Asteroid Belt Solar System Bracelet
Yes, this bracelet includes real fragments from the Asteroid Belt! Details below!
"They resemble small stars so much as hardly to be distinguished from them. From this, their asteroidal appearance, if I take my name, and call them Asteroids." ~ William Herschel after making observations of Ceres and Pallas in 1802
Between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter lies a ring of rocky objects known as the Asteroid Belt. The bead at the center of this bracelet contains a mixture of different classes of meteorites (howardite, eucrite, diogenite) from a large impact basin in the southern hemisphere of Vesta, the second-largest object in the Asteroid Belt.
Above: The Asteroid Belt Bracelet with Howardite NWA 10262
In addition to this custom-made, resin bead, we've included a selection of semi-precious natural stones to represent other classic bodies in the solar system: The Sun (Citrine), Mercury (Black Labradorite), Venus (Riverstone), Earth (Lapis Lazuli), the Moon (Silver Crazy Lace Agate), Mars (Red Malachite), Jupiter (Botswana Agate), Saturn (Honey Tiger Eye), Uranus (Amazonite), Neptune (Angelite), Pluto (Picture Jasper), and the Universe beyond (Obsidian).
The semi-precious stones and asteroid belt beads are offset with small, sterling silver beads. The full bracelet measures 7" in length though it will stretch a bit further.
The bracelet comes in a gray gift box with a small information card that includes the names of all the semi-precious stones.
As noted above, the bead containing the Asteroid Belt fragments is made right here at Mini Museum with a mixture of several meteorites: Eucrites "Millbillillie", NWA 10166, and NWA 6694; Diogenites "Tatahouine", NWA 7831, and NWA 5784; and Howardites "Johnstown", NWA 1929, and the newly classified NWA 10262.
Above: Meteorites used in the Asteroid Belt Bracelet and a geological map of Vesta
The process for making these beads involves numerous stages of reduction, turning nickel-iron and stone into very small fragments. With this material, we create individual disks, or "mini asteroid belts," which we then seal in resin and polish right here in our shop.
Above: Various stages of production for the unique Asteroid Belt beads.
The result is a unique piece of jewelry for each and every person with fragments of asteroids that date to the earliest age of the solar system!
More About the Asteroid Belt
Terrestrial or rocky planets, such as Earth, form through a process of accretion in which small bodies collide and coalesce into increasingly larger forms. At 1km in diameter, the bodies possess enough mass that they begin to attract one another, eventually forming planets.
Early theories about the Asteroid Belt suggested there was once a planet that was destroyed by a massive collision, but more recent calculations indicate that the gravitational influence of Jupiter made this impossible from the very start.
Astronomers have determined that much of the mass needed to form a planet in the Asteroid Belt was ejected by early interactions with Jupiter. The remaining large bodies then settled into stable orbits, isolated from each other by mutual gravitational perturbations.
In 1866, Daniel Kirkwood noticed gaps in the Asteroid Belt at locations corresponding to specific fractions of Jupiter's orbit around the Sun. Kirkwood correctly postulated that gravitational perturbations from Jupiter nudge asteroids into unstable orbits, ejecting them from the Belt entirely. Similar forces can be seen at work in the gaps and varied densities of the rings of Saturn.