Icosahedrite is the first known naturally occurring quasicrystal. It has the composition Al63Cu24Fe13 and is a mineral approved by the International Mineralogical Association Its discovery followed a 10-year-long systematic search by an international team of scientists led by Luca Bindi to find the first natural quasicrystal.
It occurs as tiny grains in a small sample labelled "khatyrkite " (catalog number 46407/G, housed in The Museum of Natural History, University of Florence , Italy), collected from an outcrop of weathered serpentinite in the Khatyrka ultramafic zone of the Koryak-Kamchatka area, Koryak Mountains , Russia. The rock sample also contains spinel , forsterite, corundum, cupalite and an unnamed AlCuFe alloy. Evidence shows that the sample is actually extraterrestrial in origin, delivered to the Earth by a CV3 carbonaceous chondrite asteroid that dates back 4.5 Gya A geological expedition has identified the exact place of the original discovery and found more specimens of the meteorite. The same Al-Cu-Fe quasicrystal phase had previously been created in the laboratory by Japanese experimental metallurgists
The concept of quasicrystals — along with the term — was first introduced in 1984 by Steinhardt and Dov Levine, both then at the University of Pennsylvania. The first synthetic quasicrystal, a combination of aluminium and manganese, was reported in 1984 by Israeli materials scientist Dan Shechtman and colleagues at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, a finding for which Shechtman won the 2011 Nobel Prize.