Large and Highly Polished Fossilized Wood
Large and beautifully polished fossilized wood stone from South Africa. This impressive natural mineral weighs in at over 2½ kgs and boasts wonderful colour and incredible detail. Sadly our photos really don't reflect the true beauty of this piece.
Fossilized wood also known as petrified wood can often be a virtual replica of the original organic matter which having been through the process of petrifaction transformed into stone. The word which comes from Ancient Greek literally means "wood turned into stone". Each piece of fossilized wood is completely unique and so much of the original detail including ring patterns can often be seen. Colours where present tend to have been caused by minerals which replaced the organic matter. This popular mineral which can date back more than two hundred million years is Mother Nature's way of preserving the past.
The process of petrifaction begins when ancient trees uprooted by floods fall and are quickly covered by sediment including mud, sand or volcanic ash. Once covered the tree is initially starved of oxygen which prevents decay by fungi and bacteria. As the layers of sediment build up minerals dissolved in water seep into the trunk and when decay finally sets in the minerals replace the organic matter as it rots away although the original cell structure usually remains intact. When the water dries up the minerals then crystallise and harden but the entire process takes thousands of years.
In and around the holes in this large piece of fossilized wood are an abundance of quartz crystals which sparkle incessantly as they catch the light. Sadly we have not been able to capture this in our photo.
This natural stone which came from South Africa was carefully chosen by one of our team.
Weight (grams) : 2540
Size (cms) : 29.5 x 26.7 x 1.7