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Hello everyone, this is my first post on the website though I've browsed many threads for useful information. I've been collecting fossils for years but only recently got into dinosaur fossils.

 

Anyway, I bought this supposed Thescelosaurus dorsal vertebrae from a reputable shop that I've been a patron at for years. Everything until this that I have bought from there has been authentic, so when I wanted to buy a nicely preserved vertebrae as a center piece for my display, I didn't look this over enough before I bought it, having sort of trusted this store. Took a little look at it, it was packed for me and I was out the door. Got busy with work, didn't even take it out of the box for a week. When I finally did, it felt really light, lighter than fragmented dino bone fossils I have only half it's size, and when I tapped it, the vibration sort of sustained. Obviously shouldn't happen with a rock. Seen paint brush marks, which was the red flag that got me to do the following because who would paint an authentic fossil? Curiosity was killing me, so I decided to make a small break in it to see what the inside of the bone looked like, because seeing the middle would make it more obvious, and I was absolutely floored to find metal wire holding it together. Broke a few more pieces off, more wire. Nothing porous that would indicate it was even pieced together as parts of bone with fill in parts on or around it or inbetween the pieces, it seems to be completely fake.

 

So long story short, seems I was duped. I'm going to mess with it some more today and see if there is ANY bone at all in this supposed vertebrae. "All sales final" with the store. A young idiot with more money than knowledge. (It wasn't cheap) I'll have to do a lot more research and be much more careful when I buy, and sort of made me mistrust any specimen I haven't surface collected myself. Just thought I'd share and ask if anyone has seen anything like this.

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There is probably a good portion of the specimen that is real. Then the rest is fabricated for a completed looking specimen. I’ve seen people use wire, coat hangers, popsicle sticks, full size steel rods, and even very thick construction paper or cardboard. Then it’s usually some sort of sculpting putty followed up with some paint. 

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Expensive lesson to learn, I'll bet. :( Sorry for your trouble. 

I am assuming there was no mention of restoration to the item?

 

Real fossils do get painted. Green river and Chinese fish get painted all the time. 

They are usually incomplete or poorly preserved specimens that have little resale value if left alone. 
Complete, well colored fossils sell.  :shrug:  

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45 minutes ago, CryptBHR said:

"All sales final" with the store"

 

Small claims court!!!

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10 minutes ago, Fossildude19 said:

Expensive lesson to learn, I'll bet. :( Sorry for your trouble. 

I am assuming there was no mention of restoration to the item?

 

Real fossils do get painted. Green river and Chinese fish get painted all the time. 

They are usually incomplete or poorly preserved specimens that have little resale value if left alone. 
Complete, well colored fossils sell.  :shrug:  

 

Expensive lesson for sure. I feel like an idiot. No label mentioning any restoration though and I wasn't told it was restored at all. I ended up fairly recklessly breaking apart the rest of it out of frustration and found SOME actual bone in there. If it wasn't restored I feel it would look something along the lines of this: (even though this is a different animal entirely)

PFV509B.jpg

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The centrum looks like Thescelosaurus.  Look, most sellers are honest but are clueless in how to properly identify dinosaur material or see restoration and go by the information provided them when they acquired it.  You should have returned it to where you purchased  it .  Why buyers should not trust any seller and know what they are buying.  

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Darn. Sorry to hear about this. It's always nasty finding out a fossil is not as real as it should be. 

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11 minutes ago, Troodon said:

The centrum looks like Thescelosaurus.  Look, most sellers are honest but are clueless in how to properly identify dinosaura material or see restoration and go by the information provided them when they acquired it.  You should have returned it to where you purchased  it .  Why buyers should not trust any seller and know what they are buying.  

 

The place I bought it from doesn’t take returns, they at least let you know that before you buy. Which hasn’t been a problem in the past since everything I’ve bought from there is what it’s labelled as. The centrum is authentic, that I found out upon more dismantling. You’re right I shouldn’t have, but like I said in the past everything has been proper so I built up trust with this place. 

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They might make an exception on this one especially if you are a previous customer and their item was not properly represented.  

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  Sorry you ended up with a mostly fake fossil.  Most of us at some time or another have been taken by a fake fossil,,, or two.   Im with Troodon, I would take it back being that your a return customer.  Good luck

 

RB

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At this day in age with social media being an everyday way of life for most of us, I would insist you at least get a store credit. If they are the professionals selling fossils, they need to know their inventory and more important know where it’s coming from and the quality of what they’re buying so they can accurately describe any and all information about the specimen to potential customers. If they can’t stand behind what they are selling, then they need to close up shop. If they don’t want to play ball, then I would take to social media and share your story. It may not fix your problem, but if it can help someone else not get burned, mission accomplished. But please do not disclose their name on this forum, that’s against the forum rules

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FranzBernhard
38 minutes ago, SULLY said:

I would insist you at least get a store credit. If they are the professionals selling fossils, they need to know their inventory and more important know where it’s coming from and the quality of what they’re buying so they can accurately describe any and all information about the specimen to potential customers. If they can’t stand behind what they are selling, then they need to close up shop.

That´s also exactly my opinion! @CryptBHR, please tell them, what you have "found", and judge them by their reaction!

Hope, everything sorts out well - for you and the shop!

Franz Bernhard

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Hopefully this is a reputable fossil shop. If so, in spite of an "all sales final" policy some sort of compensation should occur. But remember, a shop like this can NOT just hide behind "all sales final" statement if fraudulent claims occurred with this fossil. An auto dealer with a sign saying "all sales final" can not trick you into buying what you thought was a new Mercedes and finding out later it was a used VW Bug. State consumer protection laws are there for this reason. As mentioned, small claims court is a final option if discussions fail to provide you with satisfaction.

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I'm sorry about the unfortunate purchase. Many have suggested already, but I too would contact the business if I were in your shoes and see if something could be worked out. :shrug:

Like @Troodon stated though, always educate yourself on the specimen before making the purchase! It's very good advice. Typically I'll spend way too much time researching a new trilobite addition before I end up acquiring one for my collection. Also, don't let one bad buy give you a bad taste, live and learn!

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To answer your question: no, i haven't seen such resto in the shops of the professionel sellers i know.

Honestly, the resto could be seen if one close-up view on the piece: paintbrushes and surface telling the story.

It's always a good idea to show pieces you want to buy here in the forum - members can give you a good hint what's up with the piece.

I know: unfortunately too late :shrug:

Heads up: we all payed money to learn.....:commiserate:

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Thanks everyone for the responses and advice. I’m going back to speak to the owner of the shop in the next while. I’ll repost if anything comes of it. 

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14 hours ago, CryptBHR said:

Thanks everyone for the responses and advice. I’m going back to speak to the owner of the shop in the next while. I’ll repost if anything comes of it. 

 

I would also show him your photos of the fossil as you took it apart.  It's possible the dealer didn't know about the restoration either especially if he is less familiar with how bones can be prepped and restored..  

 

And yes, if the dealer cares about his reputation, he will refund your money or at least extend store credit even if "all sales are final."  If he refuses and you bought it by credit card, you have the option of going to the credit card company and canceling the purchase that way.

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