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Real? Phacops & Gerastos Both on 1 pc of Matrix Devonian Morocco

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Hello all-


I recently acquired another "fossil" from a guy that lives in Texas who supposedly bought this piece from a reputable dealer who claimed to have done all the work on it. This is my first time collecting trilobites, and I know that so many fakes come out of Morocco. I have read the sites about how to identify the fakes, and this piece has a couple of "red flags" but if it is a fake it's very well done, and even worth what I paid simply for being a piece of "art." I can see the shiny glued areas on the phacops, and some strange coloration changes. Like I said in posts before, I am a novice, especially with trilobites, and just doing research I thought it was odd these two varieties are on the same matrix and the smaller Gerastos is darker than the Phacops. The matrix is lighter than it probably should be, but I cannot see any bubble marks on it or the specimens which would indicate resin. I've also done the "tooth test" as well as examined the piece under UV light and both seem to indicate it is not a cast. Then again, people are getting much more clever these days with the fakes. The seller said I could have it checked out and return it if I wish within 30 days. Even if it is a fake piece, or that they are real, and the Gerastos was just added to the matrix, I"ll probably keep it. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!


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Here is more info. Phacops and a Gerastos on the same piece of matrix. Great preservation and preparation.  Facets all visible on the Phacops and the Gerastos' head is near perfect.  A few chips on the Phacops but nothing major or distracting. The Gerastos has some chips on the center lobe as shown in photos.  Phacops is about 5 cm (2 inches) long.  Devonian from the Mt. Issoumour area in Morocco.  Piece is nicely prepped and needs no stand to display. 

Edited by nivek1969
left out more info

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Sorry. I meant to add this image of the bottom of the matrix which is odd looking; darker, crack lengthwise. I have read the matrix for Devonian phacops in Morocco is usually a darker gray. How come the darker gray is only on the surface as seen on the bottom, which is scratched into to show the lighter interior. I'm thinking the matrix is faked and the specimens were added? 

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These trilobites are authentic!


From the "discovery cracks" on the Phacopid, the eye detail (showing the individual lenses quite clearly), and small bits of exoskeleton missing (on the left side pleurae), it certainly real. Although I cannot see the body clearly, the Gerastos tuberculatus marocensis lacks any clear red flags, and there is some damage (on the second left pleura) that would lead me to believe it is genuine. The matrix is also consistent with Devonian rocks from this area of Morocco. As you noticed, there is a crack on the bottom of the matrix - this is part of the "discovery crack" that I noted earlier, and simply marks the place where the rock was cracked open to reveal the Phacopid trilobite.


Nice Acquisition!

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