I've been trying to get a positive ID on this specimen for a couple of years but haven't found anything definitive. It's a beautiful and interesting hardwood with strong medullary rays in a very kinky pattern! There are similarities to everything from sycamore to alder, but it's not an exact match for any of the ones I have in my reference files. This piece also demonstrates the results of a simple, natural process to enhance the visibility of the wood grain. The slab was placed outside in direct sunlight for approximately 2 weeks to transform it as shown between the two photos. The first photo is the end result with the sun having gently brought out dark gray and blue shades from the jet black that show the wood grain much more clearly. You can continue this process yourself to reveal even more wood grain should you be inclined to try! There are chemical processes that do this as well, but the sunlight provides a more gentle and controlled bleaching process to help shed light on a mystery millions of years in the making!! This piece is very, very highly agatized and it took an incredible polish. It's a wonderfully sized, magnificent piece with a world class finish from one of the best petrified forests on the planet for choice, well preserved hardwoods!
Note: Last photo is a mate slab from same log, included here to show wood grain detail which is similar in this mate cut.
The Sweet Home petrified forest is located near the center of Oregon's Willamette valley. This forest covers more than 100 square miles and hosts some of the most diverse petrified wood deposits known anywhere in the world! One survey alone identified more than 60 distinct species of petrified wood in this vast deposit. It's not surprising to find a piece that isn't readily identifiable by this admitted amateur. This is a center cut from a short log that has a really appealing, antiquated shape. Sycamore is easily identified by the medullary rays that form like the spokes of a wheel running from the heart to the rind, and the other species that show these strong rays are usually quick to sort through, but this one has eluded identification. The visual effect looks like a large fanned out flower - it's absolutely beautiful. The picture doesn't come close to doing it justice, I promise! I guarantee the lucky winner of this exceptional specimen will be equally amazed and mystified!
If you're new to petrified wood collecting, sycamore is undeniably the king of the modern wood species for collectors. Nice strong rayed hardwoods are always a favorite among petrified wood collectors and any petrified wood with the wood grain so faithfully preserved is very uncommon! This complete round is a wonderful example of the flowing wood grain found in the gemmier deposits of this forest. It's been cut with a diamond saw and flat lapped to produce a mirror perfect polish. The detail captured and revealed through the highly polished surface are just immaculate. The rays are gorgeous, the agate is highly polished and the detail is easier to see in person than the photo suggests. It's a truly special find and we won't likely have a lot more so get a piece for your collection while it's available!
This slab measures about 10 3/4" x 9 5/8" across the polished face and is cut about 0.43" thick. Weight is about 3.24 lbs.
A nice, unique natural wonder collectible exclusively from Sticks-in-Stones Lapidary.
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