Fragments of the meteorite were found in 1913 by gold diggers in Tuva near the Chinge River after which it is named. Eventually, Nikolay Chernevich, a mining engineer supervising the gold diggers, sent thirty pieces, the heaviest of which was 20.5 kilograms (45 lb) to the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg. Later expeditions have retrieved about 250 pieces with a total mass of 209.4 kilograms (462 lb).
No impact structure was found. Studies from the fluvial deposits in which the meteorites was found, estimate that it fell about 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. It burst during passage through the atmosphere, the pieces impacting on a glacier.
As of December 2012[update] pieces of Chinga meteorite were on sale for US$1 to 2/g.
^Farmer, Michael. "Chinga". Meteorites for Sale. Michael Farmer Meteorites. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
^BUCHNER, Elmar; SCHMIEDER, Martin; KURAT, Gero; BRANDSTÄTTER, Franz; KRAMAR, Utz; NTAFLOS, Theo; KRÖCHERT, Jörg (1 September 2012). "Buddha from space-An ancient object of art made of a Chinga iron meteorite fragment*". Meteoritics & Planetary Science47 (9): 1491–1501. doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2012.01409.x.