Argentina

FJD ARG unknown 1. Unknown possible fossil. Cretaceous; Allen Formation; Rio Negro Province; Patagonia. Just as found on the surface in the 90s. It’s wind-polished-smooth all around. I have no idea what it is. I’ve been tempted to cut it, but afraid to ruin a rare fossil, and it’s alluring as is. I am not convinced it’s of plant origin. The exterior reminds me of a hair under a microscope. But it also looks somewhat like a small palm tree, and the same formation produces fossil palm dates. But then it also looks like a stalagmite. 51 by 47 mm on thicker end; 121 mm long; fourteen ounces. Dense and hard. Any of you paleontologists or paleobotanists or geologists out there have an idea? Not for sale yet. I put this up about six months ago and have not received one reply.

ARG 82. Museum specimen. Patagonia, Argentina. Cerro Cuadrado, Jurassic conifer of the species Araucaria. Rare full round branch end section of Araucaria from the same tree that produced the cones. Attractive exterior and overall black mineralization. Glassy. One end natural. No filler – No glue. 35 by 40 mm mirror-polished face; 4 cm long; 2.8 ounces. $85

ARG 83. Museum specimen. Patagonia, Argentina. Cerro Quadrado, Jurassic conifer of the species Araucaria mirabilis. Rare specimen round branch end section of Araucaria from the same tree that produced the cones. Almost completely black and white yet deep patterned glassy tight growth rings. One end natural. No filler – No glue. 33 by 48 mm mirror-polished face; 72 mm long; six ounces. $85

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

FJD ARG 37. Museum specimen cone set. Two excellent specimens from Cerro Cuadrado, Patagonia, Argentina (that I’ve had stashed away for a quarter century). Jurassic cones of Araucaria and pararaucaria. They are both nice specimens in attractive condition. The Araucaria cone comprises about a quarter of a whole cone. It’s appealing and interesting all around with many seeds and a nicely patinaed exterior. The center core is beautifully gemmy. This cone is at the high end insofar as color and mineralization go. It’s was surface-collected and is somewhat wind and sand polished. (50 by 58 by 36 mm – 3.6 oz). The pararaucaria cone is complete and attractively patinaed (40 mm long – 1/3 oz). No glues or fillers. $250

FJD ARG 47. Museum specimen. Patagonia, Rio Negro, Argentina. Cretaceous cycadeoid armor section with cone. Back in the 90s I had visions of my older-self spending his golden years making bolo ties. With that in mind, I was always looking for great bolo prospects. Since I cut hundreds of pounds of Argentine cycadeoid, I had much great stuff to choose from. This is a piece that I cut and polished on top and on all edges. It has nice tight diamond frond bases and a full cycadeoid cone. Top cell preservation. No glue – No filler. (PS now a septuagenarian, I have zero interest in making bolo ties.) 1.4 ounces; 6 mm thick with a mirror-polished face measuring 1 by 48 mm.  $150

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click here to see my trip to Argentina in 2009.