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Hi everyone,

 

I’ve just returned from a trip to Rocken End, Isle of Wight with some Cretaceous chalk ammonites in hand. This chalk is incredibly delicate to the point where handling is almost scary. I have the smaller things soaking in water to desalinate but I’m worried about these two items.

 

The whole ammonite is the nicest and biggest we found (with a little ammo that already looks cracked…) and so delicate I’m worried that soaking it will destroy it?

 

The larger block contains at least one nice ammonite and potentially more, I don’t know whether to prep it and then soak or vice versa?

 

Also, we leave the IOW on Sunday and so I don’t have much time for soaking them. Would you recommend packing the fossils in damp paper towel and then re-submerging when I get back to London?

 

I need any and all advice!

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Edited by Calli99
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will stevenson

They look like greensand Ammonites to me! If they were in contact with the sea it might be worth soaking it to get rid of salt. Test it on a small scrap first to check :) 

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Yes they are greensand - and insanely delicate! I’ve just had another look at them and tested the waters a bit (pun intended) and I think the large complete ammo will certainly fall apart if submerged. The one in the block seems a little more stable, but the matrix dissolved away when I tested it. So I think I’ll just have to let them dry nice and slowly, stabilise with paraloid and prep what I can. I don’t think there’s much I can do for them in the way of desalination.

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Megalodoodle

I’ve heard of taking mud and coating the fossil with it. I mean, if mud can help protect fossils in nature, then surely it can protect your specimen? Would this work for greensand?

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I think I know what you mean in terms of transport protection - forming a mud ball around the fossil. However I don’t think it’s really applicable for what I need. It probably would have worked for protecting the specimen when getting it out of the field, but now I want to make it stable enough to keep and preserve long term

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