Irghizites---Zhamanshin crater Impact glass--

Be sure and check out the new Zhamanshin glass slabs at the bottom of this page; Just added 2/26/2013

These twisted ribbons and glossy ropes of black glass are found in Kazahkstan's Zhamanshin crater---not on most tourist itineraries. Still, it is one of the classic impact glasses mentioned in tektite texts. There is even some talk of peculiar chemical differences between local target rocks and the impactite glass that might be better explained by comet impact rather than meteorite. If so, this may well be the only comet-related impactite known. I'll look into this story further. For now, don't take it as gospel.

A photo of an erupting natrocarbonatite volcano (Ol Doinyo Lengai, Tanzania) in the January, 2003 National Geographic, pp. 42 & 43 shows lava spatters morphologically identical to Irghizites. Here's a bit of that image with pieces from our Irghizite inventory inserted. . If this is an analog to the character of the Zhamanshin impact splatter, it helps to explain why all Irghizites are broken bits. The National Geographic author even wrote " What begins as liquid lava hits the ground with the tinkling of breaking glass." If you could have witnessed the Irghizite impact up close (and survived), this is what it would've looked like.


For years, Irghizites have been
extremely hard to acquire. Recently a business acquaintance of ours made a trip into the area and collected about 5 kilos. We were delighted at the new supply, but were also a bit concerned that there may be a short-term flood coming onto the market. As is always the case, such collections are composed mostly of "average" and lower grade materials. Truly prime specimens of rare materials are never plentiful or subject to market flooding. It's always lonely at the top.

Consequently, we took the approach of asking the collector to provide us with the finest large specimens cherry-picked from his entire inventory. Following is part of our stock. You won't find a better combination of large size and high quality anywhere. We did our best to buy all of the best!

Images are linked to larger versions; click on them to view, close resulting window .to return to this page

Tabulated dimension is the maximum length

1.4 grams, 34.0 mm, Glossy; triangular cross-section #Irghiz001: $30
2.2 grams, 25.9 mm, Twisted freeform! #Irghiz002: $sold
2.3 grams,30.6 mm, One of the best Irghizite teardrops ever!  

1.4 grams, 33.1 mm, Flat, bladed drop  #Irghiz004: $45sold
1.5 grams, 35.8 mm, matte; Elbow  #Irghiz005: $40
1.7 grams, 30.7 mm, Glossy, textured teardrop  #Irghiz006: $30sold
2.6 grams, 35.1 mm. Glossy, great features.  #Irghiz007: $42SOLD
2.4 grams, 44.5 mm, Glossy, classic twisted ribbon!  #Irghiz008: $40SOLD
1.8 grams, 26.2 mm, Ear-shaped, twisted blade drop.  #Irghiz009: $34sold
2.7 grams, 28.4 mm, Split blade  #Irghiz010: $25SOLD
1.8 grams, 35.1 mm, Beaded rope, not tear.  #Irghiz011: $23sold
1.5 grams, 36.6 mm, Complete, no breaks, both ends bulbous!  #Irghiz012: $35sold
1.3 grams, 24.6 mm, FABULOUS Specimen!  #Irghiz013: $Sold
2.0 grams, 28.1 mm, and another!!!!!  #Irghiz014: $100Sold
1.1 grams, 23.2 mm, Whoa! Amazing piece! #Irghiz015: $65 sold
0.8 grams, 30.0 mm, Super glossy, twisted beaded ribbon. A classic Irghizite. #Irghiz016: $45 Sold
1.1 grams, 24.2 mm, Highly sculpted black chewing-gum. #Irghiz017: $35 
1.2 grams, 19.8 mm, great folded "V" #Irghiz018: $30 SOLD
0.9 grams, 19.7 mm, Matte finish boomerang #Irghiz019: $35 SOLD
0.8 grams, 22.0 mm, Superb splatter-form! #Irghiz020: $45 
0.7 grams, 21.1 mm, a cosmic seahorse! #Irghiz021: $25
0.8 grams, 20.1 mm, GREAT double-tailed teardrop!  #Irghiz022: $70SOLD
0.8 grams, 26.4 mm, Super glossy, cute twisted tail.  #Irghiz023: $30
0.7 grams, 18.4 mm, The picture says it all!  #Irghiz024: $55sold
0.7 grams, 23.5 mm, Sweet twisted ribbon/drop  #Irghiz025: $25
0.7 grams, 17.0 mm, Extreme gloss, more character than the picture shows---  #Irghiz026: $20sold
0.8 grams, 31.4 mm, Classic, spindle-shaped twisted-ribbon!  #Irghiz027: $25sold
0.5 grams, 24.0 mm, Cool branching form!  #Irghiz028: $30
0.7 grams, 26.3 mm, Graceful, twisted curl  #Irghiz029: $25
0.6 grams, 19.5 mm, Stop the press! Too good to sell!  #Irghiz030: $40sold
1.2 grams, 29.4 mm, Great, typical rope.  #Irghiz031: $20
0.8 grams, 16.8 mm, Sweet! #Irghiz032: $20 
0.8 grams, 18.8 mm, Horse-head! (Loch Ness Monster??) #Irghiz 033: $25 sold
0.8 grams, 19.9 mm , Beaded Teardrop! #irghiz034: $30 sold
0.4 grams, 16.9 mm, Branched, two bulbous terminations.  #Irghiz035: $25
0.5 grams, 17.2 mm. Tight fish-hook! Nice!  #Irghiz036: $40
1.2 grams, 32.2 mm, Complete!, Squarish- nosed teardrop-- #Irghiz037: $38 sold
0.5 grams, 28.1 mm, Waaay cool, just like the image!  #Irghiz038: $30sold
1.2 grams, 30.0 mm, Triangular to bifaced cross-section. Ropy. #Irghiz039: $25 
1.1 grams, 21.7 mm, Great 180-degree twist!  #Irghiz040: $28SOLD
1.5 grams, 28.5 mm, Double-tailed drop with one short tail. Superb!  #Irghiz041: $sold
3.2 grams, 38.6 mm. BIG twisted rope!  #Irghiz042: $sold
2.8 grams, 37.0 mm, Another BIG twisted rope #Irghiz043: $39 SOLD
1.9 grams, 34.8 mm, Somewhere in between rope and ribbon--- #Irghiz044: $35 SOLD
2.2 grams, 28.1 mm, Nice twisted "S"  #Irghiz045: $28SOLD
2.5 grams, 26.2 mm. Big, well-featured ear-lobe! #Irghiz046: $40sold
1.1 grams, 31.2 mm, Sweet, glossy bow.  Irghiz047: $27
1.5 grams, 28.1 mm, Heavily-textured rope. Irghiz048: $25 sold
0.8 grams, 18.0 mm, Prongs every whichaway! Irghiz049: $20 sold
1.0 grams, 19.8 mm, Gorgeous curled blade  Irghiz050: $20

Bigger isn't always better. Irghizites tend to run very small anyway, and some of these tiny ones are amazing! Here is a selection of some of the most aesthetic tiny Irghizites in our inventory.

A1   #Irghiz051: $10sold
A2    #Irghiz052: $10
A3  golf-club teardrop  #Irghiz053: $18
A4    #Irghiz054: $8
A5    #Irghiz055: $8
A6    #Irghiz056: $9SOLD
B1    #Irghiz057: $10Sold
B2  aesthetic curled ribbon  #Irghiz058: $15sold
B3    #Irghiz059: $12Sold
B4    #Irghiz060: Sold
B5   #Irghiz061 : $7sold
B6    #Irghiz062: Sold
C1    #Irghiz063: $8sold
C2  Jumping trout!  #Irghiz064: Sold
C3  full circle  #Irghiz065: $45 sold
C4  needle-sharp  #Irghiz066: $8sold
C5    #Irghiz067: $5
C6    #Irghiz068: $6SOLD
D1    #Irghiz069: $10sold
D2    #Irghiz070: $5
D3    #Irghiz071: Sold
D4    #Irghiz072: Sold
D5    #Irghiz073: $5sold
D6    #Irghiz074: Sold
E1    #Irghiz075: $8sold
E2  teardrop  #Irghiz076: $8sold
E3  teardrop  #Irghiz077: Sold
E4    #Irghiz078:Sold
E5    #Irghiz079: $15
E6    #Irghiz080: $8sold
F1    #Irghiz081: $6Sold
F2    #Irghiz082: $6
F3   #Irghiz083: $6Sold
F4    #Irghiz084: Sold
F5  Flat teardrop  #Irghiz085: Sold
F6    #Irghiz086: Sold
G5    #Irghiz087: sold

Our inventory includes another 300 specimens, mostly of lower grade than those above, that are not shown. We also have non-descript bits that would be appropriate for destructive analytical techniques. Ask. (Please don't grind up any specimen-quality material!)

Zhamanshin Glass Slabs. Flow-banded dark olive brown with greenish tints.

Zhamanshinites are somewhat analogous to Muong Nong-type indochinites, being layered, flow banded, vesiculated, and less homogenous than Irghizites. Both Irghizites and Zhamanshinites are impact products found in the same 13.5 km diameter crater dated at about 1.1 million years.

67.6 gms $75 sorry for thw washed out color. These are all brown with greenish hints.
25.6 gms $30
21.9 gms end-cut, one natural surface. $40 On Hold
7.2 gms $15Sold
4.4 gms $10
4.3 gms $10Sold
4.2 gms $10 Sold
4.0 gms (a) $10
4.0 gms (b) $10SOLD

Close this page to return to the home page of