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REVERSE SIDE SHOWN ABOVE WITH OBVIOUS CORAL POLYP STRUCTURAL ANATOMY

 

SUPER RARE GEM QUARTZ FOSSIL CORAL GEODE WITH LARGE QUARTZ CRYSTALS LINING CAVITY

Withlacoochee River - Florida, USA

OLIGOCENE PERIOD :  38 million years ago

Agatized fossil coral is highly prized by not only fossil collectors, but by gem and mineral collectors, as well.  Exquisite forms from Florida are especially in demand as the state produces some of the finest examples of this geological oddity in the entire world.  The majority of agatized coral that is collected is either solid inside when sliced or it possesses a drab and rather uninteresting structure to its internal cavity.  This remarkable specimen is VERY rare and far exceeds the beauty, color and internal crystalline structures of most agatized coral pieces that are found. 

The specimen is a one-in-a-million piece!  It is extremely unusual and rare for agatized fossil coral because beyond becoming agatized, the former prehistoric coral colony has been turned to a micro-lined geode of QUARTZ crystals!  This is one of only two specimens we have ever seen, the other being one we already sold on this site COR-072.  This specimen was in our private collection and far surpasses the other example because this specimen has a much more open chamber and is COMPLETELY TRANSLUCENT WITH INTERIOR TRANSPARENT CRYSTALS WHEN LIT FROM BEHIND AS SEEN ABOVE.  For a fossil coral geode to be in this form where it is lined with pure clear quartz crystals is immeasurably RARE!  Agatized coral geodes are usually filled with chalcedony or agate which is a form of quartz but on very, very rare occurrences, the geode can fill with PURE CLEAR quartz.  This gives the fossilized coral colony the appearance it is filled with ice!  There are interesting bore holes running into this specimen which are the trace burrows of a predator bivalve that preyed on these corals 38 million years ago and likely killed this one.  This fossil geode is also translucent when lit from behind as seen above.  This is a VERY RARE specimen decommissioned from our museum collection and is the only other specimen of its kind we have ever offered for sale.  This is it, we have no more.  Quartz lined geodes in general geology are not rare but in agatized fossil coral colonies, they are!  Agatized coral of this quality is so rare that usually it is cut up and used in very expensive custom jewelry pieces.  As a complete crystal specimen, it is worth even more in its natural state.  Highly visually appealing and certainly can be considered the finest of the finest!  Unusually large and entire sawn face is polished to perfection revealing the layers of chalcedony as it formed.  Absolutely NO ENHANCEMENT, NO DYEING, NO REPAIR and NO RESTORATION.  

Agate, also known as chalcedony, is a type of cryptocrystalline quartz (SiO2).  Under unique geological conditions, prehistoric corals and mollusks can fossilize by being replaced with agate from silica-rich ground water percolating through limestone.   The Florida Legislature designated agatized coral as the Florida State Stone in 1979.  The statute describes it as “a chalcedony pseudomorph after coral, appearing as limestone geodes lined with botryoidal agate or quartz crystals and drusy quartz fingers, indigenous to Florida."  Agatized coral occurs in a variety of colors, typically gray, brown, black, yellow, white, and on rare occasion red.  The majority of Florida’s agatized coral formed in Oligocene-Miocene Hawthorn Group sediments.  Fossil agatized coral is occasionally dredged up in the Tampa and Clearwater areas but also occurs in limestones along the Econfina, Withlachoochee and Suwannee Rivers.

Fossil corals were simple marine invertebrates that possessed a sac-like body called a polyp with a mouth and tentacles.  As carnivores, they would immobilize or kill their prey with their stinging tentacles then swallow their prey and later expel the wastes through the same mouth.  They formed a dense outer skeleton of calcium carbonate which, when living in large colonies of thousands of cloned individuals, formed a massive structure.  The complex folds in their stomach cavity can be seen in the wondrous detail left behind in their skeletons.  Modern corals today share a symbiotic relationship with algae that covers their body tissue.  The algae supplement the coral with oxygen which most likely was the case in prehistoric times, as well.

Prehistoric corals are believed to have thrived in the same environments that modern corals prefer - clean, warm oceans of normal salinity levels.  Solitary corals were present in oceans of soft, muddy bottoms while horn corals and colonial corals preferred hard sea floors to attach themselves. 

THE RAREST EXAMPLE OF FOSSIL CORAL GEODES WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED - FROM OUR PRIVATE COLLECTION OF THE BEST!

4" wide x 2.75" high

SOLD     COR104     Actual Item - One Only

CLICK HERE TO SEE OTHER CORAL FOSSILS FOR SALE

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