Written By Aubrey Whymark 2007-2017
Peter Simmonds, from Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, is a keen collector of tektites. He has over 6000 australites in his collection including 11 buttons - Peter reports that it took him 17 years between finding his first 4 flanged buttons and his next 7! This shows just how rare the perfect button is. Most of Peters tektites come from the N. E. goldfields, 200 kms from Kalgoorlie.

Peter was close friends with the late Bill Cleverly, whose valuable work will live on for a long time! He also has the Bill Cleverly collection of photos - many thousands.


Western Australian buttons travelled around 5,400 km from the site of impact. The flanges on WA buttons are typically thinner than those from South Australia, which travelled around 1,000 km further.
ABOVE:  A flanged button.  Peter found it in 2006 on Menangina Station, Western Australia. Weight 4.1g, Diameter 21 mm. Image copyright of Peter Simmonds.
ABOVE:  A flanged button, 4.3g, 22mm diameter, found at William Creek, South Australia.
ABOVE:  A 4.8g flanged narrow oval from Mt Remarkable Station, Western Australia.
ABOVE:  A 16.7g dumbbell core from Glenorn Station, Western Australia.
ABOVE: This is a detached flange with a 20mm diameter. It was found at Glenorn Station, Western Australia. Many people find these highly collectable, as they are extremely rare - usually the flange breaks into two or more pieces.

Anda-type sculpture

Radiating Anda-type scupture is usually located on the primary posterior surface. It is commonly associated with an alkaline water environment of deposition in which the silica network is attacked, enlarging pre-existing cracks.
ABOVE:  This is a 103.73g broad oval core from Glenorn Station in Western Australia. This specimen is remarkable in two senses. Firstly, it is very rare to find Australites of this size. Secondly the sigmoidal V-groove sculpture on the posterior surface is exquisite. This sculpture is essentially the same as 'Anda-type' sculpture. It predominantly forms on the primary surface (posterior of the specimen). In Cleverly, 1986 (one of my favourite papers!), you can see many more images of this type of sculpture. This is what Cleverly says in his 1986 paper:

'In the writer's opinion, V-grooves and most other minor sculptural features are the result of terrestrial processes but their nature and location may be guided by residual strains from earlier events. V-grooves resemble tension cracks and are occasionally sigmoidal but their development could be aided by chemical or biochemical dissolution of glass allowing grooves to gape as they were deepened. If residual strains do indeed concentrate the attack, then at least two sources of residual strain would be involved - the primary solidification for grooves on the posterior surfaces and the aerodynamic re-heating for grooves on the anterior surface of flight. For grooves on the anterior surfaces of cores it would be necessary to postulate the retention of weakly strained glass after loss of stress shell: however, U-grooves are more usual upon such surfaces (Chapman 1964: 849 and Fig. 6). Tension (or release) fractures would permit the surface to spread and the divided fractures would permit more immediate and localised extension. Such spreading is understandable for the posterior (primary) surfaces of bodies which have cooled from the outside inward and then lost portion of the outer shell but the writer is unable to suggest why expansion of other types of surface should also be necessary.'