I thought this might be an araucaria or some other ancient conifer species when I first cut it, but after examining it under magnification it appears to be an even more interesting puzzle than I thought. I believe that it is a woodworthia (the most common species at this site) but it looks significantly different than most others I've cut. This one has particularly small spines and correspondingly small spike knots leading up to them. They are still there and still look similar to Woodworthia, but on a different scale that makes me wonder if it might not be a different subspecies of the tree. This one is much better agatized than most logs from this region and it produced a mirror perfect polish rarely seen from this forest. It's a thicker heel cut from the end of the log. On some of the slabs from this log there is a distinct serated pith (looks like a gear) which other amateurs have used to identify Dadoxylon but I'm not sure that's accurate and what I'm able to find in published literature on this incredible fossil forest is very limited. Whatever the fossil story, this is a beautifully prepared specimen with a fantastic polish! One of my all time favorites in a wonderful collector size specimen with nice agate density!
This round is from a larger log that still has the stellar rays emanating through the entire round from the spike knots this wood is identified from. In the last couple of years I've started seeing some really fascinating petrified wood coming into the US at the big import shows from Zimbabwe, Africa! The wood is typically green, brown and black and exceptionally well preserved on the exterior. The interior reminds me of a lot of the Utah wood in detail (i.e. it's hit and miss) but the best pieces show beautiful spike knots leading up to the spine bases that coat the exterior logs. You'd recognize these specimens anywhere as the logs are consistently the same colors inside and out, and the exterior is coated with an unmistakable pattern of spine scars. The wood grain itself varies in quality, but the best of these pieces show spike knots in cross section (they look like rays coming from the center of the log) and a good cut will show several of them.
This wood is quite unique and really a much more interesting fossil than most of the woodworthia we get here in the US. The green color is something you have to see in person to understand - it's not really comparable to any other petrified wood and it's difficult to get a representative photograph that really does the color justice. The wood has a reasonably high silica content so we're able to coax a nice polish out of the specimen.
This is one of the few complete rounds I was able to locate that really took a nice polish. If the timeless mystery of this piece isn't enough for you, then I'm certain the simple, natural, gemmy beauty of it will be. The colors are dark and subtle, and the wood grain is unique to this exotic species.
This round is cut from the END of a very solid log. It's really a nice piece, but what else would you expect from a business named "Sticks-in-Stones"?! We've applied all of our considerable lapidary skills to bring out a mirror finish and produce a specimen worthy of display in your own collection. You can also make out some of the spine scars on the edge of the slice.
This piece measures about 5 1/2" across the polished face and is a maximum of about 1.65" thick. Weight is 1.94 lbs. Stands sold separately.
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