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Clanjones

Fossil pine cones: To cut or not to cut?

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Clanjones

I recently acquired a small Araucaria cone and I am wondering what the general opinion on cutting/polishing fossil pine cones. Should it be cut to show off the internal structure or is it best to just leave it as a whole specimen? How do you feel about modifying fossils in general to enhance aesthetic, rather than scientific, value?

 

I am interested to hear the Fossil Forum's opinions.

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Misha

I think that if I had the option I would cut and polish something like this I would, it looks interesting already but doing that would make it even cooler. Also I do not think this would decrease what you call the scientific value of the piece, but of course the choice is not mine and it is all up to you to decide.

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Tidgy's Dad

It's not of great scientific value, so it's no harm done if you want to cut it in half. 

Personally, I would leave it as it is until I have another one to fiddle with. :)

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Mediospirifer

I like the appearance of a cut cone. I have a small Araucaria that's split lengthwise and polished to reveal the internal structure, and the cut side is quite striking. I wouldn't turn the whole thing into slices, though. 

 

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ynot

There are plenty of cut and polished cones available on the market.

I would keep this whole and buy another that has already been cut.

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caldigger

I personally find cutting these cones an abomination.  Not a fan of the cut and polish practice.

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Ludwigia

I have nothing against slicing some Auracaria cones, but in this case, I'd do as others are suggesting and leave this one as is. It appears to be in good condition and has a good shape. Perhaps a bit of abrading could even improve the appearance.

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FranzBernhard

Many thoughts already, my opinions:

3 hours ago, Clanjones said:

Should it be cut to show off the internal structure

You don´t know how well it is preserved, how good the contrast is.

 

3 hours ago, Clanjones said:

How do you feel about modifying fossils in general to enhance aesthetic, rather than scientific, value?

It heavily depends on the fossil and its preservation, if aesthetics or scientific value (or both) are enhanced - or destroyed...

 

3 hours ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

I would leave it as it is until I have another one to fiddle with.

Exactly my opinion on this one.

 

3 hours ago, Mediospirifer said:

I like the appearance of a cut cone.

I don´t know, if all of these cones look well when cut and polished. There is often the risk, that not much can be seen on the cut surface (low contrast, bad preservation).

 

2 hours ago, ynot said:

I would keep this whole and buy another that has already been cut.

I would do the same in this case. But its a different story, if you collect them yourself and have plenty of material.

 

27 minutes ago, caldigger said:

I personally find cutting these cones an abomination.

Its a matter of taste, I fully understand this. I am living on both sides: Totally pristine (aka naturally weathered and worn ;)) fossils and flat cut and polished ones.

 

In my opinion, I would look for a second cone, maybe of somewhat similar size, an already cut and polished one. It would be very nice and educative, to have both together: A complete one and another one showing how the interior looks like.

 

Franz Bernhard

 

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siteseer
18 hours ago, ynot said:

There are plenty of cut and polished cones available on the market.

I would keep this whole and buy another that has already been cut.

 

Hi Tony,

 

I agree.  In fact that is exactly what I was going to say.  You don't know for sure if this specimen would turn out well from sawing.  We see all the ones that look great at shows and in books but we don't see the ones that didn't.  We might assume that it would be hard to find someone who used to do that work and could give you advice.  It looks a little weathered to me like something that was near or at the surface when it was collected.  It might have tiny cracks inside and need to be hardened with some kind of consolidant before trying to cut it.  If you look around, you will see many split pairs (maybe not as many as 20 years ago) and they can be different colors so I would see what's available and pick the pair you like before taking a risk on that one.

 

Jess

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Clanjones

Thanks for all of the input everyone. I am definitely going to leave the pine cone in its natural state.

Quote

Perhaps a bit of abrading could even improve the appearance.

I'm not sure if the scales are obscured by matrix or just weathered away. I would be apprehensive to attempt to prep it.

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