So you have a large collection of petrified wood that you’ve collected over the years and you want to cash out? Well you’re not the only one that considered this. I’ve considered it on more than one instance. And why not? Petrified wood can be found virtually anywhere at no charge to you. And if you could turn around and sell it for a profit, then it doesn’t sound like too bad of an idea.
I know that everytime I spend time on the river, I find pieces of petrified wood all the time. Sure, some of them are small, but many of them are much larger, and could easily be turned into jewelry or another kind of gemstone.
But you’re here because you want to know how much petrified wood is worth. Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to go over in this post.
First, let me tell you that there’s not an exact simple answer. There’s a number of factors that determine the value of petrified wood. We’ll go over each of those and determine how they affect the overall value as well as what it is buyers of petrified wood are looking for.
What Is Petrified Wood Worth? (Quick Answer)
Here’s the quick answer to what petrified wood is worth. Assuming that the specimens you have are of decent lapidary quality that a buyer would be able to make jewelry out of, you could expect to sell petrified wood between $.25 and $10.00 per pound. Realistically speaking, you could expect to receive the lower amount of this price range.
The best thing to do is to check current prices online to see what dealers are selling their petrified wood at. For example, greatrough.com is a website that sells petrified wood from Arizona. Another site to look at with a larger selection of specimens is earthquestminerals.com. Finally, fossilera.com is a site that has specialty pieces of petrified wood. I would check these kinds of sites out for current prices.
Petrified Wood Value: What Affects It?
The first thing to consider when determining the value of a piece of petrified wood is its size. The reason this is true is because most collectors seek smaller pieces of petrified wood. While some collectors seek large chunks of petrified wood for making furniture like tables, the majority of collectors seek out smaller pieces for lapidary purposes.
According to firstquarterfinance.com, they say this regarding how size affects the value of petrified wood.
“Small pieces of petrified wood are quite common and not worth very much. Tumbled or rough pieces that are one- to three-inches long will typically be worth a dollar or two each, if that. Bulk lots of these pieces are often purchased for even less per individual sample. On the other hand, a petrified wood log weighing 50 pounds could sell for $150 or more. Intact pieces of this size are much rarer than the smaller pebble-like specimens.”
When evaluating a piece of petrified wood for its value, in addition to size, the first thing to consider is the quality. Is the piece your valuing solid and rock like? Does it have lots of fracturing?
While fracturing can be a common occurrence with some types of petrified wood, some specimens can be extremely fractured, porous and crumbling.
A solid piece of petrified wood means that it can easily be cut and polished without falling apart or crumbling.
Generally speaking, petrified wood that’s already been polished or tumbled is worth more than a comparative piece that has not been polished.
The main reason for this is due to the time that’s required to polish these stones. It’s takes a lot of time to get the final polish, and if someone has already done the hard work, then it makes sense to pay a premium.
According to firstquarterfinance.com, “…(a) very small (under 2″) pieces will not be worth more than a few dollars, whether polished or rough. Rough limbs that are a few inches in length are typically worth only $4-$8. Polishing one end of the limb to reveal the color and grain detail can increase the value up to $10-$20. A fully polished 3″ sphere may be worth up to $50-$60 dollars.”
If you know the location that the petrified wood was harvested at, you’ll have a much better chance at not only selling the specimen, but you’ll have a better chance of selling it at a much higher price.
According to petrifiedwoodshop.com, “Many collectors don’t realize that the location from where a piece of petrified wood was harvested also factors into how much it’s worth. If a seemingly populated area is now dwindling in the amount of petrified wood it contains, the value of specimens harvested there will hold a greater value. Being able to say you own a piece of petrified wood from a popular forest naturally makes your specimen worth more money.”
So if you’re a field collector, and have intentions of selling your collected items, do everything you can to document your finds. This will serve you well when it comes time to sell.
Finally, the last thing that a collector or buyer would be interested in seeing in a piece of petrified wood they’re considering buying are the tree’s growth rings. That’s right, just like the growth rings of a tree you would see today, some pieces of petrified wood still show the growth rings of the trees they originated from. Specimens displaying these rings will often times bring a premium when selling.
What Is Petrified Wood?
Petrified wood forms when trees that die millions of years ago fell and became covered in mud, sand and water. Over time, minerals seeped into the wood of the trees depositing minerals. Eventually, the wood rotted away and the only the minerals remained. The trees “turned to rock,” or became petrified. This entire process is called petrification.
Unlike other types of fossils which are typically impressions or compressions, petrified wood is a three-dimensional representation of the original organic material.
So what do you think? You ready to sell your petrified wood collection? If you have experience in selling or buying petrified wood, I’d really be interested in hearing from you. How much did you sell or buy yours for?
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