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. SOLD

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 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

FJD ARG 29. Museum specimen. Patagonia, Argentina. Cerro Cuadrado, Jurassic conifer of the species Araucaria mirabilis. Small, attractive, and rare full round branch of the same tree that produced the amazing, colorful cones. Complete branch section, as found on the exterior and cut and polished in two places, so that four surfaces are polished. Alluring golden tan. Beautiful exterior and amazing overall mineralization. I have seen many wood specimens but few, if any, with better cell preservation. Deeply translucent. No filler – No glue. 3.5 by 5 cm mirror-polished faces; overall 7 cm long; eight ounces. SOLD

Click for Argentina, page 2

click here to see my trip to Argentina in 2009.