We made an amazing find this year and are very excited to be able to share it. This incredible fossil is a Cleoniceras besairei ammonite from Madagascar. The deposit these fossils are found in is thought to be about 150 million years old. The creatures grew remarkably fast and would add several segments per year, with each segment delineated by the flowery suture growth pattern you now see in this carefully prepared specimen. I'd seen these incredible fossils before as one of the species that is often polished just below the shell to reveal an incredible play of opal like iridescent fire. But the artisan that prepared this fossil had a very different vision for how to show off these natural wonders from time long forgotten. The more common polished fossils sometimes show the sutures here and there below the outer shell, but it takes a lot of delicate work to reveal the pattern over the entire fossil like this! Look closely on this one and you'll see the dark ring of the siphuncle (venter) around the outer rim. This tube connected the chambers and by moving water in and out of them the ammonite could raise and lower it's cruising depth in the water column like a submarine does. What I'd never seen until very recently was the careful cleaning of the end of the chamber to reveal the edge of the sutures in their full 3-dimensional glory! It's an incredibly impressive fossil at a very affordable price for such a nice sized specimen. I added a few to my own collection and picked up a few extra to share here with our fellow rock and fossil lovers. Enjoy!!
We had a great year at the wholesale shows this year and without a doubt, one of the best new contacts I made was with an importer who brought in a few flats of absolutely choice ammonites from Madagascar. Ammonites as fossil sea treasures are prizes in their own right, and larger ones like these are really marvels to behold, but this particular variety is really special because the creature was so well preserved that grinding and polishing the surface reveals an almost miraculous pattern of suture lines presented in absolutely stunning, flowery detail! The gemmy iridescent red (opal like color play in the stone) is only visible in a spot or two on most of these specimens if indeed any is there at all - this color is actually from the shell in the layer above the sutured chambers. A truly ancient fossil that looks as fascinating as it really is! It's a tremendous prize that will look exquisite in your own home or office and is more than durable enough to withstand normal handling.I've admired these fine specimens for years, but the prices were always out of reach for my own collection. I thought the quality and price came together with this fellows imports however and with the added touch of the new artist preparing them so perfectly I couldn't resist! I purchased some extra ones to share here on eBay. I touched up the polish on my buffers where I thought they needed it, but few did. The quality of work in this pieces was by far and away the best I've ever seen come out of Madagascar. Ammonites of this quality in these larger sizes are relatively rare. I'd seen some for several hundred bucks, some even over $1,000. It's quite showy and really an amazing fossil treasure with great heft and a smooth, polished gemstone feel in your hand. These were all fairly large ammonites and this is one of my largest. Every one I selected was virtually perfect. This one measures just about 4.5" high and weighs about 0.70 lbs. You won't find it's equal - I'm certain! Sticks-in-Stones Lapidary is happily providing UPS shipping to greatly reduce shipping charges on large rock orders. We will combine auction items or provide additional items from our shop to bring you the greatest possible value in fine Lapidary & stone collectibles!