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Our featured specimen
Primitive conifer (Araucarioxylon)
Chinle Formation, Triassic
** Much of the Utah petrified wood is black and we tend to avoid most of it simply on the basis of aesthetics. However, every once in a while a piece comes along from a log that has terrific patterning -- and when we find those slabs, we jump on them and acquire them right away! This one is a fine example of the aesthetics that are possible when the dark black can be lightened to show contrasting areas of gray and tan. There are even some red and gold highlights in this specimen. But one of the most exciting features is those two knots (at the 6 and 8 o’clock positions about 2/3 of the distance between the center and periphery of the specimen.) We only very seldom see knots in Chinle-aged logs. Can’t say they are rare, but “scarce” would be an appropriate term. Those are the reasons why we love this slab - it has an exceptional presence that will make your other southern Utah specimens envious if they have to share their space with it in your display case!
The Araucariaceae Family dominated the Mesozoic Forests. In the case of the Chinle Formation, the forest was located in the subtropical latitudes with a mild climate and year round precipitation. That is the reason you see so few specimens with annual growth rings. Like the tropical and subtropical species today, those giant trees just kept growing and did not stop to rest (and thereby develop a growth ring). In the 220 million years that have passed since this tree was alive and well, the entire North American continent, including all of the Chinle formation, has migrated well north through the process now known as plate tectonics. It is wonderful to have a good story to go along with an aesthetic specimen!
9” x 7.5” on polished face, 5/8” thick slab $179
Primitive Conifer (Araucarioxylon)
Chinle Formation, Triassic
** Simply amazing color in this piece -- with the contrasting rusty orange and gray patterning, set off by a colorful and large fungal patch at the 3:30 position. This one has it all when it comes to color, aesthetics AND a reasonable size for shipping and display. We call this the “Goldilocks” size, not too little, not too big. Unusually good color, even for Arizona slabs!
5.75” x 4.5” on the polished face; 3/8” thick slab $75
Willow (Salix sp.)
Denver Formation, Dawson Member, Paleocene
East of Parker, Colorado
** Long called "Parker wood" by rockhounds, this material is widespread over the high plains of Eastern Colorado -- from Parker, Colorado, all the way out east to the border with Kansas. Included in this area is the tiny railroad hamlet of Agate, Colorado. Guess why the railroad stop was called "Agate"? Of course, the material was mostly just agate limb casts with very little to hint that it had started out as wood. The problem has always been finding representative specimens with good wood structure and a center pith along with nicely defined growth rings. Every once in a while, we find a specimen that meets our requirements (like this one) and we grab it! If you have been looking for a good representative specimen from this old rockhounding locality, jump on this one!
4.25" x 2.5" on the polished face; end cut 3/4" thick $80