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ROCKS!

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#41
Here's some pretty crystals: (please to click on the pics to see the high-res image)

These three are of Apophyllite, something you don't see too often.
And some Aragonite
A closeup of brown, sharp crystal Calcite:
This was a hard one to find in a reasonable (as in reasonably priced) specimen — is also my most expensive rock. It is called Crocoite:
And finally, these pretty little crystals called Diopside:

BF
 

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Some nice fossils Eric. And you found them, not like me who paid some else to find 'em for me. :D

BF
There's nothing wrong with buying fossils/minerals. I've purchased a few myself. It's only when I started to really amass a large collection of things I was finding that I realized if I buy less I won't accumulate so much. :)

Oh, and nice new specimens you just posted there. Great pics too. I am hoping for a day with good lighting this weekend to get some new pics.

Speaking of purchases, in the meantime here are pics of a few of my meteorite specimens.

Campo Del Cielo, Argentina. 4639 g (10.2 lbs). Iron/Nickel meteorite
CampoDelCielo4639g.jpg


A slice of a lunar meteorite from Dar al Gani, Sahara, Libya, Lunar Anorthositic Breccia meteorite
Meteorite-Lunar-DAG400-387mg-partslice-IMG_1675SS.jpg


A small (410 mg) individual martian meteorite from Tissint (Tata, Morocco), martian shergottite meteorite. Part of the group of meteorites that fell there on July 18, 2011.
Meteorite-MartianMeteorite-Tissint-410mg-IMG_1674S.jpg
 

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It is! I got a really good deal from a reputable dealer. It was funny when it came in the mail because they used a flat rate box that it barely fit in. I will try and get a pic with a size reference in the near future.
 

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There's always http://meteoritemarket.com/ ;)

In addition to the ones I posted above, I have a slice and a different individual specimen which are achondrites thought to have originated from asteroid Vesta, a small iron from Nantan China, a chondrite and a smaller iron from Canyon Diablo, AZ (the very distinct impact crater near Winslow, incidentally I managed to photograph that crater from a commercial airliner). Maybe I'll get a pic of that specimen and include my pic of the crater?
 

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When I was down at Meteor Crater, near Winslow Arizona in the 80s sometime (no meteorites for sale there) in a rock store at the rim I saw a complete fossilized skeleton of some large water beast. It was (if I recall correctly) about five or six feet long and they wanted some thousands of dollars for it. Things used to be for sale.

BF
 

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Another poor-quality scan from my ex-printer...my apology. From Europe:

748.JPG


Pieces at the top are lava from Mount Etna, eastern Sicily, the highest and most active volcano in Europe. Color varies depending on the composition of minerals such as iron and sulfur.

Piece at bottom left is marl from Scala dei Turchi, southwest Sicily. Marl is basically pulverized calcium-rich seashells cemented together with clay and silt. Marl has
the texture of hard chalk and is somewhat similar to limestone, but much softer with much smaller crystal size.

Pieces at bottom right are gneiss from the Bellinzona Valley, Confederation of Helvetica. Gneiss began its life here as granite, then transformed by extreme heat and/or pressure, the shiny specs are mica. There is a huge network of castles/fortresses/walls built from gneiss in this area that were built to protect a crucial trade route in this area during Medieval times.
 
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EricTheCat

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When I was down at Meteor Crater, near Winslow Arizona in the 80s sometime (no meteorites for sale there) in a rock store at the rim I saw a complete fossilized skeleton of some large water beast. It was (if I recall correctly) about five or six feet long and they wanted some thousands of dollars for it. Things used to be for sale.

BF
If you're ever in my general area I could point you to a pretty impressive fossil shop that also has rocks/minerals/meteorites. Probably nothing as large as you describe but they have some impressive things for sale and mostly for decent prices. Unfortunately I did not have time to visit the crater the 2 times I was in AZ. It was rather amazing that my attempt to book tickets at a time when the sun was in a good angle to photograph the crater if it happened to be visible from the plane and if I happened to be sitting on the correct side of the plane worked out perfectly.
By the way, a strange irony is that my meteorite from that crater in Arizona was ordered from a shop in Argentina while my 10.2 pound meteorite from Argentina was ordered from a shop in Arizona.

Another poor-quality scan from my ex-printer...my apology. From Europe:

View attachment 98254

Pieces at the top are lava from Mount Etna, eastern Sicily, the highest and most active volcano in Europe. Color varies depending on the composition of minerals such as iron and sulfur.

Piece at bottom left is marl from Scala dei Turchi, southwest Sicily. Marl is basically pulverized calcium-rich seashells cemented together with clay and silt. Marl has
the texture of hard chalk and is somewhat similar to limestone, but much softer with much smaller crystal size.

Pieces at bottom right are gneiss from the Bellinzona Valley, Confederation of Helvetica. Gneiss began its life here as granite, then transformed by extreme heat and/or pressure, the shiny specs are mica. There is a huge network of castles/fortresses/walls built from gneiss in this area that were built to protect a crucial trade route in this area during Medieval times.
Cool finds, Pyramid. Fun to see stuff I don't find around here. Thanks for sharing along with the information.
 

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Ah, the 57th state - now I understand.
Nice rocks, Pyramid, not because they're beautiful, but because their meaningful. I have pumice lava from fields in Idaho, big pieces of petrified wood , and obsidian flint from fields in Oregon that are useless to photograph because you cannot capture the essence of the object itself. I remember where many of my "finds" were found and they are sometimes they are like photographs of vacations and good times I had. Things were more affordable back when I first started collecting <sigh>.

BF
 

lumpOgold

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Hi ErictheCat! I have some good meteorite photos I'll have to dig up. This is a CV3 class meteorite from NWA (North West Africa for those that don't do meteorites), it was classified as NWA869, but I doubt that.


Seems like the worlds largest rock n gem show is going on this wk in Tucson Az......... View attachment 98138
That is a really fun week to be in Tucson! I always get down to Nogales also to see a dealer just across the border, he has tons of inexpensive crystals from the hills around there.
 

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Arizona is a good state for rocks. I've got a few from there alright.
Nice meteorite slice, Lumpy.

BF
 

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Hi ErictheCat! I have some good meteorite photos I'll have to dig up. This is a CV3 class meteorite from NWA (North West Africa for those that don't do meteorites), it was classified as NWA869, but I doubt that.
Thanks! For some reason I cannot view your image though. :/

Nice meteorite Bottom Feeder. Gotta love ones like that with distinct regmaglypts (the imprints).

I figured I would share my Canyon Diablo (AZ) meteorite along with one of my pics of the crater taken from the plane.

82.7 grams (about 2 inches long)
CanyonDiabloMeteorite82.7gS.jpg


Impact crater near Winslow, AZ.
MeteorCrater-04-12-2005b-crop2SSS.jpg


By the way, I'm really digging this thread if you can't tell. :)
 

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Pyrite (AKA Fools Gold) has a nice golden shine. This piece of Pyrite here weighs about ten pounds.
Notice all the nice cubic shapes of Pyrites. But it isn't always cubical:
But my most favorite piece of Pyrite is this 1½ inch cube:
Notice how flat and reflective the sides are - this is natural sunlight
View media item 543but look at this close up with strong lighting, it appears as if the face was engraved
View media item 542It's actually the crystal layering you can see in the small spectrum lighting I used
View media item 541View media item 540

BF
 

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#59
Lumpy, those are fine examples of "Picture rocks", very nice coloring, my only piece is kinda dull by comparison.


These are sedimentary rocks, Chalcedony, which are Tectosilicates. Pretty common chemical composition of Si02 (silicon dioxide) with contributions from various minerals to give color and banding and include Onyx, Sard, Agate, Jasper and a few others. One particular type of Agate, Moss Agate has very beautiful examples of cut slabs — does anyone have any of those?
I don't have many cut slabs in my collection, I focused mainly on natural crystals for my collecting (and the occasional fossil).

BF
 

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Eric, that out-the-airplane-window picture is cool. Did you see you managed to capture quite well the unusual shape of the crater E.g. a squared off shape.
Heh, kinda looks like a shot of a big rock dropped in the mud, eh?

Good photo,
BF
 

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First of all, nice pyrite! I really like that cube too.

One particular type of Agate, Moss Agate has very beautiful examples of cut slabs — does anyone have any of those?
I have quite a few moss agates that I have found, large and small. My largest agate find is a >10 pound moss agate. I have a number in the 1/2 to 1 pound range. Then I have a lot of really interesting smaller ones some that you can see right in to and see the very detailed moss patterns. I'll get some pics but I am afraid I missed my chance at good natural lighting today as I was running an antenna and by the time I finished and finally ate it is snowing. I prefer to take the pics outside for best results.

Eric, that out-the-airplane-window picture is cool. Did you see you managed to capture quite well the unusual shape of the crater E.g. a squared off shape.
Heh, kinda looks like a shot of a big rock dropped in the mud, eh?
Yeah I always though the square shape was odd. I wanted to see that crater since I was a teen when I saw a documentary that talked about it and Gene Shoemaker's work in determining it was an impact crater. (The very Shoemaker that co-discovered the comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 that crashed into Jupiter). I very much admired Gene Shoemaker and his enthusiasm, though never got a chance to meet him.
 

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Quartz is what most people think of when they think of crystals and it always was one of the easiest to find minerals in the shops. But lately Quartz has become crazy expensive. Could it be the influence of fantasy movies where the wizard has amulets made from quartz crystals? A crystal like this one mounted on the end of a “magic wand”:
I purchased this one in the eighties for about seven bucks, it would probably be $75.00 to buy today <sigh>.
Moar Quartz:
This here is a nice colorful combination of Quartz, Sulfur and Galena.
Here is Quartz crystals covering Malachite
And a Quartz crystal group coated with Tungsten (artificially)
True color on this Smokey Quartz cluster
Both of these specimens are cut and polished to display the threads of Rutial , hence the common name: Rutilated Quartz.

BF
 
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EricTheCat

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Quartz just might be my favorite mineral. I don't care if it's common, nice quartz crystals are awesome. Not to mention, it's always the key ingredient in agates. I am not much for jewelry but I wear a rutilated quartz necklace that my mom wrapped with silver.

So I took some pics today. I ran out of patience and took some inside (as the wind chill is -20). Since we're on the topic of quartz I will start there. :)

Here are a few chunks of crystalline smokey quartz. I have more around and my mom has some pieces too. I found the rock in our back yard when I was a kid. It looked like a pretty normal rock and I enjoyed breaking rocks open to see what the looked like inside. This one was almost entirely quartz like this on the inside (probably was a geode but I smashed it to pieces not knowing how easy it was going to break.
SmokeyQuartz-IMG_8899SSSS.jpg


Here are some specimens that I purchased. The 2 on the left are labradorite and the 2 on the right are smokey quartz. The labradorite slab I got so I can carve it into something someday (maybe a lizard). The crystal I got from a stand at a music festival for $30.
Labradorite-SmokeyQuartz-IMG_8894SSSS.jpg


Here are some agates I found with colored quartz in the center.
Agates-WithColoredQuartz-IMG_8902SSSS.jpg


Here are some agates I found with a hint of amethyst in the quartz.
Agates-WithAmethystIMG_8901SSSS.jpg


I have more, will try to pace myself a little. :)
 

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Nice, Eric. Those three agates in the third photo; did the two on the right result from a split stone? That is, are they left and right halves? They look like they would work well for eyes in my stained glass endeavors. I like the labradorite slab — looks like it would carve a good tiger.

I'm seeing more and more Quartz like the example you show in photo two, cut and polished to show the interior, rather than natural crystal shape of the raw, clear mineral.

BF
 

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I believe it is the natural crystal shape (maybe hard to tell from the angle) but it was cut at the bottom and ground/sanded polished at the very least. Generally I prefer raw but I really like that piece.

So here's that big meteorite with a size reference. Maybe bad lighting for this but you get the idea. It has a very strange shape to it as the 2nd photo hints.
Meteorite-10.2pound-IMG_8896SSSS.jpg

Meteorite-10.2pound-IMG_8897SSSS.jpg
 

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Here are some moss agates I have found. I have a couple other larger ones out in the garden under snow. I may just dig those out one of these days along with a couple very large jasper pieces I found.

This one would cut and slab nicely with intricate patterns of yellow and blueish gray and black moss patterns.
MossAgate-yellowpicture-IMG_8891SSSS.jpg


This is one and the next few are examples of these yellow moss agates I find
MossAgate-YellowMossy-IMG_8892SSSS.jpg


MossAgates-IMG_8910SSSS.jpg


MossAgates-IMG_8909SSSS.jpg


MossAgates-IMG_8908SSSS.jpg


The one on the right has a very strange texture/shape to it.
MossAgates-IMG_8907SSSS.jpg


MossAgates-IMG_8905SSSS.jpg


Here are a couple relatively opaque moss agates that would also cut and slap nicely. The funny looking detail in the upper left is my cat's nose. :)
MossAgates-IMG_8903SSSS.jpg


MossAgate-red-IMG_8889SSSS.jpg


MossAgate-purple-IMG_8890SSSS.jpg

Here is my largest moss agate find. It is around 11 pounds.
MossAgate-Big-IMG_8887SSSS.jpg
 

EricTheCat

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Those three agates in the third photo; did the two on the right result from a split stone? That is, are they left and right halves? They look like they would work well for eyes in my stained glass endeavors. I like the labradorite slab — looks like it would carve a good tiger.
Although they were found relatively close to each other they do not appear to be two halves in the sense that there are no fresh breaks where they would fit together. Sometimes, however, I suspect certain agates I find are from the same flow. For example, these orange and gray ones were found 50 miles apart from each other.

On left are two halves of an agate that had only a tiny hint of any banding before I cut it. I ground and surface polished the one on the right. When I look at them next to each other they seem like they must be related.
Agates-OrangeGray-IMG_8917SSSS.jpg
 

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Thanks, Hystckndle, I appreciate that. And to everyone else who comments on this thread, and the contributors; Thank you.

BF
 

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Say, Eric, have you ever been to the fossil fields and the agate fields in Oregon? A few of my minerals are from that area. Lots of local little rock shops on the back roads in little towns.

I don't do any rock cutting (although I might see if I can set up my tile cutter to do some small stuff) and all the time you need to invest in polishing to make things look purty, I just never got into it. That's a pretty big agate there, how you going to deal with it, cut it up?

Can't help but to be jealous about your ten pound meteorite, it's just the right size for display, and nice shape, too.

BF
 

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Say, Eric, have you ever been to the fossil fields and the agate fields in Oregon? A few of my minerals are from that area. Lots of local little rock shops on the back roads in little towns.

I don't do any rock cutting (although I might see if I can set up my tile cutter to do some small stuff) and all the time you need to invest in polishing to make things look purty, I just never got into it. That's a pretty big agate there, how you going to deal with it, cut it up?

Can't help but to be jealous about your ten pound meteorite, it's just the right size for display, and nice shape, too.

BF
I haven't been to Oregon. I have a good number of finds from my South Dakota trip last fall but other than that I have only a few things from other states. I tend to avoid travel in general. That said I am fairly certain I will get to South Dakota again in the fall and perhaps some Northern MN gravel pits this year.

Lapidary is very time consuming and I rarely get around to it. I can't do anything with the big one now but perhaps some day I will get a large saw. My rock saw is 6 inches, so at best I can slice up the ones that are a around 2.5 inches in thickness along the cut. Before any of that I have a lot of very good smaller material I can work with when I get the bug. If a rock looks nice enough without doing anything to it I will generally let it be other than a mineral oil bath to bring out detail.

I am glad you like the meteorite. They are a very fun thing to collect. It was dumb luck that I got such a good deal. I let anyone who wants to hold it so they can feel the weight. Of course, it is much heavier than it looks.
 

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Here are a few new angles on my favorite agate find.
Agate-.75pound-IMG_8878SSSS.jpg
Agate-.75pound-IMG_8879SSSS.jpg
Agate-.75pound-IMG_8881SSSS.jpg


A few more random nice agates (lower left, and 2nd from top left posted above).
Agates-2018-02-04-IMG_8874SSSS.jpg


I could bore you guys to death with agates. Here is a group photo of probably less than half of the agates I have found.
AgateCollection-IMG_8869SSSS.jpg


Here are some more petrified wood finds. Nothing too huge. It is considered rare around here but when you've covered as much ground as I have it slowly accumulates. :)
PetrifiedWood-IMG_8900SSSS.jpg
 

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A few little odds and ends here. I'm not any kind of expert on identifying just exactly what mineral some of my rocks are composed of, but I make the closest SWAG that I can. :D So if you see something that I have misidentified please send me a PM (don't embarrass me right here in the thread) and give me your opinion. Like this first one here I simply called "Green Heart" because of the shape of the green inclusion on the pink background.


And I know I already did Fluorites but here's a closeup of Fluorite Crystals on Stilbite


And a nice little example of Apatite
Selenite crystals (Gypsum)
A large Selenite Crystal

And some strange Copper infusion into Selenite - very fascinating under close in-person examination. This is one item that you have to hold in your hand to truly appreciate - photos do it little justice.

BF
 
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The rocks that I collect, usually natural, unpolished and uncut can sometimes be misleading to the novice collector. They can be (purposely) mislabeled, giving them a higher value, some can be dyed with some of the mineral uptaking the dye giving it a more vibrant color in previously dull areas or they can be heated to change the color of the entire mineral. Specimens of Amethyst (a quite common mineral) can be altered this way to appear to be Citrine, a more valuable mineral.

Citrine
Often the seller will note that the mineral has been altered, so it's not too much of a concern when shopping for rocks, but it's always "Buyer Beware"
Here is some Sulfur deposited on Calcite
And the measurement photo of the Argonite crystals I posted earlier
And some beautiful Black Mica on schist
Robin egg blue here with this Copper Sulfate Crystals on Calcite
And the ore they get Vanadium from so we can have tough steel; Vanadanite

Well, y'all tired of rocks, yet?
I'm gonna take a little rest. Be back next week with something different.

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Well, y'all tired of rocks, yet?
Not me. I can't wait for the snow to melt so I can go out and find me some rocks. In the mean time, here are some fossils from my collection.

Some of the kind of stuff I find in my yard. Pieces of coral on the left, 2 brachiopod fossils and the one on the right has crinoid stems in it.
YardFossils-Img_8920SSSS.jpg


Here is both sides of the brachiopod I have with both halves.
YardFossilBrachiopodImg_8923SSSS.jpg



YardFossilBrachiopod-Img_8924SSSS.jpg


Brachiopod in limestone
YardFossilBrachiopod-Img_8937SSSS.jpg


Crinoid stems in limestone.
YardFossilCrinoid-Img_8929SSSS.jpg


YardFossilCrinoid-Img_8930SSSS.jpg


Coral piece
YardFossilCoralImg_8935SSSS.jpg


Cephalopod that I incidentally dug up moving rock in the yard.
YardFossilCephalopod-Img_8938SSSS.jpg


YardFossilCephalopod-Img_8940SSSS.jpg


Here are some finds from South Dakota last fall. Snail fossil, jaw section of an oreodont and the 2 on the right are jaw section and tooth of an ancient sheep.
Fossils-SD2017Trip-Img_8954SSSS.jpg


These fossils were purchase and gifts

Fish upper left, ammonite lower left, trilobites on the right
FossilFishTrilobiteAmmonite-Img_8948SSSS.jpg


Trilobite
FossilTrilobite-Img_8949SSSS.jpg


Fish
FossilFish-Img_8951SSSS.jpg


Shrimp and shell
FossilShrimpAndShell-Img_8946SSSS.jpg


Closeup of the shrimp fossil
FossilShrimp-Img_8947SSSS.jpg


A polished piece of amber with a bug inside.
FossilAmberBug-Img_8952SSSS.jpg

FossilAmberBugC-Img_8952SSSS.jpg
 
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Lt Dan

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I have a few rocks, some artifacts, a few wife and I picked up over the years from our travels, no pictures. This is one of my favorite threads but has gotten to be the slowest thread to load due to all the great pictures. Thank you all for posting. :D
 

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Sorry Dan, that, of course is my fault with the high-res pictures. I tried to get around the thread load time by linking my albums to the thread instead of dropping them right in the thread but it didn't exactly help much. Take some pictures and post yer rocks, Dan. (PS: I noticed we're both the same age :D)

Eric, those fossils are cool. I especially like the shrimp. Seen lots of fish but very few shrimp. I'll gin up my fossil collection next week and display some of my acquisitions. I've tried to find a good, affordable Trilobite but have only a couple of second rate specimens. Amber, well Amber comes with it's own story now, doesn't it? We'll see.

BF
 
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Truly amazing specimins Eric.
How the heck can you tell that "rock' is a Cephalopod?
The ammonite is stunning...
Any idea of the age of the sheep?
 

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#79
Eric, those fossils are cool. I especially like the shrimp. Seen lots of fish but very few shrimp. I'll gin up my fossil collection next week and display some of my acquisitions. I've tried to find a good, affordable Trilobite but have only a couple of second rate specimens. Amber, well Amber comes with it's own story now, doesn't it? We'll see.
Thanks! Yeah I could not leave the fossil shop without that shrimp. It stood out to me as having so many intricate details. At the time, I was in to acquiring ocean related specimens because I had an aquarium at the time and also because the fossils you find around here are largely ocean creatures. The best trilobite I found was in an area I am not allowed to collect so I let it be, somewhere I have a slide photo of it. Other than that I've only found pieces of trilobites and nothing too good. Since I was a kid I have been fascinated with trilobites but couldn't tell you why.

Truly amazing specimins Eric.
How the heck can you tell that "rock' is a Cephalopod?
The ammonite is stunning...
Any idea of the age of the sheep?
Thanks! Hard to tell from the photo. There are segments along the length and the only fossil you find around here of similar size and segments are cephalopods. If you saw it in person, it is obvious from the shape something is there.
The sheep would be somewhere around 30 million years old based on what is likely to be found at the location I found it. There is a yellow-green patina that the older bones there have that allows you to distinguish them from the more modern bones you find around there.

I have a few rocks, some artifacts, a few wife and I picked up over the years from our travels, no pictures. This is one of my favorite threads but has gotten to be the slowest thread to load due to all the great pictures. Thank you all for posting. :D
It would be cool to see some pics if you can get some. If not, I wouldn't mind hearing more about what you have. I have a few artifact finds but nothing too great. I will post some pics at some point. More than anything I hope to find a real decent artifact over the next year.
 

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#80
Fossils! In America you can still find them yourself. But, as Eric has alluded to in the above post; you can find 'em but you can't take 'em. You need to know the laws (and rules) of the area that you're collecting in. As sir Irons can tell you, ya can't dig on the other guy's property without his OK. With that said I have some photos of some of the fossils that I have purchased (and a few I've found).

This is a matrix with a small bits of Ammonoid shell with a crystal structure of Natrolite on one side (kind of a slide from minerals to fossils)


And this is kind of a plain jane shell but interestingly worm eaten and colored


This is a Nautiloid Fossilized With Pyrites that has been cut in half

a close up

And a dull lookin little Brachiopod called a "Lamp Shell"


A nice little Gastropod in matrix

And, lastly, one of my "finds" a small fossilized shell. Looks pretty much like one you would find on the beach but where I found this while out camping in the mountains was a long way from any beach :D
Pretty dull, these fossils, eh?

BF