Collection: Petrified Wood

What is Petrified Wood?

Preservation of fossils is one of those fascinating processes that help decipher Earth’s history, and are simply fun to add to your rock collection! Our specimen is from Eden Valley, a well known collecting locale in Wyoming. The colors of the wood here are mainly browns but have impressively preserved the organic texture.

Research has shown the petrified wood in this area is from the Eocene, ~50 million years ago. The wood was preserved in a shallow “algae growing” lake and some pieces have algae casts around the wood pieces. This oxygen-poor environment preserved the organic material and allowed the wood to become a part of the rock record. Later, fluids rich in silica replaced most of the organic material and filled in any voids with chalcedony.

One of the favorite parts of choosing this fossil is who collected the specimen. I met Jack Sliemer from the Moss Rock Shop at the Colorado Mineral and Fossil Show in April 2018. A seasoned prospector and mineral collector, Jack is well known in the Denver area where he has lived for all but 6 months of his life. His famous postcards announcing his semi-annual sale show his charismatic and whimsical personality. I'm sharing an old post card featuring the Eden Valley petrified wood he collected many years ago. Please note, petrified wood and Jack are not actual size!

Under the Microscope

The earthy color palette of yellow to brown accentuate the linear texture preserved from the wood. Using plane-polarized light, the iron content and relict organic material show the variable growth history of this specimen. Display your love of trees and fossils by wearing one of our ‘Madera’ products!