Flanged Aussie Buttons!!!

Updated June 14, 2007

This is THE classic tektite morphology. These little beauties formed during atmospheric re-entry when spherical tektites melted on their leading surface and wavelets of molten glass migrated toward the back, collecting as a curled lip in the pressure eddy at the shoulder. Only a very narrow size range in the primary body was susceptible to flanged button formation. Larger stones exploded to form cores. Smaller stones either didn't form rims at all, or those that formed burned off. Of the small proportion that was just right to form flanges, most did not survive impact. Of the handful of survivors, most did not survive 780,000 years of abuse lying about on the suface.

With very few exceptions, this morphology is found only in Australia, probably due to the very long flight paths and full thickness atmospheric interaction that characterized this part of the Australasian strewn field.

There must be a few thousand known, maybe fewer. We've personally collected over 2000 Australites, and have never yet found a fully flanged button. They are very tough to come by, and lucky finders are always reluctant to part with them.

My stock is going fast. I've got feelers out all over for new specimens, but no luck. I'll keep trying, but these are getting VERY hard to obtain----

New November 2005, A fantastic half-button!

Nothing is buried in the cotton. That bottom edge in the top image IS the bottom edge---)

Why would you want a half-button? There ARE some good reasons.

1) they cost a lot less than a whole button

2) they show every aspect of a flanged button that you could see in a whole one

3) they offer a perfect cross-sectional view that could only be seen by cutting (
aaaAkk!!!!) a whole one.

As you can see in the top image, this one offers you a little more than half, so that, should you wish to, you could grind the broken face to perfect flatness and still have perfect halfness. I am very tempted to cut, polish, and lightly HF-etch this piece to produce an absolute museum quality study specimen. However, the broken face is already pretty flat, smooth, and glossy. It really doesn't need anything, although the HF-etch could be quite revealing

Everything else about this piece is totally flawless. It is a fully developed flanged button flying saucer without the slightest flaw (other than the halving---). On the broken face, you can readily see the curled flange joining the main body.

It was found in 2004 at the northern end of (dry) Lake Rebecca in Western Australia.

I actually am very reluctant to sell this piece at all for the very reasons stated above. But business is business. I'll let it go for
$500. SoldWeight: 2.3 gms. Front to back: 10.3mm. Complete diameter: 19.86mm. Halved diameter: 12.17 mm max, 11.19mm min.

Here's a brand new flawless flanged button! From Pine Dam, Australia.

2.3 gms
$1200 Sold. He who hesitates is lost.
same specimen, different viewsSold
same specimen, different viewsSold

This selection is from an old collection from South Australia, most likely from Lake Torrens and vicinity.

Sorry, ALL are now

See table below for details on remaining specimens in this image.

Click on the triple image strip on the left below for a larger view. Close the resulting window to return here.

Very nice oval button with flaring rims and great leading face ring-waves. 3.9 gms. Note minor chip on rim. A rare and exceptional piece! #AusButton3.9: $1350. Sold
Super sweet 2.1 gm button with moderate ring-waves. Classic form. Chip on flange. This size is approaching the lower limit for flange development and preservation. The desert sand could be easily cleaned, but I've left it for the buyer to decide. A great value, bargain-priced due to the chip. # AusButton 2.1: $850Sold
Another totally classic specimen with decent frontal ring-waves. Again, I've left the desert sand for you to clean if you choose to do so (easily done). 3.2 grams, deeply discounted for the glassy chip on the front side of the flange. #AusButton 3.2: $900 Sold
Here's an oddity! The slot visible in the image is not a fracture. It is a type of ablation feature commonly termed a "saw cut" (it isn't one obviously, that's just what it looks like). It appears it is somehow associated with a bubble pit on the frontal surface. On close inspection, it also looks like the rim was just about to separate from the central lense as they sometimes do. The outer edge of the flange is a bit ratty. There are some tiny vitreous chips, but most of this character is primary. 3.5 gms. #AusButton 3.5: $850 Sold
This is a HUGE 5.7 gram button with an exceptionally deep profile. Despite its somewhat irregular rim, it is flawless. The frontal surface is dimpled rather than ring-waved. Again, there is some sand that can easily be cleaned if you choose to do so. #AusButton 5.7: $1000.Sold
Questions, more images, or orders? email nlehrman@nvbell.net

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