Argentina

FJD ARG 28. Museum specimen. Patagonia, Argentina. Cerro Cuadrado, Jurassic conifer of the species Araucaria mirabilis. Rare full round log end of the same tree that produced the amazing, colorful cones. Beautiful exterior and overall mineralization. Excellent cell preservation, including actual bark. All natural, as found, but for the polished face. No filler – No glue. 57 by 70 mm mirror-polished face; up to 27 mm thick; five ounces. $75

FJD ARG 2 a

ABOVE: FJD ARG 2.  Museum specimen. Patagonia, Argentina. Cerro Cuadrado, Jurassic wood of the species Araucaria.  I don’t know what more you could ask for in a specimen of petrified wood – it has it all — amazing glassy coloring, well preserved cell structures, an amazing exterior with a weathered deep red/brown patina.  The quality of this piece is astounding. How much more rare is this than a perfect amethyst crystal of the same size? They are essentially the same mineral and this one has captured ancient life in a stunningly perfect specimen. In Petrified Wood on page 39. 10.5 cm tall; 12 by 10 cm mirror-polished face; five pounds and eleven ounces.  $8,500

ABOVE: FJD ARG 26. Museum specimenfrom my collection. Patagonia, Rio Negro, Argentina. Cretaceous cycadeoid. An excellent small specimen of the diamond patterned armor of a cycadeoid – one side is the au natural wind-polished side with a tight pattern of diamond frond bases. Polished on one side and one edge. Nice cell preservation. No glue – No filler. Five ounces; up to 22 mm thick with a mirror-polished face measuring 6 by 5 cm.  $70

ABOVE: ARG 78. Museum specimen. Patagonia, Argentina. Cerro Cuadrado, Jurassic conifer of the species Araucaria mirabilis. Full round branch end Araucaria from the same tree as produced the cones. Beautiful bark and overall mineralization – glassy.  I sometimes write of high grade mineralization with the quality of fine China – this is an example. I’ve had this stashed away for 20 years or more. 54 by 68 mm mirror-polished faces; up to 22 mm thick; 4.5 ounces. $35

ABOVE: SPECIAL CONE COLLECTION 10. Museum specimen. Patagonia, Argentina. Cerro Cuadrado, Jurassic cone of the species Araucaria mirabilis with attractive dark patina. This is a whole, uncut, au natural specimen and is nearly perfect. It has an attractive deep pink bronzy patina. It has a very pleasing shape and overall nice appearance and is very well silicified and complete. It’s a cool piece with character and gumption.  78 mm tall and 47 mm wide by 58 mm thick; ten ounces.  $1800

ABOVE: SPECIAL CONE COLLECTION 14. Museum specimen. Patagonia, Argentina. Cerro Cuadrado, Jurassic cone of the species Araucaria mirabilis with attractive tan patina. This is a whole, uncut, au natural specimen and is nearly perfect. It has an unusual shape which I believe is a cone that is not fully opened. I have only seen a few like this. Otherwise it’s all there and well preserved, caught in the act of unfolding like a fern. Awesome. Superior small cone.  62 mm tall and 42 mm wide by 45 mm thick; eight ounces.  $650

ABOVE: FJD ARG 12. Museum specimen. Patagonia, Argentina. Rio Negro Province “Cretaceous” agate wood of the species Araucaria, as sold to me by U. Dernbach in the old days. When I first got this it was a brand new find with just a few pieces and this was the year Argentina later banned all fossil export so this was the last of it to emerge. I am not confident about the estimation of age as Cretaceous. It really doesn’t look much like Cretaceous wood. It has great color and patterns with a large section of complex agate with a marvelous design, a section with borer evidence. Dense texture with a broad range of bright colors. Wood this amazing is normally associated with Jurassic, Triassic, or Tertiary deposits. It was prepared in Germany at Idar-Oberstein where agate polishing was invented and is a nice thick slice in the classic style. This is a really nice size specimen for a collection – 27 mm thick; polished face is 10 by 13 cm; weight is one pound and eight ounces. It is especially rare state of preservation for petrified wood– full round cut on both ends and polished on the top – the bottom is unpolished – no glue – no filler. (I cannot overemphasize enough the rarity of wood of this high of a grade with no glue – just all natural polished gem quality mineral.)  I included a full page spread on this newly discovered wood in Ancient Forests as page 200 – it has macro images of several specimens of this wood including this exact one (top left). This is the finest specimen I had of this extra rare type. It is also on page 147 of Ancient Forests. SOLD

ABOVE: FJD ARG 10. Museum specimen. Patagonia, Argentina. Rio Negro, Argentina. Cretaceous cycadeoid with cones. This is a prime specimen for the type – a thick, solid slice of the diamond patterned armor of a cycadeoid – one side is the au natural wind-polished side with a tight pattern of diamond frond bases. This one is a complete specimen round with no cut edges – only one large flat cut which is polished. Tight diamonds with nice cell preservation, including parts of two cones and a nice color combination of deep salmon and silver-gray – look at the large cone with the red eye in the silver-gray pattern of cone cells. Since it has the cones within the frond bases it is an extinct cycadeoid rather than true cycad. The preservation is superior. One pound and six ounces – up to 33 mm thick with a mirror-polished face measuring 11.5 by 9 cm.  $1,800

ABOVE: FJD ARG cone 1. Museum specimen. Patagonia, Argentina. Cerro Cuadrado, Jurassic cone of the species Araucaria but probably not mirabilis. These are far rarer than the usual Santa Cruz Province cone and are not well understood. They are seen enough to be sure they are a distinct variety, but whether they are a subspecies or a completely different species is unknown. They tend to be fractured but this one is not – it is perfect with attractive deep golden color, some red, and it is very glassy. This may be Araucaria elongata or a variety of cone that has been attacked by fungi. In any event, they are unusual and interesting cones and quite rare. The exteriors always look like this – kind of like a potato yet the exterior is hard. When we could still get Argentine cones, these showed up at a ratio of perhaps one to several hundreds of the usual variety.  It is about as perfect as you can get. No glue or fillers. Like glass with nice colors and within its depth we see nascent seeds. 94 by 52 mm mirror-polished faces; 47 mm thick together; twelve ounces.  $1250

ABOVE: FJD ARG 20. Museum specimen. Patagonia, Argentina. Cerro Cuadrado, Jurassic wood of the species Araucaria. Excellent long thin full round limb section with some of the most beautifully preserved wood structures imaginable. 82 mm tall; 32 by 37 mm mirror-polished face; nine ounces. SOLD

click here to see my trip to Argentina in 2009.