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I found this 30 years ago, in Southern Alberta Canada. Any ideas?

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Anyone know what this might be? Thats a nickel beside it. 

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55F92D38-0EC3-4DFC-B537-55C3C9455846.jpeg

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is it stone  or metal  ?

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Kind of looks like an indian artifact of some sort to me. Pretty cool looking.

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Orthoconic ammonite piece, probably Orthoceras.  Its an internal mold, “stienkern”, of part of it chambers.  

We have these all over the black shales in SD.  

Cool piece!

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17 minutes ago, afreakofnature said:

Orthoconic ammonite piece, probably Orthoceras.  Its an internal mold, “stienkern”, of part of it chambers.  

We have these all over the black shales in SD.  

Cool piece!

Excellent man! When I saw it I knew it was a fossil of some darn sea critter but had no idea what. Looks like gills.

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Wow! Good call! Heres a pic I found on the net of one.

Tom H.

 

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"Cool piece, / Artifact"....I also see that it is a fossil, as Tom indicated as well,  but I, being familiar with Indian artifacts can also see that it had been used as a tool by an early-native Indian tribe that existed in the area where you found it.  I have found many of these stones (although not made from a fossil, as this one is) that had been hand-crafted and utilized as a tool for their daily needs.  This tool is an "arrow-shaft straightener", as can be seen by the straight grove / slot worn in it's one side (picture # 3).  You might also note (picture # 4) that the opposite side of the grooved side of this fossil has been worn smooth,.......maybe because it had been fitted into the palm of a human's hand and griped tightly while the arrow shaft was being forced thru the groove on the other side,..like holding a wet stone in one hand and sharpening a knife, forcing it against that stone.  

I have found these arrow-shaft straighteners made of various stones down here in Arizona.  Sometimes I would find one that had been started out to be one type of object, but got broken in the process, so who ever was hand-crafting at the time (instead of just throwing it away) would reshape (Re-purposing) the stone for a different purpose.  Plus, considering that your stone has such interesting and geometric surface features, it may have been considered as a ceremonial piece as well, thus giving the arrow-shafts straightened-by- it a spiritual, or special significance for the hunter using those arrow-shafts; which, if "conceived and believed" by that hunter this would bring about a more successful hunt. ...........Sort of like conceiving, believing and picturing a gold nugget in your mind before you actually start detecting a particular likely spot,...Aye????????  Gary

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Glad it wasn't shaped like a poodle. With that descriptive narrative, there would have been hell to pay . . . :)

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I appreciate all of the responses! Thank you.  

I have had this thing for thirty years, and always wondered what it was. Thanks to this forum and the internet i have some good answers. Good people   

 

 

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I think afreakofnature is likely correct on where it was formed and LowPoint  as well on what it may have been used for. But what it actually is made of is most likely quartz in some form such as chalcedony based on what it looks like to me. You could do some simple tests to confirm that if you wish.

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2 hours ago, fuss said:

I think afreakofnature is likely correct on where it was formed and LowPoint  as well on what it may have been used for. But what it actually is made of is most likely quartz in some form such as chalcedony based on what it looks like to me. You could do some simple tests to confirm that if you wish.

All true. Whenever something fossilizes it often gets replaced with silica. And silica is "quartz" in the strictest sense of the term. Kinda sorta.

Most silicified fossils either agatize or opalize. Both forms are very common. 

The term "quartz" is most commonly used to describe silica crystals that formed under some pressure. Not the microcrystalline and/or cryptocrystalline structure of agate or opal as is found in fossilized material. 

It is a fine point but one worth discussing on a rock forum I think. In my understanding of the terminology "quartz" can certainly describe any silicate mineral but is used to describe the crystalline type.  Fossils are generally described as "agatized" or "opalized".

Also, quartz is a mineral. Fossils, both agate and opal are not true minerals but mineraloid because they used to be alive. So there are some distinctions to be made when using these terms to describe a fossilized specimen.

...Then there is obsidian. Silicon dioxide too but formed in an entirely different way. Definitely a mineral. Definitely not quartz, agate or opal.

IMHO the fossil/artifact posted by the OP is definitely an agatized fossil worked by abrasion. The second photo posted could very well be an opalized shell. Both are examples of silicon dioxide replacing organic material. This material certainly could be called "quartz" as well as "chalcedony" I suppose. These terms however are generally descriptive of other forms of silicon dioxide minerals. 

 

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My intent was not to ruffle any feathers with my post, so I apologize if seemed rude or dismissive, far from it . I just simply  assumed the OP may want to have an idea of what his specimen is possibly made of in addition to the origins and potential uses of it had.

 

Thx,

fuss

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Ambition is a dream with a V-8 engine.

      - Elvis 

 

 

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6 hours ago, fuss said:

My intent was not to ruffle any feathers with my post, so I apologize if seemed rude or dismissive, far from it . I just simply  assumed the OP may want to have an idea of what his specimen is possibly made of in addition to the origins and potential uses of it had.

 

Thx,

fuss

Hello fuss,...  I too would like to apologize to "you" for coming down on you as hard as I did.  It was brought to my attention by the administrator (Au Seeker) that you where referring to another member's comment who's forum name is: afreakofnature.  I completely missed the part where a forum member could /would have a name such as afreakofnature.    When I was reading down thru the comments initially, and then added my own, I never noticed, nor payed attention-to who was commenting, nor what their forum name was; I was just reading the comments as they came in.  So when I read your comment:   "I think afreakofnature is likely correct on where it was formed and LowPoint  as well on what it may have been used for." I mistook your statement to imply that my comment as well as I was a freak of nature.   I can now see that you where actually agreeing with both afreakofnature (a forum member) and my comments and not calling me a name.  So again, I would like to apologize for missing that important part, and misunderstanding your comment.  Gary  

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Apology accepted Gary.

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Hey guys, 

Thank you for all of the responses. In all honesty I have posted pics on other websites and haven't gotten many responses.  Great site and thanks for letting look around!

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Does anyone have any recommendations as too what i should do with it next? Just keep it? Have someone look into it more? Is it worth anything? Thanks again for taking time to repond!

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If you were getting into Lapidary, you could make it into something.  My wife is interested in making jewelry and something like that could be made into a necklace for a conversation piece.  Other than that, I am not sure it would have a monetary value to anyone else.

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It is a super nice artifact. No doubt much rarer than a projectile point or blade. And it is made of a fairly unique material. So yeah, it is worth something.

How much? I haven't a clue but I would guess at least $25 bucks. Maybe more depending on many factors. There are lots of collectors out there that would want that in their collection.

It is worth whatever someone will pay you for it.

I have kept most of the things I find as story pieces. I try to learn all about them and my collection represents time spent in the field and what I have learned from it. Consequently, most of the items in my collection are worth more to me than someone would pay for them. 

You have had this for 30 years knowing instinctively it was special. It has motivated a quest for knowledge. You have learned that it is a fossil as well as an artifact. It is a silicate replacement of a specific species of sea critter that has agatized. You have learned a bit about the different forms of silica. You have in your hand a piece that was formed and used as a tool by a primitive indigenous man.

I would say this piece represents a lot of knowledge. You are the best judge of how much it is worth. To anyone else it is just an artifact fashioned from a fossil and will be much less valuable in their collection than yours.

Bob

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I couldn't have said it as eloquently as Bedrock Bob, but I feel exactly the same way. Although I don't have a problem for the most part with people selling rocks and minerals, finding them, the story behind finding them and researching them, makes their worth multitudes more to me than just buying one. From the second I pick it up, that rock becomes part of me and who I am.

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1 hour ago, 23XLive said:

I couldn't have said it as eloquently as Bedrock Bob, but I feel exactly the same way. Although I don't have a problem for the most part with people selling rocks and minerals, finding them, the story behind finding them and researching them, makes their worth multitudes more to me than just buying one. From the second I pick it up, that rock becomes part of me and who I am.

I get a kick out of your post. Thanks!

Stones do become a part of you. Or you a part of them. There is definitely a connection. Of course that reminds me of a story...

I pick up agates all winter and tumble them. I probably polish 40 pounds of rocks each year. Most of them are sold to snowbird type folks as a momento of their visit to New Mexico. Kids love them. I have some little drawstring bags sewn up from colorful fabric and they can pick their choice of bags. Then they select five rocks from a big bin and put them in the bag. 

As each person goes through the pile of stones I recognize almost each and every one. I remember the exact moment I found it and can see that exact place. Sometimes I remember certain details like the weather the day I found it. Or the texture of the gravel around it. Or the angle of the hill I was standing on. Or the tune I was humming. Or what was on my mind that day. But nearly every stone that a person picks up generates a snapshot in my mind of the instant that I picked it up. 

I can have ten or twelve customers during the day prowling through those stones. Each one of them picking up little memories and looking at them. Making little piles and then selecting their favorite five. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I found them all.

Each little pebble is connected to some neuron or synaptic chemistry or something. It is some primal thing way the heck down there in our instinctive human. We survived for millions of years on nothing except what we could find on the ground. As we began to analyze what we found science was born. As we tried to quantify that mathematics was born. As we pondered the patterns in the rocks and the stars in the sky philosophy was born. When we tried to imitate the patterns in nature that fascinated us art was born.

It all started from picking up an interesting rock and asking one of the oldest thoughts ever conceptualized.  "Whazzit?"  

I think it is natural for our animal self to go right back to that place that it has been for millions of years whenever we see a rock. It wasn't that many years ago (relatively) that our survival depended on rocks.

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