NANTAN METEORITE Silver Coin 5$ Palau 2006

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These attractive coins from Palau commemorates the Natan meteorite fall recorded in the year 1516. This Proof coin was issue in legal tender in 2006.

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Country Palau
Year 2006
Face Value 5 Dollars
Metal Silver
Fineness (purity) 925/1000
Weight (g) 25
Diameter (mm) 38.61
Quality Proof
Mintage (pcs) 2.500
Certificate (COA) No
Presentation case (box) No
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The fall of the Nantan meteorite was recorded in the year 1516: "Its fall was witnessed in May of Jiajing 11th year, during the reign of the Chinese Emperor Zhengde. Stars fell from the northwest direction, five to six folds long, waving like snakes and dragons. They were as bright as lightning and disappeared in seconds".
So far almost all the iron meteorites in the world have been discovered although no one witnessed their fall. The Nantan is an exception. The Chinese people actually saw the star falling 490 years ago. No one paid attention to the historical record about the fallen stars at Nantan until 1958, when China was in need of a lot of steel to push the country. To modernize China a five-year plan called "Great Leap Forward" was announced. During this period, everyone was told to look for iron ore. Even cooking pots were melted in back yards to produce steel.
Some farmers at Nantan, mainly Yao minority, were lucky enough to keep their kitchen tools by finding some heavy Fe-rich rocks. Unfortunately, the "iron ore" would not melt at the backyard steel factory, which puzzled the farmers. They reported this to the government and scientists. Researchers arrived and proved the "iron ore" to be iron meteorites. More than ten minerals have been found in the Nantan meteorites, dominantly kamacite and taenite. Secondary they contain plessite, scheribersite, triolite, graphite, spherlite, sideroferrite, dyslytite, cliftonite, and lawrencite.

The coin obverse depicts a representation of the meteorite fall day, during summertime in May. The meteorite pieces as bright as lightning from sky while a farmer is working in the field.
The coin reverse depicts the Palau State Coat of Arms.