for meteoritic pamor that is used in Central Jawa.
Hello Alan,
Yes, my Solonese friend tried to teach me about this "touch test" (passing the fingers just above the blade and feeling like a low electrical current) but it was not very convincing, maybe it needs more practice or concentration to be properly felt? I also witnessed some Indonesian collectors practicing it at a kris fair in Jakarta. Can you please elaborate a bit about it and give us your impression?
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Old 23rd March 2021, 10:21 AM   #50
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Jean, this touch test seems to have developed somewhat since it was taught to me by Pak Parman. I suppose that is only to be expected, there has been more than a little development of rather exotic & esoteric things associated with the keris in the last 25-30 years or so.

What I was taught about using touch to provide an indicator of meteoric content in a keris blade dd not involve any electrical currents.

I was taught to very, very lightly pass my fingertips over the surface of the blade, you just barely touch it as if you were touching the edge of a feather and trying not to move the individual barbs (hairs) of the feather.

If the material contains meteor the feeling is supposedly a very slight prickly roughness. I said "supposedly" but in blades that I know to contain meteor, and others that very probably contain meteor, I have experienced this feeling. It is a real feeling, it is not anything like an electric current
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Old 23rd March 2021, 05:57 PM   #51
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Thank you Alan and maybe I do not properly remember what the feeling should be and whether the fingers should touch the blade or not, as this was some years ago...
Is there any rational explanation such as pamor materials hardness or more difficult mixing with the iron in your opinion?
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Old 23rd March 2021, 09:03 PM   #52
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There probably is a rational explanation Jean, but I do not know what it might be. When I was taught about this there was never any sort of esoteric cause involved, it was just a matter of meteoritic pamor having a particular feeling, the same as some other pamor materials have a particular feeling, for example, pamor on blades classifiable as Gresik has a greasy feel to it.

There is a lot of keris belief around now that the people with whom I associated in the period between +/-1974 and +/- 2010 did not subscribe to. But in fairness some of these people did also hold beliefs that would be difficult for a rational person to accept.
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