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-Andy-

Does a fossil lose its appeal to you if its color is enhanced in anyway?

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-Andy-

As above.

 

I am used to my fossils looking a tad darker or shiny when I apply a sealant to them. I use matte artist varnish. To me it's simply the trade-off of preserving them longer. I was rather surprised when I applied the same sealant to my Lebanon squid, and the tentacles darkened a lot. This is a unique situation as the tentacles were almost invisible originally, but now they are obvious (not so much that they stand out against the rest of the fossil though).

 

I am not a fan of painting over Lebanese fossils to enhance their looks, so turning my squid tentacle from almost invisible to highly visible made me feel somewhat guilty.

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ynot

I find nothing wrong with the phenomenon that You are talking about. It is caused by micro imperfections (cracks and holes) being filled with something other than air.

It is still the original fossil and not a painted recreation of what was there.

Can We see pictures of it?

Tony

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FossilDudeCO

I agree with Tony.

I see no issues here. If you painted them to look darker that could be off-putting though.

 

Pictures? :popcorn:

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Wrangellian

The line I draw is where you try to interpret a faint outline or deliberately add other features with paint or sealant, and alter what's actually there. What you describe seems like a fortuitous natural effect.

The other thing to watch out for is a shiny coating will make a fossil harder to photograph.

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Ludwigia

I have no problem whatsoever with that. As Tony says, the fossil is still original. I use beeswax finish on practically all of my fossils. They have just been enhanced to satisfy my aesthetic streak and, as you mention, the substance also gives extra protection and brings out more detail. The main reason I wouldn't apply the finish is if the fossil might be used for scientific reasearch.

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Troodon

All depends, I don't mind and sometimes like a darker fossil when I use a consolidant or vinac but I do not like a shiny fossil.  To me it does not make them look natural.  I also do not like the process to enhance a bone to match colors due to weathering using dyes.  

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-Andy-

Thanks for your opinion guys.

 

Unfortunately, I lack before and after pictures. Here's pics of it in the day under gentle sunlight, and at night under a strong direct light. A startling difference!

 

@FossilDudeCO

@ynot

 

58c3e1b699027_Squid1.thumb.jpg.02c18732fd9d434f5794c78e395a059c.jpg 58c3e1bc66964_Squid2.thumb.jpg.b7d6a927dadde23d76192fee1414d005.jpg

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ynot

Nice squid!!:dinothumb:

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FossilDAWG

Fantastic specimen. :wub:

 

Don

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RJB

Ive got no problem with what you did,  and dang nice squid too!

 

RB

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jpc

I'll be the odd man out and say that I am not a fan.  I am a purist, but I have been known to coat fossils occasionally.  

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Wrangellian

It looks to me like the coating was applied only to the fossil and not to the surrounding matrix, am I right? I thought you were talking about an overall coating. This is what I was afraid of when I spoke of interpreting a faint outline, possibly requiring a subjective guess as to where that is, or filling in missing features, to make the fossil (or the artist's interpretation of it) stand out artificially. An indiscriminate coating over the whole surface would at least avoid the subjective interpretation, if a coating has to be applied at all.

Also it's a bit shiny, which is also unnatural and is noticeable in the 2nd pic.

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oilshale

I don't like shiny coatings, but if they are removable, I don't care. Color is a no-go for me.

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HamptonsDoc

I like my fossils as natural appearing as possible. A little touch up is ok but when I see things painted or covered in gloss I am turned off and pass on the specimen. 

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-Andy-
6 hours ago, Wrangellian said:

It looks to me like the coating was applied only to the fossil and not to the surrounding matrix, am I right? I thought you were talking about an overall coating. This is what I was afraid of when I spoke of interpreting a faint outline, possibly requiring a subjective guess as to where that is, or filling in missing features, to make the fossil (or the artist's interpretation of it) stand out artificially. An indiscriminate coating over the whole surface would at least avoid the subjective interpretation, if a coating has to be applied at all.

Also it's a bit shiny, which is also unnatural and is noticeable in the 2nd pic.

 

I get what you mean. I am considering coating over the entire piece, but I am fearful of the end result.

 

I was shocked at the shiny-ness under direct lighting at night. Thankfully the coating isn't noticeable in the day, except for the tentacles which became darker.

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Wrangellian

Why did you seal it in the first place? Now that you've got it at home, is it not enough protection to keep it in a display case and not touch it? Or does it become affected by the climate down there and decay over time?

I guess the sealant is not easily removable with acetone or alcohol or etc?

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-Andy-
1 hour ago, Wrangellian said:

Why did you seal it in the first place? Now that you've got it at home, is it not enough protection to keep it in a display case and not touch it? Or does it become affected by the climate down there and decay over time?

I guess the sealant is not easily removable with acetone or alcohol or etc?

 

It's a common practice for me whenever I notice parts of my fossil crumbling off. In this case, the squid "ink" was flaking. In addition, many of my fossils are brought to places like museums or schools, so it's essential for me to seal them.

 

Nope, this is some powerful stuff. Acetone doesn't seem to affect it. I haven't tried alcohol, but I don't intend to subject any of my "sealed" fossils to this stress test.

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Darktooth

Nobody has asked the most important question. Has this fossil lost its appeal to you? If you don't plan on getting rid of it and you are happy with it that is all that matters. I don't like putting anything on my fossils unless I feel I need to strengthen them. I did this to a meg and mako that had very brittle roots. I picked up the mako one day and I heard a tiny crunch noise and I had barely put any pressure between my fingers. So in my paranoia I coated it and a meg. The roots only darkened a little, but I admit at first I hated it just because it had changed things. But I have since gotten used to it and I love them both as the day I found them. And now I know they are strong enough to handle.

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-Andy-
9 hours ago, Darktooth said:

Nobody has asked the most important question. Has this fossil lost its appeal to you? If you don't plan on getting rid of it and you are happy with it that is all that matters. I don't like putting anything on my fossils unless I feel I need to strengthen them. I did this to a meg and mako that had very brittle roots. I picked up the mako one day and I heard a tiny crunch noise and I had barely put any pressure between my fingers. So in my paranoia I coated it and a meg. The roots only darkened a little, but I admit at first I hated it just because it had changed things. But I have since gotten used to it and I love them both as the day I found them. And now I know they are strong enough to handle.

 

Nah, it hasn't lost its appeal to me. I will be keeping it for sure.

 

I get the same sentiment as you; I dislike how much the tentacles darkened, and how glossy the entire squid looks at night. But in the long run, if it helps my fossil survive handling, then it will all be worth it.

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Canadawest

I never put anything on a fossil. 100% natural. 

 

Pre digital photography we'd put on washable materials to enhance the contrast of details. With digital photography no need for it.  

 

Most people have fossils as collectables rather han natural scientific objects so coatings dont really matter...its a personal preference..  I prefer a flat finish  to any type of artificial shiny surface.  I also don't like overworked specimens and prefer some of the matrix left.  I cant stand those perfect 3D trilobites...reminds me of my grandmother's ornament collection. Only a little less obnoxious are fixed up Tyrannosaur teeth...the filling in and prep around the base adds a few thousand dollars in value  but destroys their integrity...more ornaments.

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Ptychodus04

I have no problem with what you did to the squid. Somewhat shiny is often what you wind up with when you seal a fossil. It is what it is. I also have no problem using consolidant to accentuate subtle features in a fossil. If you're fabricating something that does not exist that's a different story. I would not coat the whole plate.

 

I consolidate on a case by case basis. Most fossil bones get consolidation due to the usual presence of small amounts of pyrite. If it's there, eventually, it will destroy your specimen without some treatment. It's not worth the risk to me. Most invertebrates don't get consolidation unless they are very fragile as they tend to be more stable. Of course, pyritized invertebrates always get special treatment.

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Ash

I never used to..but now I paraloid all the better fossils I find - this makes them a little shiny but well..it's how museums do it too so I see no qualms with it. 

 

Andy your squid looks fantastic and I'd love to have something like it some day

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Wrangellian

I'm with Canadawest with this issue generally, but if you have to coat it, maybe Paraloid is the best option, since it can be removed easily if you or the next owner should decide they don't like it.

But something could be said for a crazy glue like PaleoBond too, which seems to be thin enough that it soaks in quickly will not leave a glossy finish - assuming the fossil/matrix is porous. I have a few pieces of loosely consolidated matrix with shells in it, which I experimented on with PaleoBond. It darkened the matrix but did not leave a shiny finish. But of course it's not so easy to remove.

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