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Labeno

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Tyrannosaurus Rex is my favorite animal of all time, so I was blown away when I found out I could buy an authentic tooth. I got it from a museum in Cocoa Beach, FL.

I hope this is the right place to ask a bunch of questions. First, here's a picture of what I have.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.939c566ff70001cbf60ea664ae2205cc.jpeg

 

Questions:

  • It came with a little card stating "Certified Authentic" but I would think there should be more to trace all the steps from the specific location in Hell Creek all the way to the museum. Should I contact the museum to get more info, or is that little card proof enough that it's real? If it's not enough, what other proof do I need?
  • From just visual inspection, is there a way to prove this is a T-Rex tooth?
  • What type of tooth is it: dentary, maxilla, something else?
  • Is this the condition of the tooth as found, or did it have to go through a complex cleaning process to look this nice (versus wiping it with a wet rag)?
  • Is the quality of this tooth considered better or worse than average for this size?
  • What's the proper way to measure this; shortest straight distance, distance along curve, something else?
  • What's the proper care I need to do each time I touch it? FYI, I will generally keep it in the seal display case.
  • Any suggestions on a high quality display case?

 

Thanks for any info.

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I have removed the price as we do not discuss prices as per forum rules.

 

Certificates of authenticity are not worth the paper they are printed on as there is no international body that vets fossils. If it came from a museum, you are best directed to inquire from them about authenticity and provenance.

...How to Philosophize with a Hammer

 

 

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Hi, welcome to the fossil forum!

 

From the looks of it, it appears to be a real tooth. To determine if it is completely real, and positively ID it as a Rex try the following.

 

1.Acetone. Put some acetone on a rag and rub it on the fossil. Fossiliferous parts won't be harmed, but paint and putty will start to come of revealing restoration and filler.

2. Location location location. Using the COA, see what information is given about where the tooth was found. The key to IDing Rex teeth is first figuring out if it was found in the beds where Rex is found because there are other fossil beds adjacent to those with similar teeth from other Tyrannosaurs. If it can be narrowed down to Hell Creek or Lance Formations, then you just have to rule out Nanotyrannus which is pretty easy to do with yours since it is quite chunky. If Your specimen is from South Dakota, your fine. The Tyrannosaur beds don't appear there. If it's from Wyoming, make sure it was found near Lance Creek and your fine. If it was found in Montana, you'll need to narrow the location down to a county in the eastern part of the state, usually Powder River, Carter, or Garfield counties. If it's from further west in Montana it's from another Tyrannosaur. If the location can't be narrowed down at all than it's what we call "Tyrannosaur indeterminate" which is to say it could be Rex but it could also be another Tyrannosaur like Albertasaurus or Daspletosaurus.

 

Also about COAs in general, and I'm saying this as a fossil seller who uses COAs, they're placebos. There is no governing or authenticating body for fossils like with cards or comic books. Many fossil sellers (including myself) include them as basically fancy ways of presenting information on the fossil. It's a grey area ethically in the fossil business to be sure. But a very difficult to avoid one when a constant barrage of people keep asking for one even after you explain what it does and doesn't mean.

 

Hope that helps!

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12 hours ago, jikohr said:

Using the COA

:zzzzscratchchin:

 

Coco

----------------------
OUTIL POUR MESURER VOS FOSSILES : ici

Ma bibliothèque PDF 1 (Poissons et sélaciens récents & fossiles) : ici
Ma bibliothèque PDF 2 (Animaux vivants - sans poissons ni sélaciens) : ici
Mâchoires sélaciennes récentes : ici
Hétérodontiques et sélaciens : ici
Oeufs sélaciens récents : ici
Otolithes de poissons récents ! ici

Un Greg...

Badges-IPFOTH.jpg.f4a8635cda47a3cc506743a8aabce700.jpg Badges-MOTM.jpg.461001e1a9db5dc29ca1c07a041a1a86.jpg

 

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5 minutes ago, Coco said:

:zzzzscratchchin:

 

Coco

Certificate of Authenticity 

Fin Lover

image.png.e69a5608098eeb4cd7d1fc5feb4dad1e.png image.png.e6c66193c1b85b1b775526eb958f72df.png image.png.65903ff624a908a6c80f4d36d6ff8260.png

image.png.7cefa5ccc279142681efa4b7984dc6cb.png

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Oh thank you, it’s better saying :b_idea:

 

Coco

----------------------
OUTIL POUR MESURER VOS FOSSILES : ici

Ma bibliothèque PDF 1 (Poissons et sélaciens récents & fossiles) : ici
Ma bibliothèque PDF 2 (Animaux vivants - sans poissons ni sélaciens) : ici
Mâchoires sélaciennes récentes : ici
Hétérodontiques et sélaciens : ici
Oeufs sélaciens récents : ici
Otolithes de poissons récents ! ici

Un Greg...

Badges-IPFOTH.jpg.f4a8635cda47a3cc506743a8aabce700.jpg Badges-MOTM.jpg.461001e1a9db5dc29ca1c07a041a1a86.jpg

 

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On 5/27/2024 at 8:05 PM, jikohr said:

Put some acetone on a rag and rub it on the fossil. Fossiliferous parts won't be harmed, but paint and putty will start to come of revealing restoration and filler.

 

That's a really cool trick. Before I attempt that:

  • Is nail polish remover the same as acetone?
  • Can I use the acetone on both the enamel (outer surface), and the inside area where the tooth broke off?
  • Assuming the tooth is 100% real, the rag (or Q-tip) won't see any color removal?
  • Will the acetone cause the nice dark color of the enamel to fade or discolor even though nothing showed up on the cloth?
  • Will the acetone evaporate, or will I need to wash the tooth in water or soap and water to get rid of the acetone residue?

Thanks a ton for your guidance

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3 hours ago, Labeno said:

nail polish remover the same as acetone?

I will add one thing to this. Some nail polish removers have other added ingredients. Check and make sure it's pure acetone...

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Thanks for helping me with my questions.

 

I bought some 100% acetone, and did a swab test on the face of the tooth to see paint easily come off (see picture below). So it's certainly not 100% authentic. Now I'm concerned this isn't even a real tooth or just a partial enhanced with ground up bone or plaster. Questions:

  • Is it standard issue to have a 100% authentic tooth painted, and if so, why?
  • Since the seller (an established museum) stated it as "Certified Authentic", what is the ethics here, knowing that there is not formal body to trace certifications? Do I send it back and ask for a refund? Do I still have a gem if most t-rex teeth are prepared this way?
  • I know I'm not allowed to state how much I paid for it, but are you allowed to tell me the difference between cost of an-unpainted tooth versus and painted tooth that look essentially the same and are the same size as what I have?

Thanks for any guidance.

 

trex_tooth_real_or_fake.thumb.jpg.666d8424f122eb306dd135e80665e2af.jpg

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OK, first, dont freak out yet.  It is possible that its a 100% real tooth, and just painted to make it look better, since they knew it was going to be a commercial souvenir piece. Its not common, but wouldnt be unheard of. Keep cleaning it one side of it with the acetone and see how it looks after.  

 

You could ask for a refund if you arent happy 

 

Prices are always subjective, but I  think most people would agree that original would be worth more than painted.

 

My personal guess on this, is that it is a real tooth, but it bet it has a lot of gypsum contamination (white mottling and veins) which degrades the look, so they decided to paint it.  

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"There is no shortage of fossils. There is only a shortage of paleontologists to study them." - Larry Martin

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If the seller is reputable as you say, it never hurts to reach out and at least say something about how you feel considering the fossil has definitely been painted over. They may even verify that the tooth is real but needed “touching up” or whatever business-speak they come up with. But as long as you feel you haven’t been fleeced, I wouldn’t be too disappointed just yet. I also see the “lightning streaks” below the faux color that suggest the tooth may be real after all. I personally prefer my fossils as-found, even if they aren’t “conventionally pretty”, or whatever that obviously subjective aesthetic opinion may be. You could clean more color off and go from there.

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