To celebrate Earth Day, we want to share photos and information with you about some of our favorite wonders found on Earth – fossilized wood, amber, and much more straight from our own Bead Gallery bead store!
And speaking about fossils, it’s perfect timing because I just came back from the most wonderful Dinosaur Museum in Fukui, Japan (where I viewed the recently discovered Fukuisaurus and Fukuiraptor)! It was an amazing trip for my brain to connect that we are wearing things that are millions of years old, and it put a lot of things in perspective in terms of my lifespan and how I want to fill it – beads can really do that for ya! Along with their dinosaur exhibit, they had a wonderful rock and mineral exhibition – of which I shared on our Facebook Live below.
More About Ancient Beads!
All of the beads pictured below were handpicked by us and are in the store for you to stop in and touch, and enjoy!
Fossilized dinosaur bone beads are fascinating, as the appearance and dimensions of the mineral remain constant, but over millions of years the natural bone material was replaced by a material to become chalcedony, quartz, agate, or “gembone” in a process called permineralization! And for fun, google “coprolite” to find out more about dino poop! We have that too! Watch our super short video about 2 million year old Stegodon beads here!
Petrified wood is a fossil of wood which organic matter has been replaced by a mineral such as agate, bit by bit, as it decomposes. The wood structure is maintained, but the wood fibers are slowly changed into stone. The result is a fossil of the original woody material that often displays preserved details of the bark, wood, and cellular structures. Sometimes a jasper, quartz, pyrite or even opal (shown above) can be found fossilized in wood.
Petrified palm is another fossil, similar to fossilized wood. When the palm died many millions of years ago, it had an opportunity to be preserved as a fossil if it was quickly covered by water and sediments that would protect it from oxidation and destructive organisms. Over time, those sediments replaced the organic matter turning it into a fossil. The spongy rod-like spots are fascinating and amazing!
Amber is fossilized tree resin formed by millions of years of slow processing under heat and pressure. These specimen are typically 25 to 50 millions years old, but some pieces have been found that date back 130 millions years. Wow! This is one of the few gems where inclusions are more desireable and increase value. Find one with an a bug?? That’s amazing!!! The most common colors of amber is yellow and orange, with red and green being more rare colors.
Flint is a variety of quartz and sometimes is found under a wide variety of names, including chert, jasper, agate, and chalcedony. These gems polishes nicely and has a waxy finish. Flint was used to make tools in the Stone Age, and I finally put 2 and 2 together of my favorite childhood cartoon: The Flintstones! Fred worked in a quarry, LOL!!!
Fossilized coral is not to be mistaken for endangered coral or precious coral, as it’s structure is preserved in quartz. Specimen have a dull to waxy luster and interesting skeletal-like ancient coral patterns, most often appearing in flower shapes. They’re most commonly found as cabochon or set in that type of jewelry and considered an agatized “natural gem”. They come in a variety of colors: white, pink, red, black, brown, grey, and yellow.
Jet is an organic material composed of fossilized wood and is also found under the name lignite. Different from petrified wood, it is created by decaying wood under heat and pressure. A form of bituminous coal, jet can be polished to produce a waxy, velvety luster. It is a softer, low density stone with a hardness of 2.5-4 on the Moh scale.
Jet are gems kind to people in difficulty and fear and has a very calming energy. Healing grief is a primary purpose for jet in the emotional realm. It’s a lightweight gem in the hand, and grounding in the heart – very comforting and comfortable to wear.
Ammonites are fossilized ancient cephalopods (like squid, octopuses, and nautiluses). They are among the most widely known fossil. These creatures lived in the seas between 240 – 65 million years ago, when they became extinct along with the dinosaurs.
There are three basic patterns for ammonite septa or walls of the shell
- irregular zigzags called goniatite
- regular wavy called ceratite
- intricate feathery or fern like patterns called ammonite (see below)
Ammolite may be found on ammonites which inhabited a prehistoric, inland subtropical sea that bordered the Rocky Mountains. Ammolite is the term to describe the iridescence in some ammonite shells and is made by the same mineral that nacre is composed of. The glittering color is like a rainbow being shone off of a mirror – it’s amazing. This is a must-see in person!
Hope you’ve enjoyed our handpicked selection of the highest quality and premium stones that we can find for you, (and for us!)
Aloha & see you soon! Jamie