with Seed Ferns - White fronds on black shale excavated
from St. Clair, Pennsylvania. (B003)
Alethopteris, Neuropteris, Pecopteris, Sphenophyllum,
or Pottsville Formation
Period, Approximately 300-320 million years ago (according to most
These beautiful seed fern slabs came from the famous St.
Clair, Pennsylvania fossil site. Specimens from this site
are unique in the world in that the fern compressions are
white to yellowish orange color instead of the black or
brown of fern fossils from other sites. The slabs may show
different fern genera: Alethopteris, Neuropteris,
Pecopteris, and Sphenophyllum, etc. They are of
Pennsylvanian age, far older than the oldest dinosaurs! The plants are of the
type that compresses into coal, which is mined nearby.
The fossil are impressions, the white color is entirely
natural and unique to this site. The site has been
reclaimed, so few opportunities remain to acquire nice
specimens like these from this renowned locality. Notice most slabs have
nice ferns on the reverse, "down" sides as
Believe it or not, the white colors are natural! It is this exceptional
state of preservation that gives the St. Clair,
Pennsylvania fossil ferns their great uniqueness. Nowhere else on Earth
can ferns be found that have this flawless contrast! It's hard to comprehend
100 years, but these carboniferous ferns are said to have
died around 320 million years ago!
These natural wonders fell into a bog where a low
temperature, low pressure, oxygen depleted environment
evolved the plant tissue into Pyrite. Pyrophyllite (Aluminum
Silicate) replaced the Pyrite at an ensuing stage,
creating the bold, white color. Any orange color was
caused naturally by the presence of iron ore. Dozens of plant species
are found in these shale rocks, so look closely. Common
species include Alethopteris, Neuropteris, Pecopteris,
and Sphenophyllum. Seed ferns went completely extinct
around the time dinosaurs were still around!
has been done to these fossils such as paint to touch
them up. Nature and time are the artists. Most collectors say
these fossils can be lightly covered with a protective
spray to sustain the vivid white fronds, as they rub off
very easily if left untreated. DO NOT WASH!
A Common Question I have been asked before, "Are there more
ferns inside?" Completely At Your Risk! Suggestion: some slabs
or pieces can be split again, to reveal more ferns. The
tool? An old solid, one-piece butter knife works
well...and a gentle tap or two with small hammer...in the
right way...follow the split, and repeat.
There is no reserve. Shipping & Handling
is $5.00-12.00 for each piece and I will be glad to
combine wins to save you cost. To quote EXACT Shipping & Handling
charge by Priority Mail for pieces over 1# requires your
destination Zip Code and Zone Number to quote exact
Shipping & Handling charge by Priority Mail. The origin shipping Zip
Code is 33526. I have listed the weight for this piece
- GOOD LUCK!
When, Why, Where?
was an invited guest of Bill H. (a
"Pennsylvanian" resident!) escorted into this
area to collect twice. We collected about 20 years ago
with his daughter Sarah she was 7 y.o. I think & it
was her first time "fossilizing". Then later
during the land reclamation years of the area along again
with Sarah & with my new friend Patti. Hammers,
chisels, pry bars, and lots of coal dust blackened hands
and faces were had by all. (smile)
Years later after a visit to Florida from Bill, (but
still before my trip with Patti) I laid out some
specimens of Billy's [he left them for me to see if I
could sell] on the sidewalk of the USF campus after a
meeting of the Tampa Bay Fossil Club. I sold every single
slab large & small in 20 minutes. Cash, check, TBFC
members borrowing from each other, etc. I even had the
campus security check to see if there was a drug dealer
I had my personal check combining all his funds (several
hundred dollars) in the mail to him, which arrived in
time for his wife to get out of their mailbox when they
arrived home from the trip. She bought needed furniture.
I am telling you this because I am going to try to sell
another batch of his ferns he left here several years ago
(November 1998) and I never did anything with them
because of personal health (1995), and not going to the
TBFC meetings (after 1996).
Now, I will surprise him by auctioning them all
(hopefully) and ALL the profit will be sent to him. When
I first met him & his wife they had no children. They
made frequent trips into the phosphate mines in Aurora,
NC to the Lee Creek Formation for shark's teeth. On his
first visit with me (they camped out on the floor in
sleeping bags) I took them into the Bone Valley Formation
for our beautiful colored Florida Megalodon teeth. The
two children came later, and so on, so any money I send
them will undoubtedly be used towards Seth & Sarah's
(I have some slabs too, and will, if I do decide to part
with them, list them smallest to largest. They are
generally in 6-12" size with a few being 2X3' and
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