FRAUD AND MISIDENTIFICATION
WHY EXPERIENCE IN THE LAB IS NEEDED
- copyright Paleo Direct, Inc.
Only highly experienced suppliers who possess necessary equipment AND who possess extensive, current experience with all techniques of fossil and artifact preparation, restoration and fabrication should be trusted to know the difference when it comes to fake or altered items. SIMPLY PUT, IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW A SPECIMEN CAN BE FAKED, ALTERED OR ENHANCED, YOU WILL BE CLUELESS WHEN IT COMES TO DETECTING IT.
Ask your supplier about his or her PERSONAL experience in a preparation / conservation lab. If they tell you they do not PERSONALLY possess EXTENSIVE experience in this field and that they rely on THEIR sources, avoid these dealers at all costs!!! These individuals likely have specimens in their inventory that they have no clue as to their true authenticity regardless of any guarantee or assurances that they will provide you. AN HONEST BUT UNINFORMED DEALER IS NO DIFFERENT THAN A DISHONEST DEALER. The end result is the same - you run the risk of not getting what you are told you are getting.
The staff at Paleo Direct is fully experienced in fossil and artifact conservation, preparation, repair and restoration. We operate a fully-equipped 3000 square foot lab facility to prepare and conserve our diverse inventory of fossils and artifacts numerous types.
Many of the techniques used today to forge and fabricate items have become so sophisticated that without current and continual experience, it becomes dangerous "guesswork". Many dealers have been sold forgeries by their suppliers who they thought were "trustworthy" only to find out the truth at the expense of their customers and reputation. Stay away from brokers and stick with a professional company that operates a lab and does their own work if you want peace of mind beyond the guarantee.
As the collector, your best defense will come with time - EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION. Learn all you can about what you collect, why it is rare, what makes it rare, what it looks like, how to spot fakes or restoration and what is the proper identification of different specimens. Remember, in the realm of collecting, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Besides, you will gain enlightenment and a far greater appreciation your collection if you know all about it.
Where there are specific issues to look for with certain types of specimens we offer, we try to point out in the individual listing or page on this website. We will be happy to help answer any questions on this topic BUT.... we will NOT point out bad dealers, bad material offered or sold elsewhere, or appraise or identify your fossils for you.
If in doubt, the best unbiased advice you can seek for a second opinion is to ask a paleontologist or related scientist affiliated with a local museum. Some will be happy to help. Another valuable source is a professor within a university geology, biology or ideally, paleontology department. While they may not be fully aware of techniques for faking fossils, they WILL know what the real specimen should look like or what it may be if identification is an issue.