When I first cut this incredibly well preserved and most unusual petrified wood log it was unlike anything that I had never seen. While I have had the privilege of cutting and preparing fine specimens from all over the African continent, I'd never seen one like it from Madagascar - or anywhere else for that matter! The lobed growth structure and (squashed) hollow pith seemed to share a lot in common with Rhexoxylon and it was my strongest (albeit amateur) speculation that this is what it actually was. The growth structure is not quite the same as the Rhex I've offered from Zimbabwe as the structures nearest the pith are obscured in some slabs and it takes some time studying them to recognize the centripetal and centrifugal xylem (botanist language for those inward and outward growing petal shaped structures that ring the heart of every Rhexoxylon). But the the mirror petal like structure that characterize these ancient seed fern fossils is there, though the outer growth structure is very much more dominant in these and begin to make the trunks look like regular conifers save for that lobed growth ring structure. While not clearly visible on every slab, some of the slabs I cut from this log did show petal shaped growth structure with arcs oriented towards the pith (opposite of the out growth rings) and this is consistent with Rhex. Another discovery since then of a very large and very clear example of this fossil cemented the conclusion - it's really a Rhexoxylon from Madagascar!! On top of everything else, it's beautiful and very colorful and it took an incredible mirror finish to really bring both the color and fossil detail into clear focus. This is a very rare fossil for this forest as this was the first specimen of this type that I encountered in more than 20 metric tons of logs that I've cut and polished from this ancient, Triassic petrified forest! The best part is that it's not just finely preserved (which could aid in forml descriptions of this fine specimen) but it is also extremely colorful. Prepared with our unmatched lapidary polish, the specimen is absolutely gorgeous with a wet looking mirror perfect finish that really brings this exquisite gem fossil to life!
This gorgeous, absolutely choice petrified wood round is the latest in a series of really nice, very colorful rounds that we've cut from some nice, larger logs we imported directly from Madagascar a couple of years ago. I met a new miner several years back that brought some petrified logs in from this distant island nation and what he had was by far the best I'd seen in many, many years - enough so that I travelled there myself to select several tons of the nicest cutting material I'd ever seen from this distant fossil forest. Very nice, brilliantly colored logs hand selected for wood structure and eye appeal are now producing world class collector specimens that we're preparing with the finest mirror finish you've ever seen on petrified wood. This slab is among the first produced from this log and the color really is remarkable!
In this case, I cut a medium sized, short log to produce some of the nicest and absolutely rarest collectible Madagascar rounds you'll see! Since I'm the one that cut it, I was able to apply some of the craftsmanship I've learned over the years to avoid problems with flaked out fracture lines that are common in the imported specimens. I've also polished it to a much higher quality lustre than you find on the imported varieties. Even if you already have Madagascar wood in your collection, you owe it to yourself to see how nice these ancient treasures can be when properly prepared! This wood takes an extreme polish that looks just fabulous. It has a ton of detail and some of the nicest colors I've ever seen in petrified wood (and considering what we usually have on hand this is saying a lot). The starburst interior is nicely accented with a huge variety of colors all swirled with other natural tones that preserved the fibrous wood cell structure from this ancient tree fossil very well. The heart is clearly visible and there are some crystal filled cavities that penetrate the surface. It's a striking Madagascar wood round sure to enhance any collection!
This is a complete round cut from the center of a nice sized log. It shows the distinct structure of a yet to be identified fossil - but if I do learn of a credible ID, then I will update future listings so watch here for updates. This stone has been professionally polished on a special lap that produces a flat face and a mirror perfect shine. It is a full slab cut from the center of the log. The polish really is liquid perfect - a difference in the quality products Sticks-in-Stones has built its reputation on!
It's also quite large - it measures about 8 7/8" x 4 7/8" across the mirror polished face. It's cut about 3/8" thick. Weight is 1.14 lbs.
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