Agatized Petrified Wood
Location of mineral deposit: South Dakota, USA
Description: With a name derived from “petro”, the Greek word for stone, petrified wood formed when deceased trees were quickly buried in sediments, where the oxygen-poor environment prevented the decay typically experienced by dead matter on the surface. Over time, minerals in the fluids passing through the sediments deposit in the plant’s cells, eventually replacing them completely and preserving the plant’s structure in the process.
Perhaps the best known occurrence of petrified wood is at Petrified Forest National Park, where the trees are estimated to have lived during the late Triassic period, approximately 225 million years ago. Despite its resemblance to protected specimens from the Petrified Forest, this piece comes from privately owned land, making it possible to own a uniquely aesthetic piece of pre-history.
This piece comes mounted on a custom iron stand and displays a highly unusual agate rind. Whereas for the majority of petrified wood samples mineralization stops once the wood has been replaced, here silica continued to deposit in layers around the mineralized plant matter. The end result is the beautiful banding seen around the circumference of the piece, with additional quartz crystallization near the base.
Overall size of mineral specimen: 17 high x 11 wide x 2.5 deep centimeters
Price: $600 net (plus shipping)