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Moroccan Trilobite- Fossil, Faux, Or Fake?


Arch2000

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My very first fossil purchase, 7 years ago, may be a fake. I'm not too proud to admit at the time I knew a lot less than I do now, and the inaugural piece of my collection may be a fake.

Over the years I've learned that Moroccan trilobites are often faked, and many of the fakes look like the one I have. I'm no expert though, and water to get others' more educated opinions. What do you think?

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Looks at least partially real to me.

The cephalon(head) looks genuine. The rest may be restored or repaired.

Looking forward to meeting my fellow Singaporean collectors! Do PM me if you are a Singaporean, or an overseas fossil-collector coming here for a holiday!

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Heavy restoration is the norm with these; they are quarried by blasting.

No shame in having a cool display piece, when it's a resto, not a complete fake-o. :)

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about." - Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant

“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” - Thomas Henry Huxley

>Paleontology is an evolving science.

>May your wonders never cease!

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Yes, restoration or repair isn't a problem, and I have many pieces that are repaired (how often does a commercial fossil come out of the ground perfect anyways?).

Good to know that this may be real, I had written it off as likely fake. I heard somewhere the number of leg pairs gives an indication?

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If I'm not wrong, that should be a cambropallas? post-10068-0-11080300-1403020305_thumb.jpg

I'm not a really convinced about this one.

I think the thorax and pygidium might be fully fake (starting from the red line, part 2). It's just all too smooth looking. No sign of the short dorsal spines on the thorax neither.

Then part I (left cheek) is too smooth looking too. Can't see/tell about right cheek.

@Auspex: while not everywhere they dig for these cambropallas they use explosives (mostly just a large excavator and then further by hand when they're on the layer), you're right that damage is done there.

Thing is (I bet this one too on the cephalon), that almost e-v-e-r-y specimen of these is given a little extra iron-oxide to make it look perfect. Not often by the workers that find them, though more from the middlemen buying a incomplete piece cheap and go make it look perfect and thus expensive. But this specimen does look a bit .. more .. ehm .. botoxed.

Pictures from the back and from the side can also show different color in matrix, to indicate a composite.

dries

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I think the thorax and pygidium might be fully fake (starting from the red line, part 2). It's just all too smooth looking. No sign of the short dorsal spines on the thorax neither.

Then part I (left cheek) is too smooth looking too. Can't see/tell about right cheek.

Thing is (I bet this one too on the cephalon), that almost e-v-e-r-y specimen of these is given a little extra iron-oxide to make it look perfect. Not often by the workers that find them, though more from the middlemen buying a incomplete piece cheap and go make it look perfect and thus expensive. But this specimen does look a bit .. more .. ehm .. botoxed.

Pictures from the back and from the side can also show different color in matrix, to indicate a composite.

Thanks for your input. The parts you labeled 1 & 2 do have a different texture, I will take a closer look at those parts.

I am used to fossils being potch-kied with, to make them clearer, stand out from matrix, or more impressive. I don't have a problem with that up to a point. In my collection is a matched pair of shrimp fossil from Germany, but upon closer inspection they carved the legs and anteanne into one or the other halves- if you picture the stone being closed like a book, the carvings don't even match!!

I'm sure this one has been embellished, as the coloring likely isn't original, but perhaps they did dome more work to make it bigger or better than when it was it found originally. I'd still rather have a modified real fossil than a sculpted fake!

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mm .. what happened to the first 3 pleura ('legs') under the red line from n°1, are they carved?

I certainly don't want to take your love away for the piece, but I think they took a very uncomplete piece of trilobite (just a piece of the head) and made the best out of it.

hehe @ shrimp story ;)

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one of mine (99.9% original, there is a real tiny bit of ironoxide in the left cheek tip, you couldn't even see where it was added - not where you 'd think it ;-) ):

topside post-10068-0-83635100-1403037294_thumb.jpg

sideway post-10068-0-87912400-1403037296_thumb.jpg

Edited by Fitch1979
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Beautiful specimen, Fitch

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"_ Carl Sagen

No trees were killed in this posting......however, many innocent electrons were diverted from where they originally intended to go.

" I think, therefore I collect fossils." _ Me

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."__S. Holmes

"can't we all just get along?" Jack Nicholson from Mars Attacks

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Here's a good article with multiple pages and great descriptions on identifying fake trilobites. For example, it has you look for tiny pits im the surface which are created by air bubbles when the hot resin dries. It's hard to tell from pictures but if you read this article, you may be able to make a determination.

http://www.paleodirect.com/faketrilobites1.htm

Bob

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Here's a good article with multiple pages and great descriptions on identifying fake trilobites. For example, it has you look for tiny pits im the surface which are created by air bubbles when the hot resin dries. It's hard to tell from pictures but if you read this article, you may be able to make a determination.

http://www.paleodirect.com/faketrilobites1.htm

Bob

Thanks for the link, great article. I will definately compare my specimen to those in the article.

As seen in the photos, those fakes are so good, it makes me not want to buy a trilobite ever again!!

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It's just like buying amber. If you have a dealer with good credentials, you will usually be buying authentic goods. Now if you buy from Mr. Unknown on ebay, you might get an authentic item...let me emphasize "might". I bought one thing from ebay in 10 years, from a dealer with 1250 sales and 99% positive feedback - 154 differnet minerals - 112 were not as labeled, dozens were artificially dyed or heat treated to look similar to the actual mineral. In other words, even after checking all the feedback, I got ripped big time. Even what appears to be a big online seller may not be selling authentic fossils. If the seller does not have a brick and mortar store or when you use google maps street-view and the seller's business address is an empty lot or residential house, think twice about the quality of their product. I've even found online sellers who have been in business since 1989 in city xxx but there has never been a physical store and the website was created two years ago. So if they were in business since 1986, where were they selling? One guy admitted that he sold out of his basement for 20 years - okay he might be legit but ...

At every mineral show that I have gone to, I've brought a couple specimens that are super easy to identify (even my 16 year old can identify them in half a second) and over 50% of the dealers cannot get it right. Should I believe their goods are authentic? They might be but those dealers could have been scammed and they don't even know it.

Your best advice is to know the product you want, know how to spot a fake, and make sure you have a money back guarantee if you buy from a remote dealer.

I'm looking to buy some Moldavite. Real samples have worm-like inclusions of Lechatelierite. Most also have obvious gas bubbles a bit smaller than a grain of salt and many have the sandpaper type granular surface on the ridges. I did my homework before I even started looking for dealers. I did find a good dealer from NY, so I'm good but I still will only buy a 3 or 4 gram piece first, then if authentic, I'll get a few bigger pieces.

Bob

Edited by Magicman
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