I've seen some amazing petrified wood come out of the many hidden deposits in the mountains and valleys of The Rockies, but I have never seen anything quite this striking before! This gorgeous fossil comes to us from an estate collection that was developed over the last three decades and represents a particularly high quality example of the types of petrified wood in circulation for collectors before even I had begun my rockshop! In fact this one appears to have passed from one estate previously as the tag list Bob Stayer as the original curator in the 70's. I only met Bob once, but he was the lapidary that inspired the design of my shop's equipment and one of the Northwest pioneers that helped develop the basic preparation techniques I still use in my shop! The finish on this specimen was undoubtedly achieved by Bob as it looks identical to my own work. This large, dramatic, thick cut specimen is a finely preserved hardwood that most closely resembles modern birch and aspen. The tight rings and twisting growth structure are exceptionally preserved as you can see from the microphoto. This is the first and only piece I've seen from Flaming Gorge, a truly spectacular high desert landscape that I visited once decades ago. The color pattern almost looks like flames in the finely detailed wood grain. The growth structure in the entire piece is very clear and shows semi-diffuse porous structure that make me believe this is birch, but the final ID will be left to the new owner! We've touched up the finish to meet our standards and now this is one gorgeous petrified wood round! A beautiful piece that can help round out a serious collection with an example specimen seldom seen anymore. The piece is flawless except for a couple of large flakes from fracture lines the cut on the back encountered but the slab is so thick they are of no consequence. Enjoy!!
NOTE: My identification conflicts with that of the original collector. This is not a terribly uncommon occurrence as the simple reality is that petrified wood is more often collected for beauty than science, even though it is uniquely situated to feed both pursuits. The original collector's tags and labels are left on the back for posterity and provenance. Jim was a visual collector that valued aesthetics, preparation and completeness above species diversity and he relied on the identification skills of vendors (which we all know varies considerably). I'm confident this is not jelutong as labeled and am including a microphoto of the growth structure to back my observations.
This is a truly amazing, beautifully prepared petrified wood specimen that has been cut and prepared with skill. This slab was part of the Jim Leicht estate collection. Jim lived in the foothills of Mt. Hood in Oregon. During his long collecting career he amassed not one but two world class petrified wood collections. His first collection he sold and donated in the late 20th century to focus his passion on spheres. But even his sphere collection filled with petrified wood and his tastes and interests shifted again to the pursuit of world class petrified wood collector pieces. This piece comes from that second collecting effort which itself spanned more than 30 years. I had the good privilege of knowing Jim and we'd trade from time to time for pieces neither of us could live without. This slab is one of the few pieces from that collection to finally make it back into circulation for a new collector to cherish. Jim collected petrified wood from all over the world but, like many, was particularly fond of the gem grade wood found in the Pacific Northwest. I visited Jim's collection a few times over the years and always admired the breadth of his incredible specimens. He was "old school" and much preferred to keep track of other collectors and collections with frequent phone calls, which proved to be an invaluable source of tips and leads not just for him, but for everyone fortunate enough to be on his call list! Those of us who knew him will miss his friendly, passionate view of both the hobby and those who participate in it. The bulk of his collection remains in the hands of another private collector who has asked me to assist with offering a few duplicates to balance the collection.
This is a nice, perfect petrified hardwood round found in a vast region that spans the Utah / Wyoming border. While the colors are rooted in the blacks and tans of other Wyoming sites, the species, color pattern and high degree of silicification make it unique among the many gorgeous pieces found in the state. I've never seen another from this location and I wouldn't expect to see one again. This is truly a rare chance at a petrified wood specimen collected roughly 1/2 century ago. It's a wonderful show piece that will really look great in any collection!
This complete, nicely shaped round was cut from the center of a solid log that doesn't appear to have any noticeable fractures. The tree rings are tight and well defined, and preserved in a dark black colored agate that really took a nice polish. The dark agate interior contrasts nicely with the rest of the slab. It has been cut with a diamond saw then sanded and polished to a mirror finish. The polish work on our pieces is one of the things that sets our petrified wood and other fine lapidary materials apart from our imitators and we've made sure this estate piece lives up to our expectations. We never compromise with any stone, deploying every trick known in the industry (and some that aren't) to coax the best possible luster from every stone! With any luck you'll win this one and get to see the difference for yourself. Good luck!
It measures about 11" x 8 1/4" across the mirror polished face and is slightly taper cut going from about 3/4" to 1" thick. Weight is 5.20 lbs.
A nice, unique natural wonder collectible exclusively from Sticks-in-Stones Lapidary. Stands available separately.
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