Fern Fossils

These ferns grew in the lush tropical forests of Illinois and Missouri 320 million years ago. They were trapped in mud concretions, which fossilized over time. Fossil hunters look for small oval or round rocks, and if they are skilled enough to crack the rocks open correctly, the leaf ends up in one half (called the positive impression), and its imprint (or negative impression) is visible on the other half.  The two here are positives, which contain the actual fossil pinna, or leaflet. Each of these pieces is top-drilled, and a pin is inserted and a sterling jump ring is attached. Add your favorite bail or string between beads and you have the centerpiece of a wonderful natural necklace–320 million years old! The backs are rounded, and although they are not polished, they are smooth to the touch. They are not heavy.

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