Buy Real Fossils: A Guide for Collectors and Enthusiasts
Fossils are the preserved remains or impressions of ancient organisms that lived millions of years ago. They are fascinating windows into the past, revealing the diversity and evolution of life on Earth. Fossils can also be valuable and rare, making them sought-after items for collectors and enthusiasts.
If you are interested in buying real fossils, you may wonder where to find them, how to identify them, and how to avoid fakes and scams. In this article, we will provide you with some tips and resources to help you buy real fossils with confidence and satisfaction.
Where to Buy Real Fossils
There are many places where you can buy real fossils, both online and offline. Some of the most common sources are:
- Fossil shops: These are specialized stores that sell fossils and other natural history items. They usually have a wide selection of fossils from different locations, periods, and types. You can browse their inventory in person or online, and ask questions to the staff or owner. Fossil shops are a good option if you want to see and touch the fossils before buying them, or if you need expert advice.
- Fossil shows: These are events where fossil dealers and collectors gather to display and sell their fossils. They are usually held annually or biannually in different cities or regions. Fossil shows are a great opportunity to find rare and unique fossils, as well as to meet other fossil enthusiasts and learn from them. You can also negotiate prices and deals with the sellers.
- Fossil auctions: These are online or live events where fossils are sold to the highest bidder. They often feature high-quality and expensive fossils, such as dinosaur bones, mammoth tusks, or meteorites. Fossil auctions are ideal if you are looking for something special or exclusive, or if you have a large budget. However, you should be careful about the authenticity and legality of the fossils, as well as the reputation and credibility of the auction house.
- Fossil websites: These are online platforms that sell fossils directly to customers. They may be run by individual sellers, fossil shops, or fossil clubs. Fossil websites offer convenience and variety, as you can shop from anywhere and anytime. You can also compare prices and reviews from different sellers. However, you should also be wary of fake or mislabeled fossils, as well as shipping and handling costs.
How to Identify Real Fossils
One of the challenges of buying real fossils is to distinguish them from fake or altered ones. Some unscrupulous sellers may try to deceive buyers by selling artificial or enhanced fossils that look like real ones. Some of the signs that a fossil may be fake or altered are:
- Too perfect: If a fossil looks too complete, symmetrical, or detailed, it may be a sign that it has been fabricated or restored. Natural fossils often have cracks, breaks, or missing parts due to the fossilization process and erosion.
- Too cheap: If a fossil is priced too low compared to similar ones on the market, it may be a sign that it is not genuine or not of good quality. Rare and valuable fossils usually have high prices due to their scarcity and demand.
- Too heavy: If a fossil feels too heavy for its size, it may be a sign that it has been filled or coated with resin, plaster, or metal. Real fossils are usually lighter than their original material because they have been replaced by minerals over time.
- Too shiny: If a fossil has a glossy or metallic surface, it may be a sign that it has been polished or painted to enhance its appearance. Real fossils usually have a dull or matte finish due to their age and exposure.
To identify real fossils, you should also use your senses of sight, touch, smell, and taste. You should look for features such as texture, color, shape, and pattern that match the type of fossil you are buying. You should feel for roughness, hardness, and weight that indicate mineralization. You should smell for odors such as vinegar or ammonia that indicate chemical treatments. You should taste for saltiness or bitterness that indicate contamination.
Additionally, you should