COLLECTING FOSSILS AND ARTIFACTS
- copyright Paleo Direct, Inc.
Fossils and artifacts are a highly specialized area of collecting and interest. The realm of collecting fossils and artifacts encompasses such a broad arena and consequently, demands a very broad spectrum of knowledge and education for both, the dealer, and the collecting buyer. Knowledge is required spanning an enormous area of science. More importantly, a COMPLETE understanding to properly identify each specimen and to be able to recognize enhancement and fakes cannot be overemphasized! While the collector will, in time, hopefully gain this knowledge through their own experience and education, the burden of this knowledge, along with ACCURATE and HONEST representation of what is being sold, is ultimately up to the DEALER. Sadly, for such a vast area of world interest, collecting exists mainly as an 'uninformed hobby'. There is a void of sufficient and readily available reference materials that address both IDENTIFICATION and AUTHENTICATION. This unfortunate lack of information fosters more widespread ignorance in both dealers and collectors, than most other collector markets known.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER so arm yourself with as much education and experience as you can if you wish to build a collection of properly identified and authentic FOSSILS and ARTIFACTS.
WHY COLLECT FOSSILS?
Fossil collecting is a highly rewarding and educational passion. Unlike the mindless collecting mentality of "collecting just to collect", building a fine quality fossil collection will give a lifetime of enlightenment and pleasure, and offers a depth of satisfaction that most other pursuits fail to fill. Each and every acquisition is a mini-education and whether you collect across the broad array of prehistoric life or, have a specific focus, the end result will be the same - pride in the knowledge gained and a meaningful understanding and awareness that goes way beyond formal education because your collection WILL BE hands-on unlike a textbook-only experience.
A personal fossil or artifact collection can transport one back in time and impact those that might never have exposure to real specimens, up close and personal. If you share your collection for others to view, who knows who you may be influencing or exposing to the fascinating world of paleontology. Private fossil collections offer us an appreciation of prehistory in a way that museums have failed to provide. The lack of fascinating and tangible museum exhibits showcasing genuine fossils has directly resulted in waning public interest and financial support for these institutions. Regardless of how small your private collection may be, showcasing your own genuine fossils or artifacts of primitive humans in either a home or office setting, would not only make for an impressive display but will offer a rare experience for most that come in contact with them. The potential positive effects your collection will have one a child or young adult are vast.
WHY COLLECT PRIMITIVE HUMAN ARTIFACTS?
Primitive human artifacts are unique in that, while a fossil puts us in touch with prehistoric plant and animal life, artifacts from primitive humans put us in touch with OURSELVES - OUR prehistoric past. Words cannot describe the magic of holding in your hand a stone tool that another man or woman made tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years ago. You are holding the tool just they way they did, feel the tool in the exact way they designed it to feel. If it is comfortable or fits a certain way, it is because a prehistoric human designed it that way. You are experiencing the product of a human mind FROM LONG AGO! This is a transcending experience to many.
Human history on this earth is a speck compared to all other life-forms. While many tools were left behind from the existence of prehistoric humans, we refrain from selling the rarest specimens, reserving these acquisitions for a private museum collection we will exhibit in the future. Furthermore, we DO NOT sell, promote or encourage the sale of HUMAN FOSSILS. Please do not ask us for these. If you see any for sale elsewhere, consider them fake as they most certainly are. All human fossils ever discovered from the Paleolithic Period could fit in the bed of a pick-up truck. They are that rare!
It may seem confusing or arbitrary as to how a specific item is priced. In rare collectibles such as many types of fossils and artifacts, no two specimens are alike and minute differences can DRASTICALLY affect the value. These differences may not be readily obvious but to the market, often subtle features DO make a difference and it is here where prices can vary dramatically! This is the case with MOST fossil and artifact specimen. The presence of certain features that are not normally seen in typical specimens can cause a certain higher quality fossil to sell for MANY TIMES what hoards of the same type of specimen normally sells for. This is a simple example of supply and demand. The number collectors that want the BEST fossils far outnumber the quantity of truly top-grade specimens. There are "tractor-trailer loads" of your average grades for every superb quality specimen. Whether you are talking about shark teeth, ammonites, fish fossils, flint artifacts or anything for that matter, this is always true in this business of rare collectibles.
We focus and base our business model on providing only the higher quality material. An extraordinary amount of effort is required to do this from locating and collecting all the way to preparing the "best" specimens. Naiveté on the customer's behalf sometimes makes it hard to compete with a dealer selling a much lower quality specimen where it is being misrepresented as NO RESTORATION, NO REPAIR, ALL NATURAL or it is not from the source or is not even the species or type described. We see this ALL the time and it is disheartening. Nevertheless, we feel that if a collector focuses on QUALITY, the collection and hobby will be much more satisfying as the years go by. If you see a price that seems higher than normally seen, analyze what it is being offered. Are there ample high quality images for you to examine what you are comparing? Has the specimen been fully discussed, properly identified and has restoration or repair been honestly disclosed? A nick on a tooth, the presence of repair or restoration, artificially improving the specimen, etc., are all factors affecting price. The demand for the absolute BEST quality and RAREST fossils is insatiable and this level of material is always priced accordingly.
LEGALITY OF FOSSILS FOR SALE and COLLECTING
Many people are unaware they have the ability to purchase and own AUTHENTIC fossila and artifacts. In most countries in the world, private ownership of genuine fossils and artifacts purchased through legal channels, is legal. In some instances, specific countries address the difference of private ownership of VERTEBRATE FOSSILS and INVERTEBRATE FOSSILS in cases where the fossils originate from the country in which the collector resides. For instance, ALL FOSSILS from Italy are illegal to privately own if you reside in Italy. All VERTEBRATE FOSSILS from Canada are illegal to privately own, sell or collect.
Generally speaking, all fossils are LEGAL to privately own in the United States and most developed countries of the Free World provided they were legally collected if they are specimens originating in the country they are ultimately owned. In the United States, you cannot go out and privately collect and own DINOSAUR FOSSILS taken from federal land but if the land is privately owned (not federal land privatrely leased from the U.S.), and permission is given by the landowner, the same fossils are perfectly legal to own, collect or sell. This is where it is extremely important for buyers to KNOW and trust the reputability and professional standing of the dealer from which they acquire their specimens. The patronage of prominent and professional suppliers is of utmost importance to not only ensure you are getting accurately represented fossils with regards to authenticity and restoration but more importantly, that you are spending your hard-earned money on a specimen that was legally acquired from private land or not stolen from a museum or a private party.
Paleo Direct, Inc. only sells AUTHENTIC fossils and ones which are legal to own. Every fossil and primitive human artifact we sell is guaranteed for life to be authentic and as described. Every specimen purchased comes with our certificate of authenticity providing history about the specimen and where it was found and that it was legally collected and acquired.