No rock and mineral collection should be without a piece of petrified wood. This curious mineral looks like a slice of wood but is actually stone. In fact the word 'petrifaction' which is the geological process that takes place in order for the organic matter to be transformed into stone, comes from Greek for 'wood turned into stone'.
The transformation can take place over thousands but more likely millions of years. Although sometimes believed the organic matter is what turned into stone, that's not quite accurate. As ancient trees fell many were covered by volcanic ash or sediment which starved them of oxygen. This prevented decay from setting in which preserved the organic material. As groundwater flowed, dissolved minerals began seeping into the buried organic matter. As the water dried up the minerals crystallised which created a cast. Although most of the original organic matter decomposed, cell walls often remained in tact and surrounded the newly formed crystals.
The light colour and subtle markings in this polished petrified wood slice makes it a particularly eye catching piece. Although this mineral is sometimes used as a coaster, we do not recommend using this stone for that purpose.