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Reading Material about the Steps from Excavation to Dealer?

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I was wondering if anyone can recommend reports/websites/guides etc, that explain in more detail how the fossil trade works, from excavation through to a dealer?


This is assuming new pieces (not a prior sold piece, returning to market), they have not excavated it themselves and that it is legal- but especially when covering foreign sourced material.


And how that might vary from country to country, say Morocco vs Germany.


Likewise, this is most applicable to somewhat valuable pieces, worth of enough steps in the value chain!


For example, how many links are there often in the chain, from the site where it is found, to a dealer's website or exhibition stand?


Likewise, any info on how very roughly how pricing evolves (and this clearly varies!) would be interesting!


I am a starting off studying (with a view to beginning collecting later!) and keen to understand how the trade eco-system works so to speak and the different potential steps!


E.g. is there an on site local who finds the fossils, from whom it gets acquired by a wholesale type dealer in that country, who lacks the end customers (often overseas), but is respected by foreign dealers, with the latter then purchasing it from them- before it ends up on a website/show for sale! And maybe one step is skipped out by those especially knowledgeable or experienced dealers.


I appreciate everything will depend, and there are no hard or fast rules, but just want to general "educate" myself about the industry!


Thanks for all your help!



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Welsh Wizard



I have this book. It’s a bit out of date as it’s from 2001 but it’s the proceedings from

a conference run by Cardiff Museum about fossil collecting.


The proceedings contain a number of lectures from dealers, collectors and academics and there are also a number of case studies. It may not be what you are looking for but it may point you in the right direction.






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Thanks, I have found a few references, only one second hand copy for sale, but will definitely try to keep an eye out!


Anything like this is interesting!


Much appreciated.

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