fossil wood: Utah, USA
museum quality specimens for the collector
fossil wood: Utah, USA

A note regarding the wood from Nephi, Utah:

Dr. William Tidwell of Brigham Young University and Dr. E. M. V. Nambudiri of Nipissing University co-authored an excellent article about the Nephi location in the Canadian Journal of Botany which was published in 1998.  The focus of the article was the petrified palm wood from the Nephi area. The authors noted with some apparent consternation that their analysis of the palm wood from the location was especially “significant because virtually all fossil palm remains at this locality have now been removed by amateur collectors. Thus, because of the lack of opportunity for further collecting, not only is this the first, but may well be the only species of Palmoxylon to be described from this site.” Drs. Tidwell and Nambudiri had twenty-four specimens to use in their analysis. They determined that all twenty-four were of the same species and that this was a previously unknown species of palm which they named Palmoxylon hebberttii.  They determined the geologic strata to be the Sage Valley Limestone Member of the Goldens Ranch Formation which they estimate to be no older than Lower Oligocene in age, making the wood approximately 33 million years old. Of course, I cannot say that these palm species are the same as that analyzed in the article.

The location is also discussed in: Rock & Gem, Petrified Palm Wood: A Collecting Challenge near Nephi, Utah by Frank Daniels, October 2013

Utah 191. Extremely rare Nephi, Utah large palm with fronds museum specimen. Nephi rounds are so rare as to be almost mythical and ones with actual fossilized fronds- even with preserved cambium layer -ASTOUNDING!  And to add to this that it’s a large near complete round with superior color and preservation, including some elusive burgundy palm, with attractive cell patterns and preservation complete to the fronds, indicating rapid internment of the stump.  A slice from this log appears in an article I wrote for Rock & Gem magazine (October 2013). In the article are a picture of the main stump of this tree and a picture one of the slices under longwave ultraviolet light – it really glows! This one has amazing fronds and nice colors and cell preservation. It is and is complete all around but for a chipped edge of about 8 cm. 37 by 31 cm mirror-polished face; 18 mm thick; six pounds and four ounces.  $450

FJD Utah 5. Museum Specimen from my collection. Rare Henry Mountain full round, unidentified. Unless you specialize in Henry Mountain wood you may not recognize the rarity of this type. It is found only in a small remote area of the desert near the Henry Mountains. It’s a full round beauty with incredible colors and patterns – under magnification it is amazing. The other half appears in Ancient Forests on page 283. 7 by 9 cm polished face; up to 33 mm thick; eleven ounces. $240

Utah 177. Museum specimen from my collection. Jurassic Henry Mountain cycad. This little cycad is solid and opalized. It is untouched. I cannot tell if it is just a little cycad or a hunk of a big one. I tend to think it is a chunk that comprises bracts and possibly cones.   11 cm long by 57 mm by 52 mm; 13 ounces.  $90

UTAH 153. Henry Mountain Jurassic full round branch end. 39 by 46 mm mirror-polished face; 34 mm long; 92 grams.  $28

UTAH 156. Museum quality. Henry Mountain Jurassic specimen round branch end with a lot of deep red and an attractive exterior. 25 by 46 mm mirror-polished face; 60 mm long; 134 grams.  $46

Utah 161. Museum specimen.  Full round limb end from the Henry Mountains. Jurassic. Interesting viney growth on exterior. 5 by 4 cm mirror polished face; 6.5 cm long; 7.5 ounces.  $55

UTAH 147. Museum specimen from my collection. Henry Mountain Jurassic full round log section cut on both ends and polished on the top. The defining point of this piece is the very rare color purple. Near flawless. 5.5 by 4.5 cm mirror-polished face; 3 to 2 cm thick; 105 grams.  $50

FJD Utah 14. Museum Specimen from my collection – Silver Creek, Park City, Utah. Thick full round slice of a beautiful wood from a rare locality. Beautiful, quartzy mineralization. Colorful and gnarly. 25 by 18 cm mirror-polished face; 27 mm thick; weight is four pounds and fourteen ounces.  $260

UTAH 208. Museum specimen. Colorful glassy specimen round Henry Mountain Jurassic log end with well-preserved yet dissolving cells. Beautiful condition — amazing under magnification. One side as found. 11.5 by 8 cm mirror-polished face; up to 3 cm thick; fourteen ounces. $65