Agatized Wood Pendant - 1.74"
Agatized Wood Pendant - 1.74"
Agatized wood is an incredible fossil material made from prehistoric trees. Over millions of years, their organic material is slowly replaced with colorful minerals, creating incredible patterns of grays, yellows, and reds.
This pendant contains a polished 1.74" piece of stunning agatized wood. It is an excellent piece of scientific jewelry that looks fantastic with any wardrobe.
📸 A Sample Agatized Wood Pendant
An incredible material
This beautiful pendant is crafted with a magnificent piece of agatized fossil wood. Just as minerals can seep into an animal’s remains and preserve its shape, fossilized wood is an impression of a tree in life, rendered in agate.
The process begins when wood is buried underneath sediment or volcanic ash. This keeps the structure of the plant safe from decomposing organisms. Next, mineral-rich groundwater replaces the organic material with silicates, fossilizing the plant.
These pendants capture the incredible history of the fossil with volcanic dark grays and bursts of brilliant reds and yellows. Each is crafted with a polished piece of fossil wood set into a sterling silver bezel. An 18" chain is also included, along with a black padded storage case and informational authenticity card.
Several pendants of different colors, patterns, and sizes are available. You can see all these pendants in the collection below.
📸 Polished Petrified Wood from the Jurassic Period
MORE ABOUT AGATIZED & PETRIFIED WOOD
📸 Silica minerals within water seep into buried logs, creating petrified wood. Graphic from NPS: http://npshistory.com/brochures/pefo/trees-to-stone-2006.pdf
Just as minerals can seep into an animal’s remains and preserve its shape, fossilized wood is an impression of a prehistoric tree in life, rendered in stone. The process is the same as in other fossilization, beginning with trees buried in sediment, volcanic discharge, or flooding water.
Once submerged, the organic material is steadily replaced by foreign minerals like silica, calcium carbonate, or iron pyrites through the mechanics of permineralization. Not only is the wood’s shape preserved but also its cellular structure, which can be examined in great detail by paleobotanists in the modern day.
📸 Logs of fossil wood from the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona
When a piece of fossil wood forms in this way it is said to be petrified, preserving a snapshot of the tree as it lived. Some spots, like the Petrified Forest National Park, are home to innumerable fossilized trees, an entire ecosystem preserved in stone.
However, if the organic material breaks down before it can be replaced, a cast of the tree may be preserved instead, later filled in with inorganic material in the shape of the tree. These fossils are of less use in speculating on a given tree species, as the inner anatomy of the plant is not preserved.
Among silica infiltrates, some tree material is replaced by agates, a form of silica with a cryptocrystalline structure, meaning their crystals are only revealed under microscopic observation.
They form in a variety of environments, both in acidic and basic volcanic materials and in sedimentary environments near the Earth’s surface. Silicified fossil woods are the most commonly found, the material most effective at preserving a tree’s cell walls, making agatized wood (along with opal, quartz, and other silicates) invaluable in speculating on prehistoric trees.
Examining these specimens at a cellular level has many applications for paleoxylologists—those that study fossilized trees. These scientists can refine taxonomic classifications, chart evolutionary fluctuations, and speculate on the climate in which a given tree grew.
That said, fossilized wood, and agatized wood specifically, are not just prized for their scientific uses. These specimens are beautiful pieces all their own, a comingling of two parts of nature, the flora that sustains life on Earth, and the geological forces that shift beneath our feet.
Botannini LF. Wood : Types, Properties, and Uses. Nova Science Publishers; 2011.
Mustoe G. Wood Petrifaction: A New View of Permineralization and Replacement. Geosciences (Basel). 2017;7(4):119-. doi:10.3390/geosciences7040119
Schumann, Walter. Minerals of the World / Walter Schumann ; [translated by Elisabeth E. Reinersmann]. Sterling Pub. Co., 1992.
Scurfield, G., and E.R. Segnit. “Petrifaction of Wood by Silica Minerals.” Sedimentary Geology 39.3 (1984): 149–167. Web.