Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
As a petrified wood supplier, we know that to get the best price for your petrified wood, one must know what they have and also know the history of the wood. You are selling something rare and what is really rare is someone who knows the story behind their fossil. An example would be; Do you know what the landscape was like when this fossil of yours was just a living organism? Was it a swamp or mountainous? What sort of creatures roamed the area? What type of tree is it? Does it have crystals in it, is it opalized or does it still have the wood like appearance? This will help you find a client who likes the story and is more willing to buy the fossil for a price you wish to get for it.
If you wish to sell your petrified wood. There ae many options available. Very small pieces might make good paper weights or aquarium rocks. Larger pieces might be excellent landscape pieces. Just look around you and if you can, display your pieces somewhere. People love to touch and look at petrified wood. It is our history.
Petrified Wood Value
Let me emphsize that what we have shared below is only our thoughts on how to evaluate petrified wood and it's how we do it. There is no set way and if you are going to buy petrified wood you will naturally want to pay as little as possible and to sell it would be the opposite theory. Good fortune to you.
We are often asked: Is my petrified wood worth anything? Below we have tried to provide an answer.
1: We get asked all the time, "What price should we ask for our petrified wood?"
The reality of petrified wood pricing is: The price is what it was sold for. So, everything you can do to improve on your piece of petrified wood is going to add to its value. Knowing what classification your wood falls into is also a added bonus. Here is a pretty good website (click here) that helps to identify and explain the process.
First; wash it off. I have seen so many photos of really nice pieces of petrified wood and I know that if it were cleaned off, it would look so much nicer. We occasionally use a power washer if deemed necessary, but a hose and nozzle does the job just fine. WARNING: Being overly enthusiastic about cleaning your age old relic might actually damage its value. Another thing to think about is picking up a hand held polisher. If you go to Amazon online, you might look at a Secco wet polisher, you can buy one like we have for a few hundred bucks and it works great. I saw a piece today that would be worth so much more if it was cut into two pieces and then polished. These two pieces would make excellent bookends. So, sometimes it takes a plan of attack to bring the most opulence and value to your fossil.
What's the value? Take a look at the different petrified wood pricing we have in this website. Then ask yourself... Does your wood look like wood? Does it look like just another rock or does it look like real wood. There is wonderful petrified wood everywhere. It all is rare because of its age. So value is something that lies in the most real terms, and that is; what would it sell for. I think that when petrified wood resembles wood in one way or another it takes on more than intrinsic value. (meaning it has "I want to own that" appeal)
We might have a per pound figure for you, but we can tell you that good landscape pieces are not as value able as logs we can cut into furniture pieces and pieces that have that
"I want that in my house" feel to them. And the later can be worth as much as a perfect log. Generally speaking, size does makes a difference, the bigger the fossil the higher the price per pound. To the right; is a photo of a piece sold to an artist in N.Y. It is hanging on an I-beam in Kassel, Germany. I don't know what they are asking for this art, but I will bet it has at least 6 numbers to the left of the decimal point.
Let's talk about "Arizona Rainbow Petrified Wood", it is so old that it has been opalized in its center. None of the finite wood grain is viewable in these logs because of their genus and age, but the colors are spectacular and unique to Arizona just the same as the painted desert is unique to Arizona. The other equally beautiful petrified wood is the "Navajo Petrified Wood". Generally speaking, most of the pieces I've seen from Arizona are really very nice. My guess is, when molecules meld for 200 to 300 million years, they sort of melt together and show off the chemicals left in the sedimentation of the area. Petrified wood from some areas in Africa and Indonesia are basic grays, tans or blacks. These pieces are really elegant, just not as pretty as most other petrified wood.
The younger petrified wood, such as the 15 million years old kind appear to be very much like the wood we have in the local lumber yard or at the burl wood place we see along the highways. You can see the grain and age rings in the younger fossils. On the outside you can see the original grain of the bark or skin under the bark. We've got some clients who have some truly amazing pieces that have vines wrapped around them.
Does it scream unique, do you want to see it everyday? If it does, then you might have something valuable. Now it might not need to be large, but just well defined or have characteristics that make it something out of the norm. An example would be; does it have an obvious story to it? That's important when establishing a value to something. A large part of being unique might be; is it slabbed? Is it polished? We have a couple of pieces that appear to have been chomped on by some prehistoric vegan. That's unique... Some logs have vines wrapped around them or are palm froms or have gold mixed in with the calcidony. Think about it, think about the story of the piece. We think about the prehistoric history of the area and how things got where they were. Some of our fossils come from down deep in the earth. Some of them have glacier cuts in them. While others are like drift wood, some are wind blown, or just cute as all get out. A man in Yakima, Washington has a lot of petrified wood that was buried in volcanic ash. This hollowed out wood that has had dry rot and once the dry rot was removed, they made really nice and unique planters. Some have obvious burn marks from a fire or lightning. Know your wood and keep it fun and dig into the local history.
3: Size has a lot to do with value.
Small scraps of wood are figured by the pound. Some online experts talk about buying petrified wood scraps by the bucket full. When you get pieces that are 20 to 200 lbs. then you are in another level of pricing. The value scale doesn't change again until you hit a couple hundred pounds and again when you reach the one ton scale or above. Now you are talking big. Small pieces can be interesting when wetted. If there is bark it might just take on a different hue under various lighting conditions. All important considerations when selling a fossil.
We price our wood like we do our semi-precious stones. Take Brazilian Agates, we price them at about a $1.25 per cubic inch. Now these stones are cut and polished, just as we do to the smaller petrified wood samples we have. Our smaller samples are very representative of wood as you see it today. We have a variety of types, ranging from; pine, oak, buckeye, gum, etc. and many of these are cut into slabs. We do intend to cut some into cubes so that the wood grain is very dramatic. Transporting, storing, cutting and polishing cause the price to stay up on our wood, also add in the quality of our fossils condition. When an expert tells you your wood isn't worth as much as you might have thought or been told, just take some time and do a little more research. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
One collector made a good story out of hunting specimens in the remote areas of Montana's bad lands. He tells how they dug for the pieces and how these pieces were never exposed to Mother Nature's four seasons, etc... It's a good story about how this great effort went into finding this type of petrified wood. This person also says they do not polish the fossils because it will diminish the "value" of the fossil. Of course this might be another way of saying: "We have no way of polishing this piece." It really doesn't matter, they have a great story behind their find and I'm sure, if they are selling their pieces, they are getting what they are asking in value.
Not cutting and polishing petrified wood because it takes away from it's value; this is true in many cases, especially when you have a very perfect specimen that includes crystallization and/or wood grains consistent with the original plants cellular structure, texture and color. But in the defense of those of us who like to slab some of our fossils, it is really nice to see the polished insides of these chalcedonied specimens. Some of our slabs have shown gold veins in them, had we never slabbed these stumps, we would not have know this very interesting and rare Message.
Again, take a look at the prices we have on some of our pieces and try to find something that might be similar to what you have at home. If you have been carrying that piece around for years, may-be you should have it cut in half, it might be something of real beauty. In any case, have fun with your find.
Our "Rule of Thumb" Value Chart
For small, well defined pieces (meaning look exactly like wood): $15 to $23/lb.
For Small logs not well defined (30lbs. to 75lbs.): $1 to $5/lb.
For Small logs that are either well defined as wood or have special colors, crystals, etc.: $5/lb. to $30/lb.
For Med. logs that are average (75lbs. to 250lbs.) $1.25/lb. to $2.50/lb.
For Med. logs that are well defined as wood or have special colors, crystals, etc.: $3.50/lb. to $75/lb.
For Large logs not well defined (300lbs. to truck size) $2/lb. to $4/lb.
For Large logs well defined as wood or have special colors, crystals, etc.: $4/lb. to $40/lb.
These are not prices that are univerally accepted. Keep in mind that a retailer pays very little and gets the dregs. A private collector will pay (what might seem) a whopping price for something very rare. So, these numbers work for me, but they may not work for you.
I have a weblink here that also explains the value of petrified wood. It's written by Scott Singleton. Just click on this link; http://www.hgms.org/Articles/ScottSingleton-AssessmentOfAPetrifiedLog.html .
This is another link to Joseph at Rock Tumbling Supplies, he explains his method of estimating value: http://rocktumblingsupplies.com/logs/index.phtml
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Prescott Valley, AZ 86314