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AJ Plai

The Colors And Rarity Megalodon Teeth

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AJ Plai

I have seen many great looking meg teeth from various places, sizes and colors as well as price ranges. So it makes me curious, I have seen a lot of people and dealers talking about the rarity and desirability of certain specific kind of Megtooth, like Bone Valley, Lee Creek, Chilean, etc. I guess Chilean and Aurora Mine one's high prices are due to the rarity and limited supply with no more new materials entering the market.

But what about the variety of colors of Megtooth like Red, Larva, Green or I have seen some with multiple colors split on the same root. Is there some kind of general consensus among serious collectors that rank a certain kind of colors to a certain degree of rarity and desirability? Or is it pretty much, purely "If I want this color, I am willing to pay $xxx"? - i.e. just due to the whim of the buyer's desirability or do certain colors have some geological or paleontological implication that makes certain colored specimens more rare and valuable?

Thx :)

Edited by AJ Plai

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Gizmo

Certain colors are rarer than others though it's always related to where they're found. The geological conditions the teeth are exposed to will be a deciding factor for any color variation and the teeth from any site will tend to share a certain "look" because of it. Any location will yield a range of colors - sometimes wide, sometimes narrow directly related to the minerals and conditions they're exposed to during preservation.

Here are several examples -

1. Collector grade Aurora teeth tend to share a similar color ( greenish grey) and have that "Aurora" look. I would question the claim that a red tooth was found in Aurora , its been my experience that red teeth come from the nearby Meherrin River, the red color a result of tannin staining from long river water exposure . I don't think the conditions at Aurora would ever produce a red tooth due to the unique conditions found at both locations. This being said " if " a red tooth were proven to be found at Aurora it would have a greater value due to its rarity.

2. Bone Valley produces a wide array of beautifully colored teeth, blues, greens, yellows etc. and I'm sure there is a pecking order of certain colors due to rarity. This would give certain colors added value over others.

3. Unique looking cream colored Megs are found in a small area of Calvert Cliffs and again due to their scarcity they're more valuable and sought after than the more common dark colored Calvert Cliff megs .

It always seems to come down to supply and demand. Hope this helps answer your questions. - G

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DeloiVarden

Gizmo had a great response, but I would like to add the following take. Interesting colors can come from almost anywhere. For example, there is a red site in Virgina that produces red megs, but also a site in SC. The red teeth from Peru will usually be worth a lot more than either for the simple reason of restricted access to Peruvian material. So value has a little to do with site restrictions (access), little to do with attractiveness of color, a little do with the current hype of the market, and a lot to do with condition, condtition, condition. Even a peruvian tooth, if not coupled with a reasonable condition, will not be desirable. I have seen many folks as of late peddle bone valley megs which are in poor condition expecting top dollar.

Edited by DeloiVarden

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cowsharks

Adding to the previous comments...

I once heard someone say that a "pure white tooth" is probably the most rare & valuable. I think their reasoning was that a pure white tooth most closely resembles what the tooth looked like at the time it was still in the sharks mouth - its original color. I have a couple of Megs from Calvert Cliffs that have pure white enamel crowns, and very light colored tan roots. But I honestly don't know if the enamel on these is the "original" white color or if it was "stained" white by the minerals in the soil as Gizmo pointed out. Either way, it is really neat to have a completely white Meg because it sort of allows you to imagine it as it looked when it was still in the jaw, with all the other teeth.

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siteseer

Daryl,

I was once told that a white/light-colored fossil tooth was probably a darker tooth that has had its color washed out by water action, especially if most of the other teeth in the same deposit are dark-colored. Around Bakersfield, there are STH sites where the teeth and bones are lighter-colored and often more fragile as if they have been robbed of some of their mineralization.

Jess

Adding to the previous comments...

I once heard someone say that a "pure white tooth" is probably the most rare & valuable. I think their reasoning was that a pure white tooth most closely resembles what the tooth looked like at the time it was still in the sharks mouth - its original color. I have a couple of Megs from Calvert Cliffs that have pure white enamel crowns, and very light colored tan roots. But I honestly don't know if the enamel on these is the "original" white color or if it was "stained" white by the minerals in the soil as Gizmo pointed out. Either way, it is really neat to have a completely white Meg because it sort of allows you to imagine it as it looked when it was still in the jaw, with all the other teeth.

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AJ Plai

Thx guys, lots of good knowledge :)

I have also heard that green teeth with white root is also very rare (more so than pure white?) and what about ones with two tone of colors on the same root? I guess its one of those teeth that happens to be buried and mineralized where 2 different kinds of rocks or minerals with different colors occur - is this true?

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donckey

post-10593-0-07270200-1362055940_thumb.jpg

Hi AJ and others

I found this tooth about 30 years ago.

It comes from Belgium.

Back then I made the BIG mistake to fix the tooth on a box with a special gum.

I got that gum in a fossilstore, where they assured me that it was acidfree and oilfree and would not leave any staines on fossilmaterial.

Well see the result :( .

The tooth is 6 cm high. (ID and place in jaw is welcome:) )

I post this post to show that the color of teeth can be influenced by human interaction.

So people should be aware of that. Anybody knows this happens with teeth which are offered for sale?

(Can this proces be undone?)

Peter

Edited by donckey

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cowsharks

Daryl,

..... there are STH sites where the teeth and bones are lighter-colored and often more fragile as if they have been robbed of some of their mineralization.

Jess

Jess, with regards to my white colored Megs, I also have an entire collection of almost every kind of Miocene shark tooth (including squalodon and dolphin) in which the enamel is white and the roots are either white or very light tan. All of these teeth come from one specific layer and area along Calvert Cliffs. As you indicate with some of the STH sites, these white colored teeth from the cliffs are extremely fragile and light - they weigh next to nothing. When I hold one of the 2.5" Megs, you think your holding a tiger shark tooth because it is so light. Amazing how much difference the minerals make in the weight and durability of the teeth. Whenever I know I'm collecting in that particular layer, I am very gentle as I screen the sediment - some of the teeth just crumble if you squeeze them a little.

Daryl.

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mako-mama

Daryl,

That is so interesting. I've never heard of white teeth at Calvert Cliffs. In all my years at Aurora, I've only seen one white meg. Amazingly, it was in a pile of lower Pungo material that we collected in the pit car area. Everything else in that pile was much darker-or actually black. Sadly, I was not the lucky finder.

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jcbshark

Beautiful colors on those Bmore.

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bmorefossil

I have always wondered of another red meg from Maryland.

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siteseer

Peter,

I see no one answered your question though it is a good one - can the artificial staining be undone? You would have to start with finding out the composition of that gum. However, while some chemical reactions can be neutralized by others, I doubt you will be able to restore the color of the tooth unless you want to try bleaching it and then matching a paint (mixture of paints) to the crown color. Of course, you might end up with a color that looks just as bad because the bleaching agent wasn't right for the enameloid surface and/or the paint doesn't match close enough after it has dried.

Your tooth is Carcharocles megalodon - maybe that last lower lateral before the first posterior depending on the terminology.

An artifically-colored tooth would likely start out as light-colored, which is already a desired preservation, so I don't think many people would want to change the color - too much of a risk. I realize that someone could practice on incomplete teeth and perhaps perfect a procedure but that seems like a time-consuming experiment.

attachicon.gifmegaladonreetc.jpg

Hi AJ and others

I found this tooth about 30 years ago.

It comes from Belgium.

Back then I made the BIG mistake to fix the tooth on a box with a special gum.

I got that gum in a fossilstore, where they assured me that it was acidfree and oilfree and would not leave any staines on fossilmaterial.

Well see the result :( .

The tooth is 6 cm high. (ID and place in jaw is welcome:) )

I post this post to show that the color of teeth can be influenced by human interaction.

So people should be aware of that. Anybody knows this happens with teeth which are offered for sale?

(Can this proces be undone?)

Peter

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siteseer

AJ Plai,

It could be said that red might be the color that collectors talk about as the most desirable though what is considered "red" sometimes looks like more of a brownish-red or an orange-red or has some purple in it. The Meherrin River teeth were big sellers - even some of the more worn ones.

However, I should say that any unusual color for a site would be just as desirable. I'm thinking about the Bone Valley teeth. I have noticed that collectors in Florida really like the orange teeth, the greens, and the light blues but any weird color combinations are highly coveted.. I was lucky to collect in one of the mines before it was closed to hunting. At that mine you tended to find black teeth and those with the dark blue crown and off-white-colored root but you could also find a few green teeth.

In the Sharktooth Hill Bonebed (Bakersfield, California), collectors are happy to find a nice tooth of any color because of their rarity. The teeth are rarely one solid color. Many of them have sort of a cream color with pink in it or they are a grayish-blue - colors difficult to describe especially since they can also be stained with blue-black coloring from manganese encrustations. Maybe an artist would use more precise terms but I think many shark tooth collectors know what I mean.

The teeth from Bakersfield that get a lot of attention are probably ones that are mostly dark orange grading into a shiny brown with some red in it. For me though, the ones that are mostly blue are really nice too. I have seen so many individual teeth with really cool color combinations and patterns that it's hard to say what I think is the best one. I once bought a small brown STH hastalis because that is actually an unusual color for the bonebed (might have been a red one that had its color dulled by sun exposure).

Jess

I have seen many great looking meg teeth from various places, sizes and colors as well as price ranges. So it makes me curious, I have seen a lot of people and dealers talking about the rarity and desirability of certain specific kind of Megtooth, like Bone Valley, Lee Creek, Chilean, etc. I guess Chilean and Aurora Mine one's high prices are due to the rarity and limited supply with no more new materials entering the market.

But what about the variety of colors of Megtooth like Red, Larva, Green or I have seen some with multiple colors split on the same root. Is there some kind of general consensus among serious collectors that rank a certain kind of colors to a certain degree of rarity and desirability? Or is it pretty much, purely "If I want this color, I am willing to pay $xxx"? - i.e. just due to the whim of the buyer's desirability or do certain colors have some geological or paleontological implication that makes certain colored specimens more rare and valuable?

Thx :)

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FossilForKids

Oldie but goodie from STH

post-1292-0-93581300-1381712435_thumb.jpg

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